Compiled by Christian Peacemaker Teams
Aronson, Geoffrey. Creating Facts: Israel, Palestinians & the West Bank. Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1987. Good nuts and bolts coverage of the Occupation. Unfortunately, the statistics and maps only go up to the mid-eighties. Aronson quotes extensively from the liberal Israeli press, demonstrating that it is considerably less biased that the U.S. press in regards to the settlement program.
*Ashrawi, Hanan. This Side of Peace. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995. Useful for seeing how the cards have been stacked against the Palestinians in most negotiating situations. Rather sad reading in some ways. Once the Palestinian negotiating team consisted of non-politicians whose main emphasis was human rights and that is no longer the case. It as interesting how Ashrawi was always able to tell when the American negotiators were operating from a State Dept. manual on what Arabs are like. Too bad people still don't see that truth for Palestinians is more important than some "honor/shame" code.
Ateek, Naim. Justice and Only Justice: A Palestinian Theology of Liberation. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1989. Ateek, an Anglican priest, readjusts the classic Latin American Liberation Theology parameters to fit Palestinian reality, esp. Palestinian Christian reality.
Avishai, Bernard. The Tragedy of Zionism: Revolution and Democracy in the Land of Israel. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1985.
*Avnery, Uri. My Friend, the Enemy. Westport, CT: Lawrence Hill & Co., 1986. Avnery is a former member of the Irgun who became one of Israel's most famous peace activists and a member of the Knesset. He makes talking to a bunch of people over the course of a decade pretty gripping reading. Also provides a fascinating behind the scenes look at the development of the PLO and how Israel "never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity" making peace with it. Two of Avnery's friends. mentioned in the title, Said Hammammi and Issam Sartawi, were eventually assassinated, which makes the whole book poignant from the outset. When I started the book, I was put off by Avnery's self-congratulatory tone. When I finished, I thought he was entitled to it.
Ball, George W. and Douglas B. The Passionate Attachment: America's Involvement with Israel, 1947 to the Present. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1992.
Bamford, James. The Puzzle Palace: A Report on America's Most Secret Agency. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Co., 1982. Has a brief account of the 1967 Liberty incident in which Israel tried to destroy an American spy ship.
*Beit-Hallahmi, Benjamin. The Israeli Connection: Who Israel Arms and Why. New York: Pantheon Books, 1987. Beit Hallahmi's thesis is that Israel has supported all the right-wing oppressive regimes throughout the 2/3rds world, because it is terrified of decolonization happening anywhere. The success of any national liberation movement calls into question Israel's domination of the Palestinians. After reading about how the Mossad helped keep the Duvaliers in power in Haiti, I felt my CPT experiences had come full circle.
Bellah, Robert N. and Frederick E Greenspahn. Uncivil Religion: Interreligious Hostility in America. New York: Crossroad, 1987. The two most relevant essays in the book are Jonathan D. Sarna's "Jewish-Christian Hostility in the United States: Perceptions from a Jewish point of View" and John Murray Cuddihy's "Elephant and the Angels; the Incivil Irritatingness of Jewish Theodicy."
Bentwich, Norman. For Zion's Sake: A Biography of Judah L. Magnes. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society, 1954.
Bernards, Neal. The Palestinian Conflict. From the Opposing Viewpoints Juniors series. San Diego: Greenhaven, Press, Inc., 1990. Although it purports to have an even-handed approach in helping young people identify propaganda, it fails on several counts 1) the cover shows Palestinian boys throwing stones 2) It casts the argument into a Israelis-want-security/Palestinians want a homeland frame, ignoring the fears Palestinians have for their security 3) It cites Joan Peters (p. 13) as a Middle East expert ignoring the fact that Israeli historians have completely discounted her scholarship in her notorious From Time Immemorial.
*Benvenisti, Meron. Conflicts and Contradictions. New York: Random House, 1986. Perhaps the best attempt by an Israeli to look at the Israeli- Palestinian conflict from both a Palestinian and International point of view (while at the same time not rejecting his own pride in being an Israeli, and noting ways in which his own actions militated against his value system.) This would be a good book to read alongside Said's Politics of Dispossession, partly because he specifically criticizes some of Said's assertions and partly because he sees many of the same things that Said does. Their thinking is actually pretty close.
*________. Intimate Enemies: Jews and Arabs in a Shared Land. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995. Benvenisti is almost dispassionate as he recounts the egregious human rights abuses that have grown out of the occupation. He belongs to neither the right nor the left, and blames both equally for the ongoing oppression of the Palestinians. I appreciated his putting the conflict in the context of other ethnic conflicts around the world. The one annoying thing about the book is that he quotes people without attribution.
Benziman, Uzi. Sharon: An Israeli Caesar. New York: Adama Books, 1985. Benzimann notes in his preface that many people associated with Sharon over the years refused to talk to him out of fear. He manages to demonstrate that Sharon's handling of the Lebanon war was typical of the way he had always worked within the military and within the government. Interesting that Benzimann never refers to Sharon's raids as terrorism, although Palestinian raids are routinely referred to as such.
Bookbinder, Hyman and James G. Abourzek. Through Different Eyes: Two Leading Americans, A Jew and an Arab, Debate U.S. Policy in the Middle East. Bethesda, MD: Adler and Adler, 1987. Helpful in showing where dialogue regarding the issue generally breaks down and how propaganda becomes internalized. Also shows the futility of bombarding people with facts when their beliefs are driven by feelings.
*Brenner, Lenni. Zionism in the Age of Dictators: A Reappraisal. Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 1983. Details the collaboration of prominent Zionists with Fascist leaders in Europe and the callousness of some of these same leaders toward the European Jews during the Holocaust. Although intended as a stunning indictment of Zionism, the book confirmed my belief that all sorts of nationalism tend to make people cruel or indifferent to the suffering of others not of their nationality.
*Chacour, Elias. Blood Brothers. Tarrytown, NY: Chosen Books, 1984. Chacour, a Palestinian Catholic-Melkite priest, gives a lucid first person account of what happened to the Palestinian villages within Israel during the 1947-48 war. He has been a strong voice within Israel for Christian-Muslim-Jewish reconciliation.
________. We Belong to the Land. San Francisco: HarperCollins Paperback, 1992. Covers much of the same biographical information in Blood Brothers, but also has material on Israel's war in Lebanon and and Chacour's work in the last decade.
*Chertok, Haim. Stealing Home: Israel Bound and Rebound. New York: Fordham University Press, 1988. I am beginning to discover as of this writing that accounts like Chertok's, i.e. first person perspectives of life in Israel or Palestine are the most useful for understanding the conflict there. It forces the observer to think in terms of people instead of politics. Chertok is an odd combination of a Zionist who believes the diaspora is bankrupt and dying and a leftist who supports, at least theoretically, human rights for Palestinians.
*Chomsky, Noam. The Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel and the Palestinians. Boston: South End Press, 1983. Densely written and densely footnoted, this book took me three times as long to read as I thought it would. Chomsky confirms my own feeling that the Israeli press is more honest about what is happening in Israel than the American press is. No one is better than Chomsky at cutting through perception to get at what is. Highly recommended.
________. Peace in the Middle East: Reflections on Justice and Nationhood. New York: Vintage, 1974.
________. World Orders Old and New. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.
________. Towards a New Cold War: Essays on the Current Crisis and How We Got There. New York: Pantheon Books, 1982.
Cockburn, Andrew and Leslie. Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the U.S. Israeli Covert Relationship. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1991.
Cohen, Aharon. Israel and the Arab World. New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1970. Five hundred fifty pages of small print detailing Jewish-Arab relations before, during and shortly after the founding of the State of Israel. Cohen fought in the '48 war and figures prominently in Morris's Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem. Somehow that makes his drive to improve Israeli-Arab relations more poignant. Although his references to Arabs as "backward" made me cringe, he put more blame on the British and the U.S. for preventing cordial relations to develop. For people too impatient to read the whole book, I highly recommend the last chapter which sadly demonstrates that Israeli-Arab relations have not changed much since 1970, when it was written. This is the quote that should be required reading: After citing the Israeli position that Arabs only understand force, Cohen writes, "To be sure, like everyone else, the Arab does not belittle strength, but a demonstration of force will not arouse his respect. Justice, generosity, and openheartedness are more impressive and are more likely to win his trust."
*Curtiss, Richard H. A Changing Image: American Perceptions of the Arab-Israeli Dispute. Washington, DC: American Educational Trust, 1986. Although Curtiss lets US policymakers off the hook a bit too easily (with the exception of Kissinger and Haig), the book provides a fascinating behind the scenes account of U.S. dealings with Israel since it became a state. Because Curtiss was a State Department employee from 1951 on, he had first hand access to Presidents from Eisenhower on. I had known that Israeli manipulation of the U.S. government was bad. I didn't know it was this bad. However, after reading Avnery's book (above) I came to the conclusion that the US has done its share of manipulating Israel, as well.
Dan, Uri. To the Promised Land: the Birth of Israel. New York: Doubleday, 1988. This coffee table book is a quintessential example of the sort of Zionist history that Flapan, Morris and Segev have sought to correct in their books. In 1982 Dan became Ariel Sharon's media advisor and accompanied him to Lebanon. Nuff said.
Davis, Leonard J. and Decter, Moshe, eds. Myths and Facts 1982: A Concise Record of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Washington, DC: Near East Report, 1982. The sad thing about this book is that one could refute most of its egregious twistings of truth using entirely Israeli sources. To do so, however would require referring to a dozen scholarly works, none of which--with the possible exception of Segev's works, are nearly as easy to read. The item that really made me mad was the reference to Saad Haddad as a "Lebanese patriot." The editors demonstrated his worthiness by citing his training at the School of the Americas in Fort Benning! The book does has some useful documents in its appendix (texts of U.N. Security Council resolutions, etc.)
Ellis, Marc. Beyond Innocence and Redemption: Confronting the Holocaust. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1990. Ellis writes at the end, "The task before us is to confront that which threatens the foundations of Jewishness, drawing strength from the tradition of dissent and raising up the liturgy of destruction to include both those who persecuted us and those whom Jews persecute today. This is the avenue to critical thought and activity that moves beyond innocence and redemption to recover the ethical tradition at the heart of Judaism."
________. Ending Auschwitz: The Future of Jewish and Christian Life. Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1994. Two statements Ellis drills into his classes at Maryknoll are, "Oppose all orthodoxy" and "Beware the guardians of tradition." These statements are an underlying theme of this book in which Ellis balances Auschwitz with the genocide in the Americas begun in 1492. He essentially calls for an end to all theology--Christian and Jewish that excludes others. Frequently throughout the book he cites Irving Greenburg's dictum that any theology today must be credible in the presence of burning children.
________. Toward a Jewish Theology of Liberation: The Uprising and the Future. Ellis seeks to convince Jewish readers that their theology needs to have a deeper base than the history of persecution and the Holocaust. I have heard criticism from Rabbi Jeremy Milgrom, who agrees with Ellis's premises, that Ellis does not back up his arguments with the Talmud. He is therefore not given a fair hearing among many Jewish scholars. Milgrom believes the Talmud can be used to back up Ellis's premises.
Ennes, James M. Jr. Assault on Liberty: The True Story of the Israeli Attack on an American Intelligence Ship. New York: Random House, 1979.
Findley, Paul. Deliberate Deceptions: Facing the Facts about the US- Israeli Relationship. New York: Lawrence Hill Books, 1993. For people without the patience to read Flapan and Morris, this is easily digested. Like Curtiss, Findley lets the US off the hook a little too easily, and as a pacifist, I am of course concerned that he sees arming Arab countries as a trend toward egalitarianism. I think Findley dismisses the biblical aspirations of some Israelis too easily.
*Flapan, Simha. The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities. New York: Pantheon Books, 1987. Flapan, an Israeli historian, examines seven of the myths surrounding the 1947-48 war (e.g., that the Arab countries broadcasted radio announcements encouraging Palestinians to leave their homes.) Using primary sources, he demonstrates that these popularly held beliefs are not always true.
*________. Zionism and the Palestinians. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1979. Covers the same period that Cohen's Israel and the Arab World does, but Flapan had access to more primary sources of Ben Gurion, Weizmann, et al. than did Cohen.
Friedman, Robert. The False Prophet: From FBI informant to Knesset Member. Brooklyn: Lawrence Hill Books, 1990. A biography of Meir Kahane and his influence among American Jews and in Israeli politics. (Kahane lived in Kiryat Arba, outside of Hebron, and there is a park dedicated in his honor there.)
________. Zealots for Zion: Inside Israel's West Bank Settlement Movement. New York: Random House, 1992. Friedman examines the right wing Israelis of American background who started and perpetuate the settlement movement in Israel. Gives backgrounds on several of the Hebron settlers with whom CPT has come in contact.
*Friedman, Thomas. From Beirut to Jerusalem. New York: Doubleday, 1990.The most readable book I have found on the Middle East conflict. Friedman was the New York Times correspondent in Lebanon during the war in the early '80's and was in the correspondent in Jerusalem during the time of the Intifada. His first person account of what he saw and his historical analysis, while not radical, do run counter to many of the prevailing myths Americans believe about Israel and Lebanon. After reading this book, people should read Edward Said's critical review of it in The Politics of Dispossession.
Ghareeb, Edmund, ed. Split Vision: The Portrayal of Arabs in the American Media. Washington, DC: Arab-American Affairs Council, 1983. More thorough than Shaheen's book. The numerous interviews with journalists regarding how Arabs are portrayed sheds an interesting light on some familiar faces and names.
*Gluck, Sherna Berger. An American Feminist in Palestine: The Intifada Years. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1994. Gluck, an American Jewish professor, stands strongly in solidarity with Palestinian women. Her introduction and conclusion deal with some of the emotional struggles she has had as a result of her background. In the end she concludes that she has come to the place she is regarding Palestinian rights because of her Jewish heritage rather than in spite of it. The intro and conclusion alone are worth the price of the book.
Grose, Peter. Israel in the Mind of America. New York: Knopf, 1983.
Grossman, David. The Book of Intimate Grammar. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1994. Gives a fictional account of growing up in Israel to immigrant parents in the fifties.
________. Sleeping on a Wire: Conversations with Palestinians in Israel. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1993. Grossman speaks Arabic fluently and has long been a critic of the Israeli occupation. This book exposes much of the racism in Israeli society. He makes some interesting comparisons in this book between West Bank Palestinians and Palestinian Israelis.
________. Smile of the Lamb. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1990. Supposedly the first fictional novel about the corrupting influence of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank on Israeli society. Certainly the Arabs and the Moroccan Jewish protagonist come across as more moral than the Ashkenazi characters.
________. See Under--Love. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1989. Like Grossman's other fiction, this novel is somewhat mystical and hard to understand. However the Wasserman section is worth all the rest of the book. Grossman manages to convey both the full horror of the Nazi death camps and humanize the officer running one of these camps (which makes the horror greater, of course.) The other sections seem to show that the Holocaust has rendered all of Israeli society dysfunctional.
*________. The Yellow Wind. Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1989. This edition has a prologue which Grossman wrote talking about how his perceptions, and Israeli perceptions have changed since the outbreak of the Intifada (the original books was published before the Intifada.) His treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank is largely sympathetic. And his treatment of settlers in the West Bank is largely unsympathetic.
* Habiby, Emile. The Secret Life of Saeed the Pessoptimist. London: Zed Books (1974?) Distributed 1985. A fictional account, based on Voltaire's Candide, of the adventures of a Palestinian collaborator in Israel after the 1947-48 war. Habiby, who died this year, was a Palestinian Israeli and provides a glimpse of Israel's wars from a Palestinian perspective.
Halevi, Yossi Klein. Memoirs of a Jewish Extremist: An American Story. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1995. A revealing portrait of life inside the Jewish Defense League and into the all-Jewish environment in which Halevi grew up. It is disappointing in the end to see Halevy fail to empathize with the fate of the Palestinians, because we have seen him grow so much throughout the course of the rest of the book.
Halsell, Grace. Journey to Jerusalem. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1981.
*________. Prophecy and Politics: Militant Evangelists On the Road to Nuclear War. Westport, CT: Lawrence Hill & Co., 1986. Halsell explores the origins and philosophy of the Christian Zionist movement and recounts her experiences on tours conducted by Jerry Falwell and other prominent Christian Zionists. She makes a good case for Christians taking the threat these Zionists pose for Middle East peace seriously.
Harkabi, Yehoshafat. Israel's Fateful Hour. trans. Lenn Schramm, New York: Harper and Row, 1988.
Herman, Edward S. The Real Terror Network: Terrorism in Fact and Propaganda. Boston: South End Press, 1982. While Herman deals more extensively with state terrorism in Latin America than he does with Israeli terrorism, the book is useful for students of the Israeli Palestinian conflict in that it gives a different paradigm from which to view terrorism. The section on the media is especially helpful for people seeking to understand why a government bombing civilians is not terrorism while one person hijacking a plane, car, etc. is.
Hersh, Seymour. The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House. New York: Summit Books, 1983. Chapters 18,19, and 29 deal with Kissinger and Nixon's Middle East policy. Hersh argues persuasively that the 1973 Israeli-Egyptian war could have been prevented entirely, but Kissinger's personal vendetta against Secretary of State William P. Rogers who tried to mediate between the two countries and Kissinger's megalomaniacal insistence that all major foreign policy decisions be attributed to himself alone, scuttled negotiations.
________. The Samson Option: Israel's Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy. New York: Random House, 1991.
Herzl, Theodor. Old-New Land. New York: Bloch Publishing Company, 1960. Herzl's fictional vision of what the hypothetical Jewish state would become is not without its charms. Although an ethic of European colonialism pervades the vision (one of the chief protagonists still has black servants), Herzl made point of demonstrating how Arab inhabitants of Palestine would have the same rights as the Jewish pioneers and how they would be perfectly free to maintain their cultural identity. The translator litters the manuscript with footnotes pointing out how much of the Zionist vision had come true without addressing how (and why) this fundamental part of the vision did not.
Heschel, Abraham Joshua. A Passion for Truth. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1973. I checked this out because I wanted to balance all the deception inherent in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with the place truth holds in Judaism. It wasn't quite what I expected. Heschel compares and contrasts the Hasidic rebbe, "the Kotzker" with the Baal Shem Tov and with Kierkegaard and casts the debate in terms of love vs. truth. Still, like Klagsbrun, Heschel does elevate what is true and good and noble about Judaism, which is important for anyone involved in the dialectic of the Israeli Palestinian conflict.
Hirst, David. The Gun and the Olive Branch: The Roots of Violence in the Middle East. New York: Harcourt Brace and Jovanovich, 1977. Hirst takes an unflinching look at the violence promulgated by both Israelis and Palestinians and tackles the popular myths most people believe about Israel's wars. I would recommend this over Curtiss's book in that regard (Curtiss quotes heavily from Hirst's book in fact), but it ends in 1977, before the war in Lebanon.
*Hurwitz, Deena, ed. Walking the Red Line: Israelis in Search of Justice for Palestine. Philadelphia: New Society Publishers, 1992. A collection of essays by the Israeli left presenting views that are never heard in American popular media.
Khalidi, Walid. All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948. Washington, DC: The Institute for Palestine Studies, 1992. The title is self-explanatory. This massive book contains lots of photographs and maps which help the reader visualize the enormity of the destruction.
Kimche, Jon. The Last Option: After Nasser, Arafat and Saddam Hussein: The Quest for Peace in the Middle East. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1991.
________. There Could Have Been Peace. New York: Dial Press, 1973.
Klagsbrun, Francine. Voices of Wisdom: Jewish Ideals and Ethics for Everyday Living. New York: Pantheon Books, 1980. While not precisely a "Middle East" reference, this book helps to balance out Israel Shahak's book mentioned below, by showing that there is indeed a humane, universalistic tradition that runs through the Talmud in addition to a xenophobic one.
Klieman, Aaron S. Israel's Global Reach: Arms Sales as Diplomacy. McLean, VA: Pergamon-Brassey's International Defense Publishers, 1985.
Koestler, Arthur. The Thirteenth Tribe. New York: Random House, 1976. I checked this out because Ghareeb in his book cited it as "proof" that Ashkenazi Jews have no inherent right to Palestine. Koestler makes a good case linguistically, demographically, and historically that the bulk of the Jews of Eastern Europe were descended from the Khazars--a people in the Caucasus region that converted to Judaism in the 7th-8th centuries. Most of the modern Israelis are sephardic of course and I don't think this would change anything in contemporary Israeli policy (If I converted to Judaism, I would have the right to become an Israeli citizen, myself.) Still, I found the book intriguing. as a convincing argument against typecasting anyone as a single "race."
**Langer, Felicia. With My Own Eyes. London: Ithaca Press, 1975. Langer writes a series of vignettes of human rights cases she took on as an Israeli lawyer in 1968-1973. The writing is not elegant, but the simple recording of what she saw and heard in Israel and the Occupied Territories have a powerful impact.
Le Carre, John. The Little Drummer Girl. New York: Bantam Books, 1983. I read this book, because Benny Morris says it more or less accurately depicts how Israeli intelligence operates in Europe. Sobering thought. I wish Le Carre had been able to make the Palestinian characters as complex and humane as the Israeli characters. Mostly they are noble sufferers or terrorists. In a small way, Le Carre has bought into the "shoot and cry" stereotype of the Israeli soldier.
Levins, Hoag. Arab Reach: The Secret War Against Israel. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, Inc, 1983. I was prepared to really hate this book at the beginning, when Levin described the architecture of the Tunisian embassy in sinister terms--along with all contacts between Arab lobbies and congress. Some of his descriptions are blatantly racist: "Faisal Ibn Abdul-Aziz al Saud, his face resembling nothing so much as the face of one of the killer falcons he bred, proclaimed that the decision had been made to "unsheathe the sword of oil." Levin also unfortunately uses the words "Palestinian" and "Muslim" interchangeably. On the other hand he does not cover up or defend Israeli actions that provoked the ire of Arab countries, and the book is really more a study of Arab economic interests in the US and Europe. I'm still not sure, however, why he thinks the Arab countries using their economic clout on behalf of the Palestinians is a morally dubious action.
Lilienthal, Alfred M. The Zionist Connection: What Price Peace? New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1978. The most useful part of this 778 page densely footnoted book are the sections in which Lilienthal demonstrates how the media, especially the New York Times, exhibits bias for Israel and the effect Zionism has had on Judaism in the United States and on policymakers. In a few sections, Lilienthal seems to let polemics get the better of him, as when he suggests that Anne Frank's diary was a fake, saying that no teenage girl could have written that. (As a former teenage girl, I disagree.)
Lindsay, Hal. The Late Great Planet Earth. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1970. I read this mainly because I wanted to understand a little better where the Christian Zionists are coming from.
Lindsay, Hal. Planet earth -- 2000 A.D. : will mankind survive? Palos Verdes, Calif. : Western Front, 1994. See above. Lindsay lost me when he said the lack of anti-nuclear rallies in the U.S. since the Soviet Union broke up was a clear indication that it had been behind them all along. Says some really atrocious and perhaps libelous things about Islam and Yassar Arafat.
Morris, Benny. The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-49. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. Slow, difficult reading- mostly because Morris methodically covers how each city, town and village in Palestine was emptied during the 1948-49. It is an important and valuable work, because Morris works almost entirely from primary sources and manages to demonstrate that the flight of the Palestinian refugees was a complex process, and differed in circumstance from region to region. The book is written from an Israeli perspective (One is still left with the feeling that Morris viewed all the unpleasantness as a sad necessity), but he does not cover up the atrocities that occurred as a result of the war, and he successfully demonstrates the effect that Israeli war propaganda had in hardening the hearts of the Israeli public. For people looking for an easier read, I recommend Segev.
Morris, Benny and Black, Ian. Israel's Secret Wars: A History of Israel's Intelligence Service. New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1991. It would be good to read this in conjunction with Curtiss's book, because the attitude toward Israel's wars is written from an entirely different perspective. I realized after a while that what bothered me about Morris's book was that it did not really touch on the motivations behind the Arab countries' attacks on Israel. It seems that Morris depends as much on interviews as he does on documents, which of course, accounts for part of this perspective. Appreciated his comment at the end that in a perfect world, intelligence would be used for making peace with enemies instead of making war.
Neff, Donald. Warriors for Jerusalem: The Six Days That Changed the Middle East. New York: Linden Press/Simon & Schuster, 1984.
Ostrovsky, Victor and Claire Hoy. By Way of Deception. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1990. I read this book in Haiti, little knowing that some day I would have to deal with the mentality Ostrovsky describes in the book. I imagine the blatant immorality that characterizes the Mossad isn't all that different from that which characterizes the CIA or other espionage outfits.
*________. The Other Side of Deception. New York: Harper Collins, 1994. Reads like a novel and includes a lot of stuff he felt he couldn't include in the first book, e.g., that the Mossad was planning to assassinate Bush at Madrid and blame it on the Palestinians and that Israel has used Palestinians and black South Africans as guinea pigs for medical experiments.
*Oz, Amos. In the Land of Israel. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1983. Most interesting of these essays are those which contain conversations with other Israelis-Oriental Jews, West Bank settlers, who view Kibbutzniks like Oz as one of the enemy. An interesting look at the factions into which Israelis are divided.
________. Israel, Palestine and Peace. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1994. A collection of essays. While Oz does not fully appreciate the hardships under which most Palestinians live, he does a lot better than most Israelis. He concludes his introduction with, "Ultimately these pages were written by an Israeli who fought for his country and who loves it, even during dark times when he was unable to like it. I have never maintained that 'right or wrong--I must stand up for my country'; I have often felt that my country will survive and prosper only if it does right."
*________. The Slopes of Lebanon. Trans. Maurie Goldberg-Bartura, 1989. I liked this collection of essays better than the 1994 collection (but a lot happened between the publishing dates of both books, so maybe Oz grew more cynical.) Two of the most insightful essays in the book are "Hebrew Melodies," (in which Oz describes how Lebanon might be conquered in the same way the West Bank was) and "The Heart of Fear."
Perlmutter, Nathan and Ruth Ann. The Real Anti-Semitism in America. New York: Arbor House, 1982. After noting that surveys show that liberal Protestants have fewer anti-semitic attitudes but are more critical of Israel and that Fundamentalist Protestants have more anti-semitic attitudes but support Israel, the Perlmutters do NOT conclude that anti-semitism and criticism of Israel are not the same thing. Rather, they conclude that liberal Protestants are secretly more anti-semitic and fundamentalists are more secretly less anti-semitic.
Peters, Joan. From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict over Palestine. New York: Harper and Row, 1984.
Ragen, Naomi. Jephte's Daughter. New York: Warner Books, 1989. I read the Ragen books on the recommendation of a Canadian-Israeli peace activist. Each of them sensitively addresses the dilemmas that Orthodox Jewish women face when their faith collides with the modern world. As novels, they are excellent. When one reads them from a political perspective, one sees how it is possible for many Israelis and American Jews to be good people and at the same time totally ignorant of and unsympathetic to the struggles of Palestinian families.
________. The Sacrifice of Tamar. New York: HarperCollins, 1994.
________. Sotah. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.
Rubenberg, Cheryl A. Israel and the American National Interest: A Critical Examination. Urbana;Chicago: The University of Illinois Press, 1986.
Reuther, Rosemary Radford and Ellis, Marc, eds. Beyond Occupation: American Jewish, Christian and Palestinian Voices for Peace. Good selection of essays from people of a variety of religious backgrounds more interested in human rights and ethics than in nationalism.
*Reuther, Rosemary Radford and Herman J. The Wrath of Jonah: Crisis of Religious Nationalism in the Israeli Palestinian Conflict. New York: Harper and Row, 1989. Good background reading for people who don't know a lot about the roots of the conflict--biblical and historical. Christians who wish to atone for the anti-semitic history of the church, but who also abhor Israeli policy toward the Palestinians will find the Reuthers to be helpful allies.
**Rokach, Livia. Israel's Sacred Terrorism: A Study based on Moshe Sharett's Personal Diary and Other Documents. Belmont, MA: Association of Arab-American University Graduates, 1986. In Rokach's introduction to this 49 page monograph, she writes, "...Sharett's Diary is potentially devastating to Zionist propaganda as the Pentagon Papers were in regard to U.S. aggression in Vietnam. I agree. Sadly, it seems to have had little impact on Zionist mythology here in the U.S.
*Sacco, Joe. Palestine: A Nation Occupied. Seattle, WA: Fantagraphics Books, 1994. The comic book format brings the harsh reality of the occupation- especially the torture of administrative detainees-to life in the way that human rights releases cannot. Sacco also is able to capture the absurdities at work in Israel/Palestine better than most writers.
*Said, Edward, and Christopher Hitchens, ed. Blaming the Victims: Spurious Scholarship and the Palestinian Question. London, NY: Verso, 1988. Said, a Palestinian American and Hitchens, a journalist, examine and debunk "scholarly" propaganda that has had a large influence on Israeli and American public opinion. They make heavy use of Simha Flapan's book.
*Said, Edward W. The Politics of Dispossession: The Struggle for Palestinian Self Determination 1969-1994. New York: Pantheon Books, 1994. A collection of articulate essays that help to take the Israeli- Palestinian conflict off the Israeli-U.S. playing field and enable the reader to see the conflict from the viewpoint of a Palestinian American. I was especially intrigued by Said's review of Friedmann's Beirut to Jerusalem book which I had liked a lot. As I said, Said helped me take the book off the playing field of the status quo and look at it in a new way.
Schiff, Ze'ev and Ya'ari. Intifada. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989.
________. Israel's Lebanon War. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1984.
Segal, Haggai. Dear Brothers: The West Bank Jewish Underground. Woodmere, NY: Beit Shamai Publications, Inc. Segal is unrepentant about his role in planting bombs in the cars of three West Bank Mayors. The book is a veritable orgy of self-adulation. The people involved with the bombings, the shoot out at Hebron University, planting bombs under five Arab buses, and plotting to blow up the Dome of the Rock are depicted as misunderstood heroes. The most telling phrase in the book occurs when Segal refers to the group's indictment: "Anyone reading it would have concluded that it referred to a violent gang bent on satisfying dark, sadistic impulses."
*Segev, Tom. 1949:The First Israelis. New York: Free, Press, 1986. Working almost entirely from primary sources such as Ben Gurion's diaries and minutes from Knesset meetings, Segev, an Israeli, dispels a great many firmly entrenched myths about the creation of the State of Israel - especially in regard to how the pre-state Zionists regarded the Palestinians. I was intrigued by the way that the Jewish immigrants from North Africa were received. It goes a long way toward explaining the current class system in Israel.
*________. The Seventh Million: Israel and the Holocaust. New York: Hill and Wang, 1993. Segev examines the actual reactions of pre-Israeli statehood Zionists to the slaughter of the Jews in Europe. He then examines how the refugees from the Holocaust were treated by Israelis and how the Holocaust has shaped Israeli politics since.
Shahak, Israel. Jewish History, Jewish Religion. Pluto Press, 1994. Shahak, an Israeli holocaust survivor gives a background of the Talmudic texts cited by the Israeli right wing to further a racist agenda. Also takes another look at the history of Jewish persecution. While I found the book valuable in trying to understand where the Hebron settlers were coming from, I agree with Jewish commentators that Shahak paints with too broad a brush stroke, esp. in his assertion that Jews involved in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's were bereft of altruistic motives. Because he is looking to prove that Talmudic Judaism is racist, that's what he finds. Other people who have looked for a universalistic Jewish defense of human rights can also find proof texts in the Talmud.
Shaheen, Jack G. TV Arab. Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State University Press, 1984. Discusses stereotypes of Arabs seen on TV. Unfortunately, the book is poorly organized. Shaheen drifts from tangent to tangent as he discusses shows that came from very different eras of television history. The book could have benefitted from some judicious editing. I found his conversations with TV producers enlightening, however.
Sheehan, Edward R.F. The Arabs, Israelis and Kissinger: A Secret History of American Diplomacy in the Middle East. New York: Reader's Digest Press, 1976.
*Shehadeh, Raja. Samed: A Journal of a West Bank Palestinian. New York: Adama Books, 1984. Shehadeh brings the Catch-22 situation of the West Bank to life. This slim and readable book is the best I've read so far on what Palestinians living in the West Bank have to cope with on a day to day basis. Highly recommended.
Shipler, David, K. Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land. New York: Penguin Books, 1987.
*Shonfeld, Reb Moshe. The Holocaust Victims Accuse: Documents and Testimony on Jewish War Criminals. Brooklyn, NY: Neturei Karta of U.S.A., 1977. A lot of the same material can be found in Segev's The Seventh Million, but Shonfeld highlights the confrontation between Jewish Orthodoxy and the Zionists. Part of the deep, deep anger expressed in this slim volume relates to the accusation by the Zionists that the passivity of ultra-Orthodox Jews allowed the Holocaust to happen. Shonfeld shows how at every stage in the Holocaust, Jews in Europe could have been saved through concerted international efforts, but the Zionists quashed these efforts in order to ensure that escaping Jews would go to Palestine only.
Shorris, Earl. Jews Without Mercy: a Lament. New York, Garden City: Anchor Press, 1982. Shorris attacks the Jewish spokesmen for the neo-conservative movement, focussing in part on their unflinching support of Israel despite the war in Lebanon. Poetic and moving.
Sprinzak, Ehud. The Ascendance of Israel's Radical Right. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991. The title is self-explanatory. I found this book very helpful as I sought to understand the variations in rightwing ideology among the settlers of Kiryat Arba and Hebron. Many of the Hebron settlers with whom we had the most contact are heavily featured in the book. There are some inaccuracies about the Palestinian reality in Hebron (e.g. he calls Hebron University an "Islamic college), but they are minor.
*Tawil, Raymonda Hawa. My Home, My Prison. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979. Tawil spends as much time talking about her oppression under patriarchal Palestinian society as she does about oppression under Israeli occupation. The story of her life highlights the complexities of the Israeli- Palestinian relationships. She can cheer on the Palestinian guerrillas while at the same time speak fondly of her Jewish schoolmates in Haifa and Israeli journalist friends. Her friendships with Israelis led to her ostracism from Palestinians whose cause she was championing against their Israeli enemies!
Tillman, Seth P. The United States in the Middle East: Interests and Obstacles. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1982.
*Timerman, Jacobo. The Longest War: Israel in Lebanon. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1982. A heartbreaking book. Timerman, who lost family in the Holocaust and who was imprisoned and tortured in Argentina, emigrated to Israel in 1979. Although he had been brought up to believe certain Zionist myths, he could not help but recognize fascism and oppression when he saw it. His anguish is authentic.
Tivnan, Edward. The Lobby: Jewish Political Power and American Foreign Policy. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987. Tivnan traces the origins of AIPAC and analyzes the American Jewish community's relationship with Israel. He deems both dysfunctional. Also an interesting look at how deals are made in our government generally.
Turki, Fawaz. The Disinherited. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1972. A bit more history in this one than the others. All three of his books cited here cover the period from his childhood through adulthood, but in each one the perspective is a little different, and the stories and memories are different. I started with his latest book, below, and found it fascinating to see how each decade subtly shifted his outlook, and how each shift seemed to make a different set of memories relevant in each book. One thing that remains constant throughout each book is that his resentment at how Arab regimes have treated Palestinians surpasses the resentment he feels toward Israelis.
*________. The Exile's Return: The Making of a Palestinian- American. New York: The Free Press, 1994. A gritty biographical work of Turki's struggle with the conventions of Palestinian society and his own personal demons-many of which were probably born as a result of his horrific childhood in a Beirut refugee camp. I have yet to read a book by either a Palestinian or Israeli that is as relentlessly self-critical or as critical of Palestinian culture and leaders. He has coined a phrase, "neo-backwardness," to describe the current Palestinian leadership.
________. Soul in Exile: Lives of a Palestinian Revolutionary. Monthly Review Press, 1988. In this book, he speaks of his sister Jasmine getting married, while in the later book, he tells of his brother killing her to avenge the family honor.
Wagner, Donald. Anxious for Armageddon: A Call to Partnership for Middle Eastern and Western Christians. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1995. Wagner's opening anecdote about his experience in Beirut while the Israelis bombed it is profoundly moving. I was hoping for a bit more head on tackling of the Christian Zionist movement, but Halsell's book is a better bet for this.
Walvoord, John F. Armageddon, Oil and the Middle East Crisis: What the Bible Says About the Future of the Middle East and the End of Western Civilization. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1990.
*Yermiya, Dov. My War Diary: Lebanon June 5-July 1, 1982. Boston: South End Press, 1983. Yermiya exemplifies the old line Kibbutznik Zionist attitude that was slightly patronizing to Arabs but in general wished to live as good neighbors with them. The book is valuable in that we see the horror of what the IDF did to civilians in Lebanon through the eyes of a career military man. At times I felt a little uneasy about his self-proclaimed heroicism and his repeated assertions of how much Arabs like him. He also never refers to Palestinian guerrillas as anything other than terrorists. Given the alternatives though, it is a shame there were not more soldiers in Lebanon like him.
Zukerman, William. Voice of Dissent: Jewish Problems, 1948-1961. New York: Devin-Adair, 1945.
* Indicates books not available through the Monroe County Library system or the University of Rochester Library System.
Kathleen Kern, 9/96.
* Indicates books most highly recommended.
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