To mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, we present a list of books that explore the magnitude of the crimes committed against the Palestinians and the nature of their present suffering and oppression. Solidarity with all those fighting Israeli apartheid!
By David Cronin
‘His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object.’
These words, written by the British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour 100 years ago, began hundred years of war against the Palestinian people. David Cronin’s history focuses on the devastating events which resulted from the Declaration, such as the Arab Revolt, the Nakba and establishment of the state, the 1956 and 1967 wars, the Cold War and the Oslo period and shining a light on controversial figures such as Tony Blair and Theresa May.
By Ella Shohat
Defying the binarist and Eurocentric Arab-versus-Jew rendering of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, Ella Shohat’s work has dared to engage with the deeper historical and cultural questions swirling around colonialism, Orientalism and nationalism. Shohat’s paradigm-shifting work unpacks such fraught issues as the anomalies of the national/colonial in Zionist discourse; the narrating of Jewish pasts in Muslim spaces; the links and distinctions between the dispossession of the Nakba and the dislocation of Arab-Jews; the traumatic memories triggered by partition and border-crossing; the echoes within Islamophobia of the anti-Semitic figure of ‘the Jew’; and the efforts to imagine a possible future inter-communal ‘convivencia’.
This book gathers together her most influential political essays, interviews, speeches, testimonies and memoirs, as well as previously unpublished material.
By Richard Falk
Richard Falk has dedicated much of his life to the study of the Israel/Palestine conflict. In Palestine’s Horizon, he brings his experiences to bear on one of the most controversial issues of our times.
After enduring years of violent occupation, the Palestinian movement is exploring different avenues for peace. These include the pursuit of rights under international law through the UN and International Criminal Court, and the new emphasis on global solidarity and non-violent militancy embodied by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign (BDS). In focusing on these new tactics of resistance, Falk refutes the notion that the Palestinian struggle is a ‘lost cause’.
By Mya Guarnieri Jaradat
From illegal kindergartens to anti-immigrant rallies, from detention centres to workers’ living quarters, from family homes to the high court, The Unchosen sheds light on one of the most little-known but increasingly significant aspects of Israeli society.
In highlighting Israel’s harsh and worsening treatment of these newcomers, The Unchosen presents a fresh angle on the Israel-Palestine conflict, calling into question the state’s perennial justification for mistreatment of Palestinians: ‘national security’. More fundamentally, this beautifully written book captures the voices and the struggles of some of the most marginalised and silenced people in Israel today.
By Gregory Harms and Todd M. Ferry
The Palestine-Israel conflict is the most notorious and ingrained conflict in living memory. Yet the way it is reported in the media is often confusing, leading many to falsely assume the hostilities stretch continuously back to an ancient period.
The Palestine-Israel Conflict provides a balanced, accessible, and annotated introduction that covers the full history of the region, from Biblical times until today. This fourth edition brings us up to date, and includes recent events such as Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, developments between Fatah and Hamas, ongoing Palestinian resistance, and the entirety of the Obama years.
In 2005, a group of photographers took a stand alongside the people of the small town of Bil’in, and documented their fight to stop the Israeli government building the infamous West Bank Barrier. Inspired by what they had seen in Bil’in, the group went on to form Activestills, a collective whose work has become vital in documenting the struggle against Israeli occupation and everyday life in extraordinary situations.
Activestills: Photography as Protest in Palestine/Israel examines the collective’s archive and activity from historical, theoretical, critical, and personal perspectives. Combining striking full-colour photographs with essays and commentary, Activestills stands as both a major contribution to reportage on Israel/Palestine and a unique collection of visual art.
By Nahla Abdo
Captive Revolution seeks to break the silence on Palestinian women political detainees, providing a vital contribution to research on women, revolutions, national liberation and anti-colonial resistance. Based on stories of the women themselves, as well as her own experiences as a former political prisoner, Abdo draws on a wealth of oral history and primary research in order to analyse their anti-colonial struggle, their agency and their appalling treatment as political detainees.
Making crucial comparisons with the experiences of female political detainees in other conflicts, and emphasising the vital role Palestinian political culture and memorialisation of the ‘Nakba’ have had on their resilience and resistance.
By Victor Kattan
In order to understand how the Arab-Israeli conflict developed, we need to look beyond the legality argument and to the men behind the policies, argues Victor Kattan.
Placing the violent reaction of the Palestinians to mass Jewish immigration in the context of Zionism, revisiting the controversies over the question of self-determination, and the partition of Palestine, and considering whether or not the British Government used its 1917 Balfour Declarationas a way to control immigration, Kattan assesses whether Jews or Arabs were to blame for starting the conflict.
Includes a foreword by Richard Falk.
All books are available from Pluto Press.