100 books like Righteous Victims

By Benny Morris,

Here are 100 books that Righteous Victims fans have personally recommended if you like Righteous Victims. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East

Yossi Klein Halevi Author Of Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor

From my list on passionate reads on the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

Why am I passionate about this?

In books, essays and reportage, I've been writing about Israel and the conflict since moving from the U.S. to Israel in 1982. Even as I write from within my Israeli consciousness, I have tried to understand and convey other perspectives. For Israelis and Palestinians, there is nothing abstract about this conflict; it is, instead, a matter of life and death. My writing is an attempt to simultaneously convey the passions of this conflict and offer an empathic voice for all those caught in this seemingly hopeless situation.

Yossi's book list on passionate reads on the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Yossi Klein Halevi Why did Yossi love this book?

Oren, a historian and former Israeli ambassador to Washington, broke new ground with this account of the 1967 Six-Day War that transformed Israel, the Palestinian national movement, and the Middle East. Drawing on previously inaccessible documents in Israeli and Arab archives, Oren writes with a novelist’s eye for character, a diplomat’s appreciation of behind-the-scenes negotiations, and a historian’s judgment of human folly. The Six-Day War transformed Israel and the Jewish people in multiple ways – instilling self-confidence in Diaspora Jews, solidifying Israel’s permanence in the Middle East, and also burdening the Jewish state with seemingly insoluble political and moral dilemmas. This is the best book written about the war itself. 

By Michael B. Oren,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Six Days of War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1967 the future of the state of Israel was far from certain. But with its swift and stunning military victory against an Arab coalition led by Egypt in the Six Day War, Israel not only preserved its existence but redrew the map of the region, with fateful consequences. The Camp David Accords, the assassinations of Anwar Sadat and Yitzhak Rabin, the intifada, and the current troubled peace negotiations-all of these trace their origins to the Six Day War.
Michael Oren's Six Days of War is a gripping account of one of the most dramatic and important episodes in the…


Book cover of Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier's Story of a Forgotten War

Yossi Klein Halevi Author Of Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor

From my list on passionate reads on the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

Why am I passionate about this?

In books, essays and reportage, I've been writing about Israel and the conflict since moving from the U.S. to Israel in 1982. Even as I write from within my Israeli consciousness, I have tried to understand and convey other perspectives. For Israelis and Palestinians, there is nothing abstract about this conflict; it is, instead, a matter of life and death. My writing is an attempt to simultaneously convey the passions of this conflict and offer an empathic voice for all those caught in this seemingly hopeless situation.

Yossi's book list on passionate reads on the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Yossi Klein Halevi Why did Yossi love this book?

One of Israel’s finest non-fiction writers tells the story of Israel’s failed war in Lebanon – the only war Israel lost – through his own experience as a soldier. A powerful meditation on the feelings of vulnerability and loss that are built into the Israeli experience – along with the deep commitment to protecting Israel from threats that unite Israelis across the political spectrum. This is the best book I know of in  English that conveys the complex experience of being an Israeli soldier. 

By Matti Friedman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“A book about young men transformed by war, written by a veteran whose dazzling literary gifts gripped my attention from the first page to the last.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Friedman’s sober and striking new memoir . . . [is] on a par with Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried -- its Israeli analog.” —The New York Times Book Review

It was just one small hilltop in a small, unnamed war in the late 1990s, but it would send out ripples that are still felt worldwide today. The hill, in Lebanon, was called the Pumpkin; flowers was the military code…


Book cover of The Hundred Years' War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917–2017

Mark Tessler Author Of A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

From my list on the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Why am I passionate about this?

Professor Tessler attended university in Israel and an Arab country, Tunisia, and he has lived for extended periods both in Israel and in several Arab countries. He has written extensively not only on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but also on politics in Israel and a number of Arab countries. With respect to the latter, he has gained distinction for his groundbreaking research on public opinion in the Arab world; he co-founded the Arab Barometer survey project in 2006 and has been its co-director since that time. The first edition of his book, A History of the Israel-Palestinian Conflict, was named a notable book of the year by The New York Times.

Mark's book list on the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict

Mark Tessler Why did Mark love this book?

Drawing on a wealth of untapped archival materials and the reports of generations of family members—mayors, judges, scholars, diplomats, and journalists—The Hundred Years' War on Palestine upends accepted interpretations of the conflict, which tend, at best, to describe a tragic clash between two peoples with claims to the same territory.

Instead, Khalidi traces a hundred years of colonial war on the Palestinians, waged first by the Zionist movement and then Israel but backed by Britain and the United States, the great powers of the age.

He highlights the key episodes in this colonial campaign, from the 1917 Balfour Declaration to the destruction of Palestine in 1948, from Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon to the endless and futile peace process.

This is not a chronicle of victimization, nor does it whitewash the mistakes of Palestinian leaders or deny the emergence of national movements on both sides. In reevaluating the forces…

By Rashid Khalidi,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Hundred Years' War on Palestine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Shortlisted for the 2020 Cundill History Prize

'Riveting and original ... a work enriched by solid scholarship, vivid personal experience, and acute appreciation of the concerns and aspirations of the contending parties in this deeply unequal conflict ' Noam Chomsky

The twentieth century for Palestine and the Palestinians has been a century of denial: denial of statehood, denial of nationhood and denial of history. The Hundred Years War on Palestine is Rashid Khalidi's powerful response. Drawing on his family archives, he reclaims the fundamental right of any people: to narrate their history on their own…


Book cover of The Israel-Palestine Conflict: Contested Histories

Mark Tessler Author Of A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

From my list on the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Why am I passionate about this?

Professor Tessler attended university in Israel and an Arab country, Tunisia, and he has lived for extended periods both in Israel and in several Arab countries. He has written extensively not only on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but also on politics in Israel and a number of Arab countries. With respect to the latter, he has gained distinction for his groundbreaking research on public opinion in the Arab world; he co-founded the Arab Barometer survey project in 2006 and has been its co-director since that time. The first edition of his book, A History of the Israel-Palestinian Conflict, was named a notable book of the year by The New York Times.

Mark's book list on the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict

Mark Tessler Why did Mark love this book?

The Israel–Palestine Conflict introduces the historical basis of the dispute and explores both the tangible issues and intangible factors that have prolonged the conflict and blocked a peaceful resolution.

Author Neil Caplan helps readers understand the complexities and contradictions of the conflict and why the histories of Palestine and Israel are so fiercely contested. The 2nd edition offers fresh insights about the impact of current global and regional trends marked by instability and violence that reduce the prospects for an Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation.

The 2nd addition also addresses recent debates over two-state versus one-state solutions, growing polarization in public discourse outside of the Middle East, the role of public intellectuals, and the growing trend of merging scholarship with advocacy.

By Neil Caplan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of the "10 Must-Read Histories of the Palestine-Israel Conflict"
-Ian Black, Literary Hub, on the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration

The new edition of the acclaimed text that explores the issues continuing to define the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Numerous instances of competing, sometimes incompatible narratives of controversial events are found throughout history. Perhaps the starkest example of such contradictory representations is the decades-long conflict between Israel and Palestine. For over 140 years, Israelis, Palestinians, and scores of peacemakers have failed to establish a sustainable, mutually-acceptable solution. The Israel-Palestine Conflict introduces the historical basis of the dispute and explores both…


Book cover of The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World

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?

When I first started reading this book, I could not put it aside. I read it again recently, in the wake of the October 2023 Hamas attack, and found it as relevant as when it was first published.

Scholarly and accessible at the same time, it showed me why Israel’s overwhelming military power has failed to bring peace to the Holy Land. While much of the literature on this controversial subject looks like militant propaganda, I like the tone of Shlaim’s book: serene, compassionate, and not at all polemical. 

By Avi Shlaim,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Iron Wall as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Avi Shlaim's The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World is the outstanding book on Israeli foreign policy, now thoroughly updated with a new preface and chapters on Israel's most recent leaders

In the 1920s, hard-line Zionists developed the doctrine of the 'Iron Wall': negotiations with the Arabs must always be from a position of military strength, and only when sufficiently strong Israel would be able to make peace with her Arab neighbours.

This doctrine, argues Avi Shlaim, became central to Israeli policy; dissenters were marginalized and many opportunities to reconcile with Palestinian Arabs were lost. Drawing on a great…


Book cover of The War of Return: How Western Indulgence of the Palestinian Dream Has Obstructed the Path to Peace

Yossi Klein Halevi Author Of Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor

From my list on passionate reads on the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

Why am I passionate about this?

In books, essays and reportage, I've been writing about Israel and the conflict since moving from the U.S. to Israel in 1982. Even as I write from within my Israeli consciousness, I have tried to understand and convey other perspectives. For Israelis and Palestinians, there is nothing abstract about this conflict; it is, instead, a matter of life and death. My writing is an attempt to simultaneously convey the passions of this conflict and offer an empathic voice for all those caught in this seemingly hopeless situation.

Yossi's book list on passionate reads on the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Yossi Klein Halevi Why did Yossi love this book?

What is the core of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and what is the key to its solution? In this groundbreaking work, Adi Schwartz and Einat Wilf argue that the answer is not settlements or holy places or even the absence of a Palestinian state. Instead, the core of the conflict is the Palestinian national movement’s insistence on “right of return” of millions of descendants of Palestinian refugees to what is now the state of Israel – rather than resettlement in a future Palestinian state. What Palestinian leaders have effectively done, argue the authors, is link the end of the conflict to a “solution” that will mean the end of a sovereign Jewish state. The authors, who support the creation of a Palestinian state, argue that its creation depends on the willingness of Palestinian leaders to give up their dream of destroying Israel through a shift in its demographic balance. Until that…

By Adi Schwartz, Einat Wilf,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Two prominent Israeli liberals argue that for the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians to end with peace, Palestinians must come to terms with the fact that there will be no "right of return."

In 1948, seven hundred thousand Palestinians were forced out of their homes by the first Arab-Israeli War. More than seventy years later, most of their houses are long gone, but millions of their descendants are still registered as refugees, with many living in refugee camps. This group―unlike countless others that were displaced in the aftermath of World War II and other conflicts―has remained unsettled, demanding to…


Book cover of Arabs and Israelis: Conflict and Peacemaking in the Middle East

Mark Tessler Author Of A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

From my list on the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Why am I passionate about this?

Professor Tessler attended university in Israel and an Arab country, Tunisia, and he has lived for extended periods both in Israel and in several Arab countries. He has written extensively not only on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but also on politics in Israel and a number of Arab countries. With respect to the latter, he has gained distinction for his groundbreaking research on public opinion in the Arab world; he co-founded the Arab Barometer survey project in 2006 and has been its co-director since that time. The first edition of his book, A History of the Israel-Palestinian Conflict, was named a notable book of the year by The New York Times.

Mark's book list on the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict

Mark Tessler Why did Mark love this book?

This book has been coauthored, according to an agreed-upon format, by an Egyptian, an Israeli, and a Palestinian scholar. Thoughtful and innovative, the book provides a balanced overview of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

It provides basic information on the evolution of the conflict, including its critical and foundational Palestinian dimension; it explores the varied and numerous efforts to resolve the conflict; and it then goes on to portray and assess the perspectives of the major parties to the dispute.

Written by a distinguished team of scholars, the book offers valuable insight into the opposing narratives that have fueled the conflict for so long. It discusses key developments in the history of the conflict and considers these developments within a domestic, regional, and international context.

By Abdel Monem Said Aly, Shai Feldman, Khalil Shikaki

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Lasting over 120 years, the Arab-Israeli conflict involves divergent narratives about history, national identities, land ownership, injustices and victimhood. Domestic forces and actors as well as international and regional dynamics have ensured the conflict's durability. A distinguished team of authors comprising an Israeli, a Palestinian and an Egyptian present a broader Arab perspective in this innovative textbook that offers a balanced and nuanced introduction to a highly contentious subject. Providing an overview of key developments in the history of the conflict, it explores attempts at resolution, before going on to portray the perspectives of the important parties. It places the…


Book cover of The Words of My Father: Love and Pain in Palestine

Yossi Klein Halevi Author Of Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor

From my list on passionate reads on the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

Why am I passionate about this?

In books, essays and reportage, I've been writing about Israel and the conflict since moving from the U.S. to Israel in 1982. Even as I write from within my Israeli consciousness, I have tried to understand and convey other perspectives. For Israelis and Palestinians, there is nothing abstract about this conflict; it is, instead, a matter of life and death. My writing is an attempt to simultaneously convey the passions of this conflict and offer an empathic voice for all those caught in this seemingly hopeless situation.

Yossi's book list on passionate reads on the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Yossi Klein Halevi Why did Yossi love this book?

In this extraordinary memoir, Yousef Bashir describes growing up in Gaza during the Second Intifada of the early 2000s. At age 15, an Israeli soldier shot him in the back. Paralyzed, Yousef was sent to an Israeli hospital, where he gradually recovered, making Israeli friends in the process. That experience of “love and pain” helped transform him into a peace activist. Yousef is one of the Palestinians who wrote a response to my book, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor. (His letter appears in the epilogue.) I know of no better window into the Palestinian experience than this beautiful, wrenching book.

By Yousef Bashir,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Palestinian-American activist recalls his adolescence in Gaza during the Second Intifada, and how he made a strong commitment to peace in the face of devastating brutality in this moving, candid, and transformative memoir that reminds us of the importance of looking beyond prejudice, anger, and fear.


Book cover of One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate

Oren Kessler Author Of Palestine 1936: The Great Revolt and the Roots of the Middle East Conflict

From my list on learning the roots of the Israeli-Arab conflict.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a journalist, think-tanker, and analyst based in Tel Aviv and formerly in Washington and London. I have a BA in History from the University of Toronto and an MA in Diplomacy and Conflict Studies from Reichman University in Israel, and I was previously deputy director for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington. My first book, Palestine 1936, was named one of the Top Ten Books of 2023 by the Wall Street Journal. Throughout my whole life, I’ve written about the Middle East, the Israeli-Arab conflict, and so on and so forth. I love to travel and to read. And to write.

Oren's book list on learning the roots of the Israeli-Arab conflict

Oren Kessler Why did Oren love this book?

This is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction. Even for those of us who have read endless books on the Israeli-Arab conflict (hello), this one has so many gems, so many stunning anecdotes, that it is virtually its own genre.

It is beautifully written and incredibly difficult to put down. Yet despite being written like a novel, the primary-source research underlying it is meticulous and impressive. A massive achievement.

By Tom Segev, Haim Watzman (translator), Shara Kay (editor)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One Palestine, Complete explores the tumultuous period before the creation of the state of Israel. This was the time of the British Mandate, when Britain's promise to both Jews and Arabs that they would inherit the land, set in motion the conflict that haunts the region to this day.

Drawing on untapped archival materials, Tom Segev reconstructs an era (1917 to 1948) of limitless possibilities and tragic missteps. He introduces an array unforgettable characters, tracks the steady advance of Jews and Arabs toward confrontation, and puts forth a radical new argument: that the British, far from being pro-Arab, consistently favored…


Book cover of Promise And Fulfilment: Palestine 1917-1949

Oren Kessler Author Of Palestine 1936: The Great Revolt and the Roots of the Middle East Conflict

From my list on learning the roots of the Israeli-Arab conflict.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a journalist, think-tanker, and analyst based in Tel Aviv and formerly in Washington and London. I have a BA in History from the University of Toronto and an MA in Diplomacy and Conflict Studies from Reichman University in Israel, and I was previously deputy director for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington. My first book, Palestine 1936, was named one of the Top Ten Books of 2023 by the Wall Street Journal. Throughout my whole life, I’ve written about the Middle East, the Israeli-Arab conflict, and so on and so forth. I love to travel and to read. And to write.

Oren's book list on learning the roots of the Israeli-Arab conflict

Oren Kessler Why did Oren love this book?

Koestler is famous for Darkness at Noon, his 1940 novel of Stalinist totalitarianism. But in 1949, he wrote this remarkably perceptive history of the British Mandate, from its inception to the birth of the State of Israel.

This is not a traditional history backed by myriad footnotes. But it is, to borrow a phrase usually reserved for journalism, the “first draft of history,” as it was written in real-time just as the Jewish state rose to life. Koestler was closely tied to Zionism from the ‘20s on, having spent several years in Palestine as a manual laborer and then a journalist. Later he was even deputy of the right-wing Zionist leader Vladimir Jabotinsky in Berlin, labored intensively on behalf of Israel’s establishment, and reported from the country in its first weeks of existence.

This is a hugely illuminating book from a gifted and insightful observer.

By Arthur Koestler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Promise And Fulfilment as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book consists of three parts, "Background", "Close-up" and "Perspective". The first part is a survey of the developments which led to the foundation of the State of Israel. It lays no claim to historical completeness and is written from a specific angle which stresses the part played by irrational forces and emotive bias in history. I am not sure whether this emphasis has not occasionally resulted in over-emphasis-as is almost inevitable when one tries to redress a balance by spot-lighting aspects which are currently neglected. But it was certainly not my intention, by underlining the psychological factor, to deny…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Jewish-Arab relations, peace, and the Arab–Israeli conflict?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Jewish-Arab relations, peace, and the Arab–Israeli conflict.

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