At the beginning of this month, we recommended 10 books on Palestine/Israel to read while social distancing. Since we remain indefinitely stuck indoors, here’s another 10. Once again, this list is not intended to encompass all the best books or be definitive in any way. This is a collection of compelling titles that touch on various aspects of the conflict across a number of years. Maybe there’s a couple you missed along the way.
Ten Myths About Israel, Ilan Pappe (Verso Books, 2017)
Acclaimed Israeli historian Ilan Pappe published this compelling, little book on the fiftieth anniversary of the Occupation. Pappe shows how much of the conventional wisdom on Israel is false and offers a wonderful introduction for anyone approaching the conflict for the first time. Buy it here.
Shell Shocked: On the Ground Under Israel’s Gaza Assault, Mohammed Omer (OR Books, 2015)
Gaza-based journalist Mohammed Omer provides a first-hand account of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in this gripping book. Much of what Omer documents is terrifying, but its necessary reading for those unfamiliar with the human toll of Israel’s military assaults. Buy it here.
Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians, Noam Chomsky (Haymarket Books, 2015)
South End Press doesn’t exist anymore, but Haymarket Books republished this 1983 classic back in 2015. The book focuses on the 1982 Lebanon War, but Chomsky’s analysis of the media’s pro-Israel bias is just relevant today. Chomsky updated the book in 1999 and a foreword by the late, great Edward Said was added. Buy it here.
Apartheid Israel: The Politics of an Analogy, Edited by Sean Jacobs & Jon Soske (Haymarket Books, 2015)
This book collects reflections from eighteen South African scholars on the parallels and differences between South Africa and Israel. Buy it here.
The Punishment of Gaza, Gideon Levy (Verso Books, 2010)
This book from the great Israeli journalist tracks Israeli policy towards Gaza over a four-year period. Fantastic reporting. Buy it here.
The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine, Ben Ehrenreich (Penguin, 2017)
Novelist Ben Ehrenreich traveled to and lived in the West Bank over a three-year period. That led him to pull off the rare feat of writing a book that’s heartbreaking, but hopeful. Buy it here.
The Case for Sanctions Against Israel, Edited by Audrea Lim (Verso Books, 2012)
When this collection from writers like Naomi Klein and Neve Gordon was released in 2012, many probably viewed BDS as a doomed, niche movement. Eight years later, BDS continues to gain support and its opponents feel the need to implement draconian measures to stop it. There aren’t many books specifically about BDS, but this is a great one. Buy it here.
Mornings in Jenin, Susan Abulhawa (Bloomsbury USA, 2010)
A beautiful novel from the Palestinian writer and activist about a girl who is orphaned during the 1967 war. Buy it here.
Out of Place: A Memoir, Edward Said (Vintage, 2000)
Pretty much everything Edward Said left us is must-read. On the last list I included his classic The Question of Palestine, but the memoir of his early years in Palestine, Lebanon, and Egypt is just as important. Buy it here.
Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, Max Blumenthal (Bold Type Books, 2014)
An unapologetic piece of reporting and one of the most important recent books on Israel. Blumenthal documents a reality that many refuse to reckon with. Buy it here.