On Friday 23rd December the UN passed a resolution demanding a stop to Israeli settlement in the occupied territories as, in a shock move, the US refused to veto the resolution. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exploded, calling it a 'declaration of war' (having recently been granted a $38 billion military aid package by the US), and Secretary of State John Kerry criticised Israel's approach to the peace process. But with Trump tweeting that Israel should 'stay strong' until his inauguration, progress still seems unlikely.
Verso presents a list of books from Israeli, Palestinian, and anti-imperialist authors, to explain the conflict and provide some perspectives on the future.
An agreement has been reached to evacuate civilians and opposition fighters from the besieged eastern districts of the city of Aleppo, a senior Turkish official and rebel officials have told the Guardian.
The agreement has capped weeks of horrific suffering and violence that have left many dead and others in total despair, raising serious questions at the lack of response from the international community.
People in east Aleppo have issued desperate pleas for rescue, posting farewell messages on Monday night and into Tuesday morning, predicting they would either die in the ongoing bombardment or be tortured and killed if they surrendered.
As events continue to unfold, we present a reading list of key books which — through investigative journalism, graphic storytelling, and critical analysis – shed light on the unfolding crisis in the Middle East.
Syrians leave a rebel-held area of Aleppo to go to the government-held side.
Hamid Dabashi's forthcoming book, Iran Without Borders, offers a cultural history of Iran which aims to dismantle the dominant narrative of a country torn between a traditionalist ruling regime and a secular urban population. In contrast to this, Dabashi charts the cosmopolitan influences that have been present in Iranian life and culture for many centuries now, and which have helped to forge the Iran we have today. One of the leading representatives of this cosmopolitan Iranian culture was the great filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, who died on July 4th.
For our latest Five Book Plan — posted in conjunction with the publication of Edwy Plenel's For the Muslims — we invited Deepa Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire, to contribute a list of her top five books on anti-Muslim racism. Kumar is regularly cited as one of the world's leading experts on Islamophobia and imperialism.
Let me begin by confessing that it was difficult to select only five books on Islamophobia. There are so many excellent works on the topic that it was hard to choose just five. The question I asked myself when whittling down the list was: what are some of the foundational texts that can help offer clarity on this pernicious form of racism at this moment of heightened Islamophobia? I kept in mind both the person who is just starting to grapple with the topic as well as those who are further along. Here then is my list, with apologies to many friends and colleagues whose work I respect but could not include.