Israel - Palestine: a short reading list
Israel’s Border Wars by Benny Morris, covers the seven-year period after the 1948 War, when the Jewish State fought to keep thousands of mostly unarmed Palestinians from returning to their homes and lands. The book also documents the war between the newly formed Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and the nascent Palestinian armed resistance movement then based in neighboring
Walid Khalidi, a notable Palestinian historian and academic, was born in
Tom Segev is my favorite Israeli historian. One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate is a history of the Jews, Palestinians and the British, in Mandate Palestine. The book employs diaries, letters, and memoirs of citizens not usually included in strictly political or military histories, to enhance this complex story of the early years of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Among the fascinating portraits which run through this history are those of Khalil al-Sakakini, the Palestinian educator and writer, and the British soldier and religious Zionist (later to be Israeli icon) Charles Orde Wingate. As in all of Segev’s books, the historical realities are presented in a nuanced, complex and original manner that humanizes the many protagonists.
Lords of the Land by the Ha’aretz journalist Akiva Eldar and the Israeli historian Idith Zertal is the only comprehensive history of the Israeli settler movement. It is an indispensable tome for anyone who wanting to understand how
Once Upon A Country is the autobiography of Sari Nusseibeh, a scion of an elite clan who can trace his family roots in
The Israel Lobby by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt is probably the best-known work included here. It is essential reading for those who want to understand why it is so difficult for the
And speaking of the
Hillel Cohen has written a damning book detailing the use of the Israeli security forces to suppress the civil liberties and cultural expression of citizens of Palestinian descent who the state thinks of as a potential fifth column and a security risk. Good Arabs describes the deep penetration of intelligence agencies into Palestinian society and its extensive use of Palestinian collaborators to intimidate and control the Arab population. Although the book is mostly about the military government imposed upon the Palestinian citizens of
Notes on availability: Good Arabs is due to be available in English translation in January 10, 2010. All the other books are in print and easily available except for Israel’s Border Wars. It is out-of-print and sold at exorbitant prices on the used book sites. However, the book can be readily obtained via the interlibrary loan service at any library. Used copies of
List of the Books in the Order Mentioned
With Titles Linked to Amazon*
Israel’s Border Wars, 1949-1956: Arab Infiltration, Israeli Retaliation, and the Countdown to the Suez War, Morris, Benny,
All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948, Khalidi, Walid, editor, Institute for Palestinian Studies, 2006, reprint of the 1992 hardcover edition, 636 pps., Soft cover. Available in English and Arabic at the palestine-studies.org. for $46 or at amazon.com for $49.
One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate, Segev, Tom, Holt Paperbacks, 2001, (trans. from Hebrew) 624 pps, Soft cover.
Lords of the Land: The War Over Israel’s Settlements in the Occupied Territories, 1967-2007, Eldar, Akiva and Zertal, Idith, Nation Books, 2009, reprint ed., (trans. from Hebrew) 576 pps., Soft cover.
Once Upon A Country: A Palestinian Life, Nusseibeh, Sari, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2007, 542 pps., Hardcover.
The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, Mearsheimer, John and Walt, Stephen, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008, 496 pps., Soft cover.
Welcome to Heavenly Heights, Miller, Risa, St. Martin’s
Good Arabs: The Israeli Security Agencies and the Israeli Arabs, 1948-1967, University of California, Cohen, Hillel, Due out Jan. 2010, (trans. from Hebrew) 272 pps., Hardcover.