This week marks the 50th Anniversary of the Arab-Israeli Six Day War, fought from 5-10 June 1967. Israel’s decisive victory included the capture of east Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories – the West Bank and Gaza – as well as the Golan Heights and Sinai. The end of the war marked the beginning of what has become a 50-year military occupation of the West Bank. In Ten Myths About Israel, Ilan Pappe describes ‘The June 1967 War Was a War of “No Choice”’ as a core myth of Israel.
Nakba Day, an annual day of commemoration of the displacement that preceded and followed the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948, falls on the 15th of May each year. In an attempt to understand the catastrophe, we bring you a reading list of key books on the Israel-Palestine conflict, from Ghada Karmi, Mahmoud Darwish, Naji al-Ali, Ilan Pappe, Edward Said, Shlomo Sand, and more.
Two recently released books explore the brutal history of the foundation of the state of Israel and historiography's connection to nationalism in Israel and beyond.
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.
Just in time for the beginning of the school year, we've launched the second set of our Feminist Classics series with the reissue of Feminism and Nationalism in the Third World and Close to Home: A Materialist Analysis of Women's Oppression. Kumari Jayawardena's Feminism and Nationalism in the Third World is a major text of transnational feminism that contains "the possiblity of reclaiming a belief in the broad, global universality of women's struggles," as Rafia Zakara writes in the foreword, while Christine Delphy's Close to Home analyzes how the patriarchy — a shifting structure — continously exploits unpaid women's labor. Our Feminist and Gender Undergradaute list mixes foundational texts in critical and left feminist traditions with contemporary books on sex work, gender identity and fluidity, political exile, and theories of feminism in the age of neoliberalism.
At the time she wrote her book on the Eichmann trial, Arendt herself was a Zionist, but this did not prevent her from speaking the truth and at a high personal cost. She was denounced by many she had known and a few very close personal friends in Israel and New York broke off all relations. The film on her life is definitely worth a watch. The extracts below from her book are worth reading in any case, but given that the soft left in the Labour Party has lost momentum and is tending to cave in to carefully orchestrated media and pro-Zionist campaigners, these extracts show that however misjudged Ken Livingstone's comments may have been they are not historically inaccurate. Yesterday the Deputy Chief of the IDF [Israeli Defence Force] declared that Israel was in a late-Weimar situation, i.e., on the edge of fascism. This would not have surprised Arendt but would have got the Israeli army chief suspended from the British Labour Party. - Tariq Ali
Taken from Eichmann in Jerusalem by Hannah Arendt: