Up to date Books on the Israeli Palestinian Conflict

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Discussion by: Salar
Hi there,

I was wondering if anyone would be so kind as to recommend me a book on the Israeli Palestinian conflict. I have scoured the web and the books that I have found are not very recent (1994 -2009). I would like something that provides the complete history of this conflict to date, if any do in fact exist. Does anyone know if there are any recent books on this topic and if so, please steer me in the right direction? 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
Salar

23 COMMENTS

  1. Books can never be up to date so I found it best to research on line; of course you get conflicting views but that can be a good thing. My interest was in the full historical record from 2000 BC because short periods of history can present a distorted picture…

    HTH

  2. Here’s a single volume history by a scholar:

    The Israel-Palestine conflict : one hundred years of war / James L. Gelvin
    Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2005
    Contents 1. The land and its lure; 2. Cultures of Nationalism; 3. Zionism and the colonization of Palestine; 4. World War I and the Palestine mandate; 5. From nationalism in Palestine to Palestinian nationalism; 6. From the great revolt through the 1948 war; 7. Zionism and Palestinian nationalism: a closer look; 8. The Arab-Israeli conflict; 9. The Palestinian national movement comes of age; 10. The rise and fall of the Oslo accord.
    Link

    Then you can read up on recent events from a variety of sources as Nodhimmi suggests.

  3. I have an extensive library on this subject. One book published this year is “Knowing Too Much — Why the American Jewish Romance with Israel is Coming to an End” by Norman Finkelstein, published by OR Books. Finkelstein has made a career out of debunking claims made by “historians” such as Joan Peters and Benny Morris, and Israel apologists such as Alan Dershowitz. What’s important is that Finkelstein’s views mirror those of the world community, not just the United States, Israel, and some islands in the South Pacific.

  4. Contemporary opinion is heavily biased toward the Palestinian/Arab viewpoint, that Israel is the occupier and oppressor- which is true, as far as it goes. However, whilst I for many years accepted this wisdom it was only after investigating Islam and its overarching control of Muslim thinking that I decided it is in fact the greater of 2 evils. Once one accepts that Hamas, Fatah, Hizbullah et al are committed to the destruction of Israel AND the liquidation of all Jews, only one conclusion can be correct.
    For all Israel’s faults, how can this be acceptable to any human being? We may as well call for the return of Nazism.

  5. Here’s one that is written by a scholar, somewhat controversial, but thoroughly researched: Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians (Updated Edition) by Noam Chomsky.

  6. In reply to #5 by wsayeth4:

    Here’s one that is written by a scholar, somewhat controversial, but thoroughly researched: Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians (Updated Edition) by Noam Chomsky.

    I also recommend the Chomsky book. Its not that current (although there is a revised and updated version). There is another book I read by a famous journalist but the name just escapes me now,… I hate when this happens, anyway as I was looking I came across this book, I haven’t read it but it looks quite interesting and given that Hitchens edited it thought it might be interesting to others:

    Blaming the Victims: Spurious Scholarship and the Palestinian Question edited by Christopher Hitchens and Edward Said.

    http://www.amazon.com/Blaming-Victims-Spurious-Scholarship-Palestinian/dp/1859843409/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1357577287&sr=1-7&keywords=edward+said+israel

  7. By way of balance may I suggest-

    Several exceedingly thorough scholars have already studied the false (albeit politically charged) purpose of this set of authors: Bernard Lewis (Islam and the West); Efraim Karsh (Fabricating Israeli History); Erich and Rael Jean Isaac (“Whose Palestine?” Commentary, July, 1986); Justus Reid Wiener (Commentary, Sept., 1999); and Werner Cohn (“Partners in Hate,” online).

    Admission- I am not an admirer of Chomsky or his supporting cast

  8. I would not bother with Karsh, he is not regarded as a serious historian. See wikipedia for example, Benny Morris called Karsh’s article “a mélange of distortions, half-truths, and plain lies that vividly demonstrates his profound ignorance of both the source material (…) and the history of the Zionist-Arab conflict.”[7] Reviewing Fabricating Israeli History, Morris said that Karsh belabors minor points while ignoring the main pieces of evidence.[8]
    The political scientist Ian Lustick said Karsh’s writing in Fabricating Israeli History was malevolent and his analysis, erratic and sloppy.[9][10]
    Yezid Sayigh, Professor of Middle East Studies, wrote that “[Karsh] is simply not what he makes himself out to be, a trained historian (nor political/social scientist).”[11] Karsh accused Sayigh of a “misleading misrepresentation of my scholarly background” and retorted that Sayigh’s remarks were “not a scholarly debate on facts and theses but a character assassination couched in high pseudo-academic rhetoric”.[11]

  9. Shlomo Sand is a history professor at Tel Aviv University. His book “The invention of the Jewish people”
    is interesting,like most writings on this subject its also very controversial.
    Amos Oz little book”How to Cure a Fanatic” updated 2012, is ” a voice of sanity coming out of confusion”
    Nadine Gardiner

  10. In reply to #15 by Benar:

    What would you like to know? I could summarize it for in one paragraph!

    at the moment I am reading this book by S.E Eizenstat :The Future of the Jews: How Global Forces are Impacting the Jewish People, Israel, and Its Relationship with the United States. very recent and relative

  11. Salar,

    It must be clear to you by now that there are two factions here. There are those who claim that writers like Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein and Ilan Pappe are reliable. Then you get the group (to which I belong) which would advocate writers like Martin Gilbert, Joan Peters, Alan Derschowitz and Benny Morris. If you have been on this earth a few decades then you will have noticed that a certain kind of person prides himself on always taking the part of the perceived victim, no matter whether he is right or wrong. Bertrand Russell talks about the superior virtue of the victim. Some people feel it reflects well on them to always take the side of what looks like the underdog. Let’s call this the Robin Hood Syndrome.

    Then there is the person who feels that victims are not necessarily always right. This, of course, is the group I belong to and you must realise by now that I therefore can’t be trusted to be non-partisan. However, Chomsky has been embarrassed so often by the things he’s said I’m surprised to see anyone still recommending him. If I were you I would dip into one or two of the suggested names, even on Youtube, and see if you can get an idea of you would trust and who is ideologically driven.

  12. Thank you, to everyone for their suggestions. You have given me a lot to process. I can see by the varying recommendations of authors and sources, that I have a fair bit of reading ahead of me. No matter, I am determined to understand this topic regardless of the time it takes. Thanks again.

  13. In reply to #18 by keith:

    . Bertrand Russell talks about the superior virtue of the victim. Some people feel it reflects well on them to always take the side of what looks like the underdog. Let’s call this the Robin Hood Syndrome.

    And yet could not the idea of sympathising with Israel because of the Holocaust be a perfect example of ‘the superiority of the victim’? Russell’s views on Israel are worth listening to.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdkBgE8tFRI

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