100 books like Between Zionism and Judaism

By Shalom Ratzabi,

Here are 100 books that Between Zionism and Judaism fans have personally recommended if you like Between Zionism and Judaism. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Dear Palestine: A Social History of the 1948 War

Paul Mendes-Flohr Author Of A Land of Two Peoples: Martin Buber on Jews and Arabs

From my list on truth and Palestinian-Israeli reconciliation.

Why am I passionate about this?

My engagement in the topic has two distinct vectors, academic, and personal, or, if you wish, existential. My academic engagement began when Buber's son Raphael (1900-91), who served as the Executor of  the Martin Buber Literary Estate, invited me to assemble and edit his father's writings on the "Arab Question." He explained that of all of his father's publications, his ramified writings promoting the political and human dignity of the Palestinian Arabs spoke most dearly and, as a citizen of the State of Israel, most immediately to him. I accepted Rafael's invitation with alacrity, for like Raphael I'm an Israeli by choice, having emigrated to the country in 1970. 

Paul's book list on truth and Palestinian-Israeli reconciliation

Paul Mendes-Flohr Why did Paul love this book?

Examines how the architects of the conflict worked to influence and indoctrinate their respective ideologies in the ordinary soldiers by analyzing the battle orders, pamphlets, army journals, and recordings of radio broadcasts in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. Through two overarching narratives – the official and unofficial, the propaganda and personal letters, Dear Palestine reveals the fissures between ‘sanctioned nationalism’ and individual experience and identity. This book reminds one that everyday individual’s fears, bravery, hubris, base cruelty, lies, and fantasies are as important in history as the preoccupations of the elites.

By Shay Hazkani,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dear Palestine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1948, a war broke out that would result in Israeli independence and the erasure of Arab Palestine. Over twenty months, thousands of Jews and Arabs came from all over the world to join those already on the ground to fight in the ranks of the Israel Defense Forces and the Arab Liberation Army. With this book, the young men and women who made up these armies come to life through their letters home, writing about everything from daily life to nationalism, colonialism, race, and the character of their enemies. Shay Hazkani offers a new history of the 1948 War…


Book cover of In Spite of Partition: Jews, Arabs, and the Limits of Separatist Imagination

Paul Mendes-Flohr Author Of A Land of Two Peoples: Martin Buber on Jews and Arabs

From my list on truth and Palestinian-Israeli reconciliation.

Why am I passionate about this?

My engagement in the topic has two distinct vectors, academic, and personal, or, if you wish, existential. My academic engagement began when Buber's son Raphael (1900-91), who served as the Executor of  the Martin Buber Literary Estate, invited me to assemble and edit his father's writings on the "Arab Question." He explained that of all of his father's publications, his ramified writings promoting the political and human dignity of the Palestinian Arabs spoke most dearly and, as a citizen of the State of Israel, most immediately to him. I accepted Rafael's invitation with alacrity, for like Raphael I'm an Israeli by choice, having emigrated to the country in 1970. 

Paul's book list on truth and Palestinian-Israeli reconciliation

Paul Mendes-Flohr Why did Paul love this book?

Partition—the idea of separating Jews and Arabs along ethnic or national linesis a legacy at least as old as the Zionist-Palestinian conflict. Challenging the widespread "separatist imagination" behind partition, Gil Hochberg demonstrates the ways in which works of contemporary Jewish and Arab literature reject simple notions of separatism and instead display complex configurations of identity that emphasize the presence of alterity within the selfthe Jew within the Arab, and the Arab within the Jew. In Spite of Partition examines Hebrew, Arabic, and French works that are largely unknown to English readers to reveal how, far from being independent, the signifiers "Jew" and "Arab" are inseparable.

By Gil Z. Hochberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In Spite of Partition as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Partition--the idea of separating Jews and Arabs along ethnic or national lines--is a legacy at least as old as the Zionist-Palestinian conflict. Challenging the widespread "separatist imagination" behind partition, Gil Hochberg demonstrates the ways in which works of contemporary Jewish and Arab literature reject simple notions of separatism and instead display complex configurations of identity that emphasize the presence of alterity within the self--the Jew within the Arab, and the Arab within the Jew. In Spite of Partition examines Hebrew, Arabic, and French works that are largely unknown to English readers to reveal how, far from being independent, the signifiers…


Book cover of The Holocaust and the Nakba: A New Grammar of Trauma and History

Paul Mendes-Flohr Author Of A Land of Two Peoples: Martin Buber on Jews and Arabs

From my list on truth and Palestinian-Israeli reconciliation.

Why am I passionate about this?

My engagement in the topic has two distinct vectors, academic, and personal, or, if you wish, existential. My academic engagement began when Buber's son Raphael (1900-91), who served as the Executor of  the Martin Buber Literary Estate, invited me to assemble and edit his father's writings on the "Arab Question." He explained that of all of his father's publications, his ramified writings promoting the political and human dignity of the Palestinian Arabs spoke most dearly and, as a citizen of the State of Israel, most immediately to him. I accepted Rafael's invitation with alacrity, for like Raphael I'm an Israeli by choice, having emigrated to the country in 1970. 

Paul's book list on truth and Palestinian-Israeli reconciliation

Paul Mendes-Flohr Why did Paul love this book?

In this groundbreaking book, leading Arab and Jewish intellectuals examine how and why the Holocaust and the Nakba are interlinked without blurring fundamental differences between them. While these two foundational tragedies are often discussed separately and in abstraction from the constitutive historical global contexts of nationalism and colonialism, The Holocaust and the Nakba explores the historical, political, and cultural intersections between them. The majority of the contributors argue that these intersections are embedded in cultural imaginations, colonial and asymmetrical power relations, realities, and structures. Focusing on them paves the way for a new political, historical, and moral grammar that enables a joint Arab-Jewish dwelling and supports historical reconciliation in Israel/Palestine.

This book does not seek to draw a parallel or comparison between the Holocaust and Nakba or to merely inaugurate a “dialogue” between them. Instead, it searches for a new historical and political grammar for relating and narrating their…

By Bashir Bashir (editor), Amos Goldberg (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Holocaust and the Nakba as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this groundbreaking book, leading Arab and Jewish intellectuals examine how and why the Holocaust and the Nakba are interlinked without blurring fundamental differences between them. While these two foundational tragedies are often discussed separately and in abstraction from the constitutive historical global contexts of nationalism and colonialism, The Holocaust and the Nakba explores the historical, political, and cultural intersections between them. The majority of the contributors argue that these intersections are embedded in cultural imaginations, colonial and asymmetrical power relations, realities, and structures. Focusing on them paves the way for a new political, historical, and moral grammar that enables…


Book cover of Silencing the Sea: Secular Rhythms in Palestinian Poetry

Paul Mendes-Flohr Author Of A Land of Two Peoples: Martin Buber on Jews and Arabs

From my list on truth and Palestinian-Israeli reconciliation.

Why am I passionate about this?

My engagement in the topic has two distinct vectors, academic, and personal, or, if you wish, existential. My academic engagement began when Buber's son Raphael (1900-91), who served as the Executor of  the Martin Buber Literary Estate, invited me to assemble and edit his father's writings on the "Arab Question." He explained that of all of his father's publications, his ramified writings promoting the political and human dignity of the Palestinian Arabs spoke most dearly and, as a citizen of the State of Israel, most immediately to him. I accepted Rafael's invitation with alacrity, for like Raphael I'm an Israeli by choice, having emigrated to the country in 1970. 

Paul's book list on truth and Palestinian-Israeli reconciliation

Paul Mendes-Flohr Why did Paul love this book?

Silencing the Sea follows Palestinian poets' debates about their craft as they traverse multiple and competing realities of secularism and religion, expulsion and occupation, art, politics, immortality, death, fame, and obscurity. Khaled Furani eloquently leads his reader along ancient roads and across Israeli military checkpoints to join the poets' worlds and engage with the rhythms of their lifelong journeys in Islamic and Arabic history, language, and verse. This excursion offers newfound understandings of how today's secular age goes far beyond doctrine, to inhabit our very senses, imbuing all that we see, hear, feel, and utter.

Poetry, the traditional repository of Arab history, has become the preeminent medium of Palestinian memory in exile. In probing poets' writings, this work investigates how struggles over poetic form can host larger struggles over authority, knowledge, language, and freedom. It reveals a very intimate and venerated world, entwining art, intellect, and politics, narrating previously untold…

By Khaled Furani,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Silencing the Sea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Silencing the Sea follows Palestinian poets' debates about their craft as they traverse multiple and competing realities of secularism and religion, expulsion and occupation, art, politics, immortality, death, fame, and obscurity. Khaled Furani takes his reader down ancient roads and across military checkpoints to join the poets' worlds and engage with the rhythms of their lifelong journeys in Islamic and Arabic history, language, and verse. This excursion offers newfound understandings of how today's secular age goes far beyond doctrine, to inhabit our very senses, imbuing all that we see, hear, feel, and say.

Poetry, the traditional repository of Arab history,…


Book cover of The Seventh Million

Yakov M. Rabkin Author Of What is Modern Israel?

From my list on honest books about Israel and Zionism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in the Soviet Union, where being Jewish had no intellectual or religious substance. My discovery of Judaism and Jewish history happened after my emigration, when I was already an adult. This helps me to relate to audiences and readers who are not Jewish. For example, a Japanese translation of my book on Jewish opposition to Zionism earned a place on a bestseller list in Japan, where hardly any Jews live. In the course of my university career, I have explained events in Israel in electronic and printed media on the five continents where I also have taught as a visiting professor.

Yakov's book list on honest books about Israel and Zionism

Yakov M. Rabkin Why did Yakov love this book?

This book upended my understanding of the reactions of Zionist leaders to the Holocaust and its survivors, the Seventh Million.

I found the story of how the need to build the Zionist state in Palestine affected their attitudes toward the Holocaust fascinating. Segev helped me feel the pain of those remnants of European Jewry who encountered disdain, neglect, and opprobrium when they reached the shores of the Promised Land. His treatment of collaboration between Zionist and Nazi officials is both sensitive and dispassionate.

This book opened my eyes to a whole range of uses of the Nazi genocide in Israel’s public relations and justification of military and foreign policies.  

By Tom Segev, Haim Watzman (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Seventh Million as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This monumental history shows the decisive impact of the Holocaust on the identity, ideology and politics of Israel. With unflinching honesty, Segev examines the most sensitive and heretofore closed chapters of his country's history, and reveals how this charged legacy has at critical moments (the Exodus affair, the Eichmann trial, the Six-Day War) been molded


Book cover of Expulsion of the Palestinians: The Concept of "Transfer" in Zionist Political Thought, 1882-1948

Ilan Pappé Author Of Ten Myths About Israel

From my list on understanding modern Palestine.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ilan Pappé is a professor with the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter. He was formerly a senior lecturer in political science at the University of Haifa. He is the author of The Ethnic Cleansing of PalestineThe Modern Middle EastA History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples, and Britain and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

Ilan's book list on understanding modern Palestine

Ilan Pappé Why did Ilan love this book?

There is no way of understanding the Palestinian catastrophe without understanding the role of Zionism as an ideology and praxis in bringing it about. This book is the first methodic analysis of how Zionist ideology from the very beginning of the Zionist project prepared the ground for the 1948 ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

By Nur Masalha,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Expulsion of the Palestinians as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book by Masalha, Nur


Book cover of The Zionist Idea: A Historical Analysis and Reader

Michael Reimer Author Of The First Zionist Congress: An Annotated Translation of the Proceedings

From my list on history of modern Israel Arab-Israeli conflict.

Why am I passionate about this?

I completed my Ph.D. in history at Georgetown University in 1989 and have taught courses on the modern Middle East at the American University in Cairo since 1990. Since the early 2000s, I’ve been teaching a popular course on the history of Zionism. In developing the curriculum for my students, I searched for an English translation of the proceedings of the First Zionist Congress, held in Basel in 1897, a crucial moment in Jewish/Zionist history. When I discovered no such translation existed, I decided to do one myself. It was fascinating work, and the translation was published in 2019.

Michael's book list on history of modern Israel Arab-Israeli conflict

Michael Reimer Why did Michael love this book?

I was assigned this book in the first class I took that dealt with the Arab-Israeli conflict, and I found it to be a thought-provoking anthology of writings produced by Zionists, going back to rabbis and intellectuals of the mid-1800s and forward to Zionist activists, like David Ben-Gurion, in the 1950s. (One should perhaps be aware that Hertzberg published the original edition of this volume in 1959; it was reissued by JPS in 1997 with all the original source texts but with the addition of a reflective afterword by Hertzberg, who died in 2006.)

As a teacher, I appreciate that Hertzberg offers representative sections of longer texts, like those by Pinsker and Herzl. My personal favorites are Ahad Ha’am, the “agnostic rabbi” and critic of Herzl, and Judah Magnes, an American rabbi seeking to reconcile Zionism with Judaism's spiritual and ethical heritage.

By Arthur Hertzberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Zionist Idea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A classic since its initial publication in 1959, The Zionist Idea is an anthology of writings by the leading thinkers of the Zionist movement, including Theodor Herzl, Ahad Ha-Am, Martin Buber, Louis Brandeis, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, Judah Magnes, Max Nordau, Mordecai Kaplan, Vladimir Jabotinsky, Chaim Weizmann, and David Ben-Gurion.


Book cover of A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time

Mark E. Leib Author Of Image Breaker

From my list on Jewish life and ethics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started studying Judaism as an adult in 1982, and in the 40 or so years that have passed since then I’ve read voraciously on the subject and have discussed it at length with Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform rabbis from Boston to Tampa. I’ve come to see over that time that Judaism’s objective is to shape conscientious, caring human beings who will bring light and compassion to the earth in spite of all the forces that want to keep trouble and insensitivity there. The books that I’ve listed are among the best in communicating the Jewish vision for the planet. I think you’ll learn much from them.

Mark's book list on Jewish life and ethics

Mark E. Leib Why did Mark love this book?

Anyone wishing to understand the history of modern Israel will find all questions answered in this beautifully written account beginning in the 19th century and continuing to the end of the 20th.

Sachar’s eloquence is stunning, and his attention to detail means that nothing is left undefined or ambiguous. There are quite a few histories of Israel on bookshelves, but none of them comes near Sachar’s work in perceptiveness or reach.

If only all histories were written as well!

By Howard M. Sachar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A History of Israel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First published in 1976, Howard M. Sachar’s A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time was regarded one of the most valuable works available detailing the history of this still relatively young country. Decades later, readers can again be immersed in this monumental work.

The second edition of this volume covers topics such as the first of the Aliyahs in the 1880s; the rise of Jewish nationalism; the beginning of the political Zionist movement and, later, how the movement changed after Theodor Herzl; the Balfour Declaration; the factors that led to the Arab-Jewish confrontation; Palestine and…


Book cover of Rabbi Outcast: Elmer Berger and American Jewish Anti-Zionism

Yakov M. Rabkin Author Of What is Modern Israel?

From my list on honest books about Israel and Zionism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in the Soviet Union, where being Jewish had no intellectual or religious substance. My discovery of Judaism and Jewish history happened after my emigration, when I was already an adult. This helps me to relate to audiences and readers who are not Jewish. For example, a Japanese translation of my book on Jewish opposition to Zionism earned a place on a bestseller list in Japan, where hardly any Jews live. In the course of my university career, I have explained events in Israel in electronic and printed media on the five continents where I also have taught as a visiting professor.

Yakov's book list on honest books about Israel and Zionism

Yakov M. Rabkin Why did Yakov love this book?

My earlier work on Jewish opposition to Zionism focused mostly on ultra-orthodox Jews. This book introduced me to a different kind of religious Jews affiliated with the Reform movement.

These communities and their spiritual leaders, including Elmer Berger, opposed Zionism for different reasons. They embraced the United States as their homeland and no longer considered themselves in exile. They also found Zionist ideas akin to those of the antisemites, who consider the Jews a separate nation. 

By Jack Ross,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rabbi Outcast as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Dramatic changes have taken place in the last decade with respect to the views of the American Jewish community toward Israel and Zionism. Since the beginning of the Second Intifada in 2000, the involvement of the Israel lobby in precipitating the Iraq War and promoting war on Iran, and Israel's widely condemned wars in Lebanon and Gaza, large swaths of the American Jewish community have been disenchanted with Israel and Zionism as at no other time since the founding of the State of Israel.

However, anti-Zionism in America has a long history. Elmer Berger was undoubtedly the best-known Jewish anti-Zionist…


Book cover of The Origins of Israel, 1882-1948: A Documentary History

Michael Reimer Author Of The First Zionist Congress: An Annotated Translation of the Proceedings

From my list on history of modern Israel Arab-Israeli conflict.

Why am I passionate about this?

I completed my Ph.D. in history at Georgetown University in 1989 and have taught courses on the modern Middle East at the American University in Cairo since 1990. Since the early 2000s, I’ve been teaching a popular course on the history of Zionism. In developing the curriculum for my students, I searched for an English translation of the proceedings of the First Zionist Congress, held in Basel in 1897, a crucial moment in Jewish/Zionist history. When I discovered no such translation existed, I decided to do one myself. It was fascinating work, and the translation was published in 2019.

Michael's book list on history of modern Israel Arab-Israeli conflict

Michael Reimer Why did Michael love this book?

I was excited to discover this book after teaching the history of Zionism for several years. What makes this anthology unusual is the inclusion of sources that illustrate the social and cultural history of the new Yishuv, the modern Jewish community of Palestine.

Of special interest are letters and diaries of women in the new Yishuv; these writings show the striking differences between the earliest, rather conservative colonists, and the young radicals of the Second Aliya (1904-1914). Other texts I have found most useful as an instructor analyze Zionist relations with the native Arab population, anticipating and explicating the impossibility of making Zionism acceptable to the Palestinian people.

By Eran Kaplan (editor), Derek J. Penslar (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Origins of Israel, 1882-1948 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1880 the Jewish community in Palestine encompassed some 20,000 Orthodox Jews; within sixty-five years it was transformed into a secular proto-state with well-developed political, military, and economic institutions, a vigorous Hebrew-language culture, and some 600,000 inhabitants. The Origins of Israel, 1882-1948: A Documentary History chronicles the making of modern Israel before statehood, providing in English the texts of original sources (many translated from Hebrew and other languages) accompanied by extensive introductions and commentaries from the volume editors.

This sourcebook assembles a diverse array of 62 documents, many of them unabridged, to convey the ferment, dissent, energy, and anxiety that…


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