Palestinian Solidarity Reading List
The ongoing struggle for Palestinian right of return and end of Israel's genocidal military and social violence remains at the forefront of global struggles for freedom and decolonization. Israel's tactic of brute military violence escalates near Nakba Day, a day of commemoration for the catastrophe of Palestinians who faced displacement and extraordinary violence when Israel declared independence in 1948.
Following the histories of the conflict, the creation of the state of Israel, and personal testimonies that recount survival and resistance, this reading list compiles varied contributions towards Palestinian liberation. All books are 40% off until Monday, May 17 at 11:59PM EST as part of our May Day sale.
In Stone Men, Andrew Ross traces the histories and testimonies of Palestinian stonemen who built Israel while experiencing destruction of their own homes. Exploring their multi-faceted methods of resistance, Ross exposes the settler-colonialism of Israel as being firmly rooted in the exploited labor of Palestinians.
Exploring the history and reproduction of Zionism, Arno Mayer provides a stunning overview of the how and why Israel came to be. Mayer, in his role as a historian, traced both the physical creation of the state in the form of border walls and settlements as well as the thinkers and geopolitical contexts that shaped the founding. To know the story of Zionism, and its continued deflection of the "Arab question," strengthens the ongoing calls for Palestinian solidarity and liberation.
According to Haim Breshner-Zabner, Israel has been created around wars. From Nakba to wars in Egypt, Lebanon, and Iraq, and ceaseless assaults on Gaza and the West Bank, the Israeli Defense Forces have shaped the character and mission of Israel as a settler colonial state. Compounded with compulsory service for Israeli youth and training projects abroad, the IDF is the incubator for the cultural values and political purpose of the entire state. Breshner-Zabner's in-depth look into keystone institution illuminates the centrality of this army, an army like no other.
A hauntingly beautiful memoir on dispossession, belonging, Palestine, and the right of return. Filled with loss and struggle as Ghada Karmi invites us through a journey from her adoptive home of Britain through the conflict zone onwards to understanding the Palestinian Authority. Through her personal insights and encounters throughout her homelan, Karmi speaks to militarization and exile that permeates Palestinian identity and reality.
In The Invention of the Jewish People, Shlomo Sand radically disrupts the founding myth of Israel: a Jewish homeland. By exploring the historical links between Judaism and Israel, Sand posits a landmark look at the history and potential future of the Middle East by quietly unsettling the well-developed myths of Jewish identity and an Israeli democracy.
Literature does not, and cannot, exist in a vaccuum. This volume, compiled by Kfir Cohen Lustig, presents a new framework for theorizing contemporary literature that takes into account a dominant system of globalization and ever growing capital. Focusing specifically on Israeli and Palestinian literature from the 1940s and on, Makers of Worlds, Readers of Signs shows the shifting landscapes of subjectivity, autonomy, and collective political and aesthetic projects.
In a sentence, the Balfour Declaration altered the Middle East and resigned Palestine to decades of struggle for self-determination. Exploring a foundational moment in the Israel-Palestine conflict through thorough research, Bernard Regan's major telling of the British-Zionist alliance, its obscured history, and widespread impact has become essential reading.
Published on the fiftieth anniversary of the occupation, Ten Myths About Israel aims to disrupt the myths that reinforce the regional status quo. Myths that are constantly stated as fact by media, enforced by the military, and rarely questioned are tackled head on by an ardent critic of Zionism and Israel, Ilan Pappe. According to Pappe, a two-state solution is no longer viable.
Mahmoud Darwish was the Palestinian national poet. One of the greatest poets of the last half century, his work evokes the loss of his homeland and is suffused with the pain of dispossession and exile.
Naji al-Ali grew up in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh in the south Lebanese city of Sidon, where his gift for drawing was discovered by the Palestinian poet Ghassan Kanafani in the late 1950s. Early the following decade he left for Kuwait, embarking on a thirty-year career that would see his cartoons published daily in newspapers from Cairo to Beirut, London to Paris.
Yitzhak Laor, Israeli dissident and poet, turns his focus to the Western European liberal left. Those who claim to fetter zionism yet who's true work is introducing a new form more palatable for progressives. A love affair, as Laor says, that invites Israel to take part in the western world rooted in the growing Islamaphobia rampant throughout Western Europe. Specifically enaging with works by other notable Jewish writers and thinkers, such as Amos Oz and David Grossman, who pedal an "Israeli peace camp."
As the United States' aid to Israel numbers in the billions, the US' complicity in the dispossession and genocide of Palestinians reveals much of our own situation of militarization and repression as well as starkly speaking to the investment in other settler-colonial states. Following Israel's seven-week bombing campaign and ground invasion of Gaza in 2014, American thinkers and writers, such as notable radio journalist and political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal, compiled these letters to Palestine. Letters that aimed to engage with our rage over the complicity of the US government as well as offer empathy and solidarity for a people who's liberation is inextricable from our own.
Noam Chayut offers us his humanity. As a young Israeli soldier with the Operative Defensive Shield, Chayut's foundational belief in Zionism was shaken as his service led him to face his own violence and widen the cracks in Israel's wholesale of historical victimhood. He pivots upon seeing the interconnectedness between the Jewish Holocaust and the policies inflicted on Palestinians, and, this book serves as a extraordinarily human offering for the Palestinian cause.
Following Israel's 2011 legislation that criminalized calls to boycott the state to further repress Palestinian dissidents, varied voices came together to call for boycotting, divesment, and sanctioning Israel. A wide-ranging author list, this books exemplifies the diverse sources of solidarity for BDS and Palestinian liberation. Drawing on a variety of writing and prominently engaging with the similarities between Israel-Palestine and South African apartheid, this book is a suitable primer for those seeking more knowledge as well as a call to action.
Ghada Karmi's acclaimed memoir relates her childhood in Palestine, flight to Britain after the catastrophe, and coming of age in Golders Green, the north London Jewish suburb. A powerful biographical story, In Search of Fatima reflects the author's personal experiences of displacement and loss against a backdrop of the major political events which have shaped conflict in the Middle East.
Since the 1948 war which drove them from their heartland, the Palestinian people have consistently been denied the most basic democratic rights. Blaming the Victims shows how the historical fate of the Palestinians has been justified by spurious academic attempts to dismiss their claim to a home within the boundaries of historical Palestine and even to deny their very existence.
Levy's powerful journalism shows how the brutality at the heart of Israel's occupation of Palestine has found its most complete expression to date in the collective punishment of Gaza's residents. Often called an open-air prison, Gaza's punishment for democratically electing Hamas and daring to struggle for self determination has been met with no pretense and purely military force. Although this book was first published in 2010, Gazan's experince of random and brute violence remains.
As Eyal Weizman shows in this brilliant exploration of forensic architecture, this can be seen in particular in the regime imposed upon Gaza by the state of Israel. Examining the damage following the 2010 bombardment, he pieces together the systematic process of destruction, revealing the political atrocity within the debris. The way he gathers together the evidence forces us to rethink our understanding of justice and human rights in the modern world.