10 Things to Read about Palestine/Israel

Palestine/Israel defines a land where peoples, histories, cultures, identities, conflicts, religions and struggles are strictly interrelated. This list provides fiction and non-fiction books about such a heterogeneity of actors, issues and perspectives.

1 – The Question of Palestine

In his masterpiece entitled The Question of Palestine Edward W. Said explained the most crucial questions related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the meaning of Palestine, Palestinians, Zionism and the right of self-determination.

2 – The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

In his most controversial book the Israeli historian Ilan Pappé identified the meeting between the Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion and his advisers in March 1948 as the start of a campaign of ‘ethnic cleaning’ in the land of historic Palestine.

3 – Palestine: Peace not Apartheid

Always involved in the cause of peace in the Middle East, Jimmy Carter – former US President – explained how South-African apartheid will become a reality in Palestine/Israel if the conflict will not be justly resolved.

4 – Men in the Sun: Palestinian refugees’ life

Ghassan Kanafani’s novel is a must-read to know more about the Palestinian diaspora and the meaning of being a Palestinian refugee.

5 – An Israeli in the Gaza Strip

In 1993 the Israeli journalist Amira Hass decided to go to Gaza and stayed there to document what was going on. She is still living in Ramallah (occupied Palestinian territories) and reporting for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

6 – The Iron Cage: An overview of Palestinian politics and history

Rashid Khalidi, one of the most well-known Palestinian historians, analysed the historical and political process of self-determination of the Palestinian people since the Mandate period just after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire.

7 – The Jewish people: a historical identity or an invention?

In his most well-known book Shlomo Sand questioned myths and taboos regarding Jewish and Israeli history  as to suggest an alternative view of the current Jewish state.

8 – Palestinian and Israeli Gendered Narratives of Dislocation

This book is a collection of essays by Palestinian and Israeli women in which autobiographies, testimonies, narrative identities, pain and anger are mixed in a unique discourse. The editors have opened up several challenging questions for reflection and future studies on such a subject.

9 – A Palestinian grapgic novel

A two-volume graphic novel illustrating Joe Sacco’s visit to the occupied Palestinian territories during 1991 and 1992: it is one of the most powerful pieces of work reporting dozens of testimonies of everyday life of Palestinians under occupation into cartoon form.

10 – One or two-state solution?

At the core of the current political debate on feasible alternatives for a just resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Virginia Tilley demonstrated the main reasons of the demise of the historic ‘two states for two peoples’ solution.

Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, Photo by Victorgrigas / CC BY-SA 3.0

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Giulia Daniele

Postdoctoral Research Fellow at CEI-IUL. Visiting Research Fellow (CMRB, UEL). Her first book is entitled Women, Reconciliation and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The Road Not Yet Taken (Routledge, 2014).

Leave a Reply