Description: The Palestinians have been at the center of Middle Eastern and world history for nearly a century. The core issues of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict are still the ones that emerged in 1948, after what Palestinians term al-Nakba, the destruction of historical Palestine and the dispossession and expulsion of its people. At the center of this vortex of politics, diplomacy, oppression, resistance, and struggle are the Palestinians. The Palestinians are an ancient Arab people, with both Islamic and Christian adherents, and their traditional culture and present way of life under difficult conditions are greatly illuminated for students and general readers.
A clear historical overview of Palestine, the diaspora, and the conflict is provided, and the history colors the rest of the narrative, addressing crucial aspects of Palestinian society. Palestinians struggle to retain their traditions. Their modern social structure, values, social customs, and life, including education, in villages, refugee camps, and cities are covered. The importance of extended family and women’s roles in a continuing patriarchy are also addressed. The famed Palestinian embroidery and typical food dishes are celebrated. Chapters on modern literature and the arts and cinema stress the artistic focus on the conflict with Israel. A helpful timeline, copious bibliography, and glossary round out the coverage.
Description: This book is the culmination of 20 years of research, fieldwork and analysis on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and the impact of Israeli occupation. Discussion of Israeli policy toward Palestinians is often regarded as a taboo subject, with the result that few people — especially in the U.S. — understand the origins and consequences of the conflict. Roy’s book provides an indispensable context for understanding why the situation remains so intractable. The focus of Roy’s work is the Gaza Strip, an area that remains consistently neglected and misunderstood despite its political centrality. Drawing on more than two thousand interviews and extensive first-hand experience, Roy chronicles the impact of Israeli occupation in Palestine over nearly a generation. Exploring the devastating consequences of socio-economic and political decline, this is a unique and powerful account of the reality of life in the West Bank and Gaza. Written by one of the world’s foremost scholars of the region, it offers an unrivalled breadth of scholarship and insight.
Description: Building on rigorous research by the world-renowned Glasgow University Media Group, More Bad News From Israel examines media coverage of the current conflict in the Middle East and the impact it has on public opinion. The book brings together senior journalists and ordinary viewers to examine how audiences understand the news and how their views are shaped by media reporting. In the largest study ever undertaken in this area, the authors focus on television news. They illustrate major differences in the way Israelis and Palestinians are represented, including how casualties are shown and the presentation of the motives and rationales of both sides. They combine this with extensive audience research involving hundreds of participants from the USA, Britain and Germany. It shows extraordinary differences in levels of knowledge and understanding, especially amongst young people from these countries. Covering recent developments, including the Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Gaza, this authoritative and up-to-date study will be an invaluable tool for journalists, activists and students and researchers of media studies.
Description: The frontline in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, Gaza is constantly reported as a place of violence and terror. Ramzy Baroud’s memoir explores the daily lives of the people in that turbulent region: the complex human beings — revolutionaries, mothers and fathers, lovers, and comedians — who make Gaza so much more than just a disputed territory. At the heart of Baroud’s tale is the story of his father who, driven out of his village to a refugee camp, took up arms to fight the occupation while trying to raise a family.
“Ramzy Baroud’s sensitive, thoughtful, searching writing penetrates to the core of moral dilemmas that their intended audiences evade at their peril. Few are spared his perceptive eye, and only the morally callous will fail to respond to his pleas to look into the mirror honestly, to question comforting beliefs that protect us from facing our elementary responsibilities, and to act to remedy the terrible misery and injustice that he exposes to our view, as we surely can.” — Noam Chomsky
Description: On April 11, 1981, two neighboring Palestinian Arab towns competed in a soccer match. Kafr Yassif had a predominantly Christian population, and Julis was a predominantly Druze town. When a fight broke out between fans, the violence quickly escalated, leaving a teenager from each town dead. In the days that followed the game, a group from Julis retaliated with attacks on the residents of Kafr Yassif. Shihade experienced that soccer match and the ensuing violence firsthand, leaving him plagued by questions about why the Israeli authorities did not do more to stop the violence and what led to the conflict between these two neighboring Arab towns.
Drawing on interviews, council archives, and media reports, Shihade explores the incident and subsequent attack on Kafr Yassif in the context of prevailing theories of ethnic and communal conflict. He also discusses the policies of the Israeli state toward its Arab citizens. Countering Orientalist emphases on Arab and Islamic cultures as inherently unruly and sectarian, Shihade challenges existing theories of communal violence, highlighting the significance of colonialism’s legacy, modernity, and state structures. In addition, he breaks new ground by documenting and analyzing the use of a traditional Arab conflict resolution method, sulha, which has received little sustained attention from scholars in the West.
Shihade opens the toolkits of anthropology, history, political science, and studies of ethnic and communal conflict with the goals of exposing the impact of state policies on minority groups and encouraging humane remedial principles regarding states and society.
Description: “Women and War in the Middle East” provides a critical examination of the relationship between gender and transnationalism in the context of war, peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction in the Middle East. Critically examining the ways in which the actions of various local and transnational groups – including women’s movements, diaspora communities, national governments, non-governmental actors and multilateral bodies – interact to both intentionally and inadvertantly shape the experiences of women in conflict situations, and determine the possibilities for women’s participation in peace-building and (post)-conflict reconstruction, as well as the longer-term prospects for peace and security. The volume pays particular attention to the ways in which gender roles, relations and identities are constructed, negotiated and employed within transnational social and political fields in the conflict and post-conflict situations, and their particular consequences for women. Contributions focus on the two countries with the longest experiences of war and conflict in the Middle East, and which have been subject to the most prominent international interventions of recent years – that is, Iraq and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Issues addressed by contributors include the impact of gender mainstreaming measures by international agencies and NGOs upon the ability of women to participate in peace-building and post-conflict resolution; the consequences for gender relations and identities of the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq; and, how transnational feminist movements can most effectively support peace building and women’s rights in the region. Based entirely on original empirical research, “Women and War in the Middle East” brings together some of the foremost scholars in the areas of feminist international relations, feminist international political economy, anthropology, sociology, history and Middle East studies.
Description: The past two decades have been marked by an era of international court building. Established in response to war crimes, genocide, and other mass atrocities, a series of hybrid criminal courts, temporary tribunals, and the International Criminal Court have come to dominate the terrain of international criminal justice. But such institutions are equipped only to deal with the most senior perpetrators of atrocity crimes; the vast majority of perpetrators enjoy impunity.
Atop a shifting international justice landscape, Beyond the Hague urges U.S. leadership in advancing accountability through domestic and regional justice mechanisms. This Council Special Report lays forth an effective U.S. strategy that would integrate three components: the array of actors that influence international justice; the tools that can be leveraged to support domestic accountability; and the coordination, resources, and diplomacy necessary for launching an agenda that achieves international justice goals via national-level means.
Description: Since that fateful week of war in June 1967, when Israel’s speedy military victory over the Arab states redrew the map of the Middle East, Europe, at least in terms of its influence in this crucial region, has been a cause looking for an opportunity (to borrow Henry Kissinger’s classic description of Russian foreign policy). Europe’s ongoing attempt to assert itself as a key player in the Middle East conflict has come to nought and it has failed to bring the warring parties to the negotiating table. For the most part it has not even been able to arrive at a united and coherent view regarding how to act vis a vis this conflict. Even when it has overcome this obstacle it has rarely succeeded in turning this united position into effective action. Though successive generations of European leaders have shared Joschka Fischer’s belief that ‘solving the Middle East and developing a real vision of peace is the major, major challenge for Europe’, nowhere has the contrast between rhetoric and action been more obvious than in its attempts to meet this challenge. Inglorious Disarray tells the story of Europe’s evolving, albeit stilted and often frustrating, involvement in the Israel-Palestine conflict over the last half century. It doing so it sets out how Europe’s role has affected its relationship with Israelis, Palestinians and the wider Arab world, not to mention Europe’s Muslim population, and how it has influenced Europe’s political development in the decades since it became an economic powerhouse.
Description: From Coexistence to Conquest seeks to explain how the Arab-Israeli conflict developed by looking beyond strict legalism to the men behind the policies adopted by the Great Powers at the dawn of the twentieth century. It controversially argues that Zionism was adopted by the British Government in its 1917 Balfour Declaration primarily as an immigration device and that it can be traced back to the 1903 Royal Commission on Alien Immigration and the Alien’s Act 1905.
The book contains the most detailed legal analysis of the 1915-6 Hussein-McMahon correspondence, as well as the Balfour Declaration, and takes a closer look at the travaux préparatoires that formed the British Mandate of Palestine. It places the violent reaction of the Palestine Arabs to mass Jewish immigration in the context of Zionism, highlighting the findings of several British commissions of inquiry which recommended that Britain abandon its policy. The book also revisits the controversies over the question of self-determination, and the partition of Palestine.
The Chapter on the 1948 conflict seeks to update international lawyers on the scholarship of Israel’s ‘new’ historians and reproduces some of the horrific accounts of the atrocities that took place from newspaper reports, UN documents, and personal accounts, which saw the expulsion and exodus of almost an entire people from their homeland. The penultimate chapter argues that Israel was created through an act of conquest or subjugation. The book concludes with a sobering analysis of the conflict arguing that neither Jews nor Arabs were to blame for starting it.
Description: For more than 60 years, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have lived as Israeli citizens within the borders of the nation formed at the end of the 1948 conflict. Occupying a precarious middle ground between the Jewish citizens of Israel and the dispossessed Palestinians of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the Israeli Palestinians have developed an exceedingly complex relationship with the land they call home; however, in the innumerable discussions of the Israel-Palestine problem, their experiences are often overlooked and forgotten.
In this book, historian Ilan Pappé examines how Israeli Palestinians have fared under Jewish rule and what their lives tell us about both Israel’s attitude toward minorities and Palestinians’ attitudes toward the Jewish state. Drawing upon significant archival and interview material, Pappé analyzes the Israeli state’s policy towards its Palestinian citizens, finding discrimination in matters of housing, education, and civil rights. Rigorously researched yet highly readable, The Forgotten Palestinians brings a new and much-needed perspective to the Israel-Palestine debate.
Description: At the very heart of the modern world is the idea that all people are born equal. Yet the Jewish religion teaches that people of Jewish faith are special before God, and Jewish fundamentalism passionately defends this belief. This book considers the consequences of this belief in the light of the considerable political influence and power of Jewish fundamentalism. The authors make a clear distinction between the fundamentalist ideology of Israel’s Ashkenazi Jews and that of the Sephardic Jews, examining the growing impact of these two movements on Israel’s political processes and their effects at a grassroots level through the armed forces’ relations with the Palestinian population. Shahak and Mezvinsky argue that Israeli Jewish fundamentalism is closely associated with a new form of national religious Messianism which has its origins in the settling of the conquered territories during the war of 1967 and which vehemently opposes the peace process. Focusing on the consequences for Israel of these ideologies, the authors examine in particular the activities of fundamentalist groups and individuals. Shahak and Mezvinsky conclude by analyzing the possible scenario of civil war in Israel between religious fundamentalists and secularists.
Description: Nearly half of the world’s eight million Palestinians are registered refugees, having faced partition and exile. Landscape of Hope and Despair examines this refugee experience in Lebanon through the medium of spatial practices and identity, set against the backdrop of prolonged violence. Julie Peteet explores how Palestinians have dealt with their experience as refugees by focusing attention on how a distinctive Palestinian identity has emerged from and been informed by fifty years of refugee history. Concentrating ethnographic scrutiny on a site-specific experience allows the author to shed light on the mutually constitutive character of place and cultural identification.
Palestinian refugee camps are contradictory places: sites of grim despair but also of hope and creativity. Within these cramped spaces, refugees have crafted new worlds of meaning and visions of the possible in politics. In the process, their historical predicament was a point of departure for social action and thus became radically transformed. Beginning with the calamity of 1948, Landscape of Hope and Despair traces the dialectic of place and cultural identification through the initial despair of the 1950s and early 1960s to the tumultuous days of the resistance and the violence of the Lebanese civil war and its aftermath. Most significantly, this study invokes space, place, and identity to construct an alternative to the received national narratives of Palestinian society and history.
The moving stories told here form a larger picture of these refugees as a people struggling to recreate their sense of place and identity and add meaning to their surroundings through the use of culture and memory.
Description: “Now that I am seventy years of age, it is my prerogative to offer a summing up,” says Meron Benvenisti, internationally known author and columnist, Jerusalem native, and scion of Israel’s founders. Born in Palestine in 1934 to a Sephardic father and an Ashkenazi mother, Benvenisti has enjoyed an unusual vantage point from which to consider his homeland’s conflicts and controversies.
Throughout his long and provocative career as a scholar, an elected official, and a respected journalist, he has remained intimately involved with Israel’s social and political development.
Part memoir and part political polemic, Son of the Cypresses threads Benvenisti’s own story through the story of Israel. The result is a vivid, sharply drawn eyewitness account of pre-state Jerusalem and Israel’s early years. He memorably sets the scene by recalling his father’s emotional journey from Jewish Salonika in 1913 to Palestine, with all its attendant euphoria and frustration, and his father’s pioneer dedication to inculcating Israeli youth with a “native’s” attachment to the homeland.
In describing the colorful and lively Jerusalem in which he grew up, Benvenisti recalls the many challenges faced by new Jewish immigrants, who found themselves not only in conflict with the Arab population but also with each other as Sephardim and Ashkenazim. He revisits his own public disagreements with both Zionists and Palestinians and shares indelible memories such as his boyhood experiences of the 1948 War. In remembering his life as an Israeli sabra, Benvenisti offers a vivid record of the historical roots of the conflict that persists today.
Description: From the targeting of schools and hospitals, to the indiscriminate use of white phosphorus, Israel’s conduct in ‘Operation Cast Lead’ has rattled even some of its most strident supporters. In this book, Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappe survey the fallout from that devastation, and place the massacre in Gaza in the context of Israel’s long-standing war against the Palestinians. “Gaza in Crisis” is a rigorous, historically informed and much-needed analysis of the situation and will be welcomed by all those eager for Chomsky’s insights into yet another political catastrophe.
Description: Dispossession and forced migration in the Middle East remain even today significant elements of contemporary life in the region. Dawn Chatty’s book traces the history of those who, as a reconstructed Middle East emerged at the beginning of the twentieth century, found themselves cut off from their homelands, refugees in a new world, with borders created out of the ashes of war and the fall of the Ottoman Empire. As an anthropologist, the author is particularly sensitive to individual experience and how these experiences have impacted on society as a whole from the political, social, and environmental perspectives. Through personal stories and interviews within different communities, she shows how some minorities, such as the Armenian and Circassian communities, have succeeded in integrating and creating new identities, whereas others, such as the Palestinians and the Kurds, have been left homeless within impermanent landscapes. The book is unusual in combining an ethnographic approach that analyzes the everyday experiences of refugees and migrants against the backdrop of the broad sweep of Mediterranean history. It is intended as an introduction for students in Middle East studies, history, political science, and anthropology and for anyone concerned with war and conflict in the region.
Description: Israel’s military court system, a centerpiece of Israel’s apparatus of control in the West Bank and Gaza since 1967, has prosecuted hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. This authoritative book provides a rare look at an institution that lies both figuratively and literally at the center of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Lisa Hajjar has conducted in-depth interviews with dozens of Israelis and Palestinians–including judges, prosecutors, defense lawyers, defendants, and translators–about their experiences and practices to explain how this system functions, and how its functioning has affected the conflict. Her lucid, richly detailed, and theoretically sophisticated study highlights the array of problems and debates that characterize Israel’s military courts as it asks how the law is deployed to protect and further the interests of the Israeli state and how it has been used to articulate and defend the rights of Palestinians living under occupation.
Description: In Imperial Israel and the Palestinians , Nur Masalha provides a history of Israel’s expansionist policies, focusing on the period from the June War of 1967 to the present day. He demonstrates that imperialist tendencies in Israel run the political gamut, from Left to Right.Masalha argues that the heart of the conflict between Zionist immigrants/settlers and the native Palestinians has always been about land, territory, demography and water. He documents how Israeli policy has made it a priority to expel the Palestinians, either by war or peaceful measures. But these imperialist tendencies are not restricted to extremist zealots. The author uncovers the expansionist policies found in Labour Zionism and Kookist ideology. Chapters cover the Whole Land of Israel Movement, Zionist Revisionism and the Likud Party, Gush Emunim and the religious fundamentalists, parties and movements of the far right and the evolution of Israeli Jewish public attitudes since 1967.