We closely follow the shifting discourse on Israel/Palestine in the United States, and here is a sign of the centrality of the conflict to the American left: Haymarket is publishing six books on the struggle in Palestine and its history this fall. Palestine is now The South Africa for the new generation on the left (as Ben Norton explained to me), and Haymarket meets that moral appetite with a powerful lineup, indicated by that stirring cover image.
CSPAN posted interviews about the list earlier this summer. Jim Plank of Haymarket was asked if the publisher is doing so much about Palestine “on purpose.” He explained:
We are doing that on purpose. It’s always been a part of the mission of the publisher. With the assault on Gaza last summer, there’s a particular urgency to it. And a number of authors have come to us with books that we are really very excited to be publishing… One by a journalist from Gaza who was on the ground. [Mohammed Omer]
Then Steven Salaita gave his elevator speech on his forthcoming memoir:
Last summer I was let go from my tenured position in American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign because of tweets I had sent out critical of Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip. It ended up being a big news story and I wanted to sort of tell my own version of it.
(Notice the refusal to twist the listener’s arm. Salaita has such inherent grace, I can’t wait to read his prose.)
Here’s the full fall list. and it begins this week with Remi Kanazi’s book of (spoken) poems, “Before the Next Bomb Drops.“ I’ll be putting up an interview with Kanazi in the next couple of days.
Salaita’s book comes out in October. Titled Uncivil Rites: Palestine and the Limits of Academic Freedom, it combines “personal reflection and political critique… [and] situates his case at the intersection of important issues that affect both higher education and social justice activism.”
Also that month: Against Apartheid: The Case for Boycotting Israeli Universities, by Ashley Dawson and Bill V. Mullen, with an afterword by Ali Abunimah. There are many essays in this volume, including pieces by Omar Barghouti, Tithi Bhattacharya, David Palumbo-Liu, Sarah Schulman, Noura Erakat, and Ilan Pappe. A lot of range there.
In November, there’s this collection on Apartheid Israel: The Politics of an Analogy. 18 scholars explore the similarities and differences between South Africa and Israel, a parallel that has of course become enormously influential in the conversation about the conflict. I expect that this book will be very useful to anyone who engages in historical analogy (as I do every other minute)
Also that month: Angela Davis has a book of essays on the struggle for freedom, linking Ferguson and Palestine. A connection that Kanazi also makes with force.
And a book many are looking forward to: Mohammed Omer on the Gaza war of last summer. Shell-Shocked: On the Ground Under Israel’s Gaza Assault. Omer is of course the Palestinian journalist who is making an international name for himself as a dispassionate observer of horrors who has himself been tortured.
So you know: Haymarket is our cousin; it’s part of the Center for Economic Research and Social Change, our fiscal sponsor.