In a follow-up to our last two joint posts, What to Expect When You’re Expecting to Visit Israel, and 13 Movies We Love About Israelis And Palestinians, we share with you a few of our favorite books about the conflict. They’re novels, personal reflections and history books, some more mainstream than others. All these books have played a role in our thinking and influenced our approach to the situation here.
Let us know what books you have read, enjoyed and learned from.
The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine - An account of Plan D, based on classified documents released and researched in the 1980s.
Righteous Victims - One of the best single-book accounts of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and one of Morris’ best works.
A Land of Two Peoples: Martin Buber on Jews and Arabs - An account of Buber’s Zionist opposition to the Yishuv’s and the early state’s policies, detailing his view of an alternate Zionism calling for coexistence.
Blood Brothers: The Dramatic Story of a Palestinian Christian Working for Peace in Israel - A good book to begin with as it’s an easy read and a story many people have not heard about a Palestinian Christian reconciling his spirituality with the outcomes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew and the Heart of the Middle East - Dalia Landau was my husband's Arabic teacher in high school and his family are from this area of the country. This story encapsulates the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on a human, individual level.
Palestinian Walks: Forays into a Vanishing Landscape - This is about the author’s walks through the land from 1978-2006, and how things have changed.
Looking for Palestine: Growing Up Confused in an Arab-American Family - A story about growing up In the US as the daughter of two Palestinian immigrants and a daughter’s struggle to find her identity in the shadow of a prominent and influential figure in modern Palestine, Edward Said.
Mornings in Jenin: A Novel - A story about the life of a Palestinian family throughout the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, following their displacement from 1948 until today.
Menopausal Palestine: Women at the Edge - A beautiful book expressing the disappointment of the Palestinian struggle for nationhood through the stories of women.
The Negotiator: Freeing Gilad Schalit from Hamas - A fascinating look at the efforts and political mobilization that took place to release the captive soldier Gilad Shalit from Gaza in 2006.
The Israelis: Ordinary People in an Extraordinary Land - This is a great book to look beyond the politics at the diverse lives, aspirations and challenges of ordinary Israelis.