100 books like Six Days of War

By Michael B. Oren,

Here are 100 books that Six Days of War fans have personally recommended if you like Six Days of War. 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 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 Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001

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?

A complete history of the Zionist-Arab conflict, starting with the first wave of Zionist emigration. Benny Morris is one of the leading historians of Israel. Many consider him the historian of Israel.

He has often irritated critics, first on the right and later on the left, with work that failed to flatter their particular political sympathies. But he has always insisted that he goes where the material takes him, and I, for one, believe him. Today he remains uncategorizable and unpredictable.

This book is based on secondary sources - its remit is too wide to be based on primary ones - but it is, in my view, the best one-stop shop for a general history of the conflict. 

By Benny Morris,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Righteous Victims as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Righteous Victims, by the noted historian Benny Morris, is a comprehensive and
objective history of the long battle between Arabs and Jews for possession of a land they both call home. It appears at a most timely juncture, as the bloody and protracted struggle seems at last to be headed for resolution.

With great clarity of vision, Professor Morris finds the roots of this conflict in the deep religious, ethnic, and political differences between the Zionist immigrants and the native Arab population of Palestine. He describes the gradual influx of Jewish settlers, which was eventually fiercely resisted by the Arabs…


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 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 The Israel-Arab Reader: A Documentary History of the Middle East Conflict

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?

This anthology is heavily weighted toward the political and diplomatic dimensions of the Arab-Israeli conflict. I find the point-counterpoint of debates between representatives of Arab and Israeli governments stimulating: whatever one’s natural inclination, one has to take into account how political realities appear to someone from a totally different perspective.

I have found it valuable as a resource because it focuses on the conflict between Israel and the Arabs/Palestinians after 1948. The book is a mine of political speeches, summit declarations, newspaper editorials, organizational manifestoes, interstate treaties, and assorted other texts related to wars, negotiations, and peacemaking between Israel and the Arabs.

By Walter Laqueur (editor), Dan Schueftan (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Now in its eighth edition, a essential resource on the more than century-old conflict in the Middle East

In print for nearly half a century, and now in its eighth edition, The Israel-Arab Reader is an authoritative guide to over a century of conflict in the Middle East. It covers the full spectrum of a violent and checkered history—the origins of Zionism and Arab nationalism, the struggles surrounding Israel’s independence in 1948, the Six-Day War and other wars and hostilities over the decades, and the long diplomatic process and many peace initiatives.
 
Arranged chronologically and without bias by two veteran…


Book cover of Catch-67: The Left, the Right, and the Legacy of the Six-Day War

Georgette F. Bennett Ph.D. Author Of Thou Shalt Not Stand Idly By: How One Woman Confronted the Greatest Humanitarian Crisis of Our Time

From my list on the shifting dynamics in the Middle East.

Why am I passionate about this?

Conflict resolution and intergroup relations are my passions. Perhaps because I’m a child of the Holocaust. My parents and I arrived in the U.S. as stateless refugees. The Holocaust primed me to explore why religion inspires so much hate. My career as a criminologist got me interested in the link between religion and violence. My refugee roots led me to an International Rescue Committee report on the Syrian crisis. That report hit me hard and felt very personal because it echoed my own family’s suffering in the Holocaust. I saw an opportunity to build bridges between enemies—Israel and Syria, Jews and Muslims—while also saving lives.  

Georgette's book list on the shifting dynamics in the Middle East

Georgette F. Bennett Ph.D. Why did Georgette love this book?

This is the best book I’ve ever read on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Goodman does a deep dive into why both Israelis and Palestinians are locked into their positions. He posits that the conflict may be irreconcilable. However, just because the conflict can’t be resolved doesn’t mean that it can’t be shrunk—and ways to shrink the conflict are the focus of his book. He makes numerous practical, doable policy recommendations about how to make life better for Palestinians and how to live together despite differences that can’t be overcome. Ultimately, I found the book to be hopeful.

By Micah Goodman, Eylon Levy (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Catch-67 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A controversial examination of the internal Israeli debate over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a best-selling Israeli author

"A must for anyone who wants to understand the tectonic forces underlying Israeli politics."-Rabbi Robert Orkand, Reform Judaism

"An eloquent expression of the distant hope that deeply committed human beings can stop, inhale deeply, listen, change, and compromise."-Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

Since the Six-Day War, Israelis have been entrenched in a national debate over whether to keep the land they conquered or to return some, if not all, of the territories to Palestinians. In 2017, best-selling Israeli author Micah Goodman published a balanced…


Book cover of Salt Houses

Bekkah Frisch Author Of The Great Quiet

From my list on families from around the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

Years ago in a psycholinguistics class, I discovered that a person’s primary language—not just their vocabulary but the structure of the language itself—shapes the way that person perceives the world and relationships around them. Ever since, I’ve been fascinated with perspective and how perceptions of an event are shaped by who is experiencing them, what stage of life they’re in, the language they speak, and so on. As a full-time marketer in addition to an author, I have to consider every angle of a project before I can begin, whether I’m designing an ad or writing dialogue between characters.

Bekkah's book list on families from around the world

Bekkah Frisch Why did Bekkah love this book?

This is an incredible novel that provides an intimate look at a piece of history that many Americans know next to nothing about (embarrassingly, I was one of them before discovering this book). The prose was breathtaking, and certain sections had me in uncontrollable tears.

However, I didn’t just choose this novel because it’s a beautiful, heart-wrenching story of a Palestinian family broken by war (though it most certainly is). I had initially disliked the ending because it didn’t offer the closure I prefer from a novel’s final pages. But after reflecting, I realized that was the point.

Salt Houses showed me that not only do authors need to carefully consider what they include in their books—it’s also important to decide what needs to be left out, and why.

By Hala Alyan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Arab American Book Award
 
Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR * Nylon * Kirkus Reviews * Bustle * BookPage
 
“Moving and beautifully written.” — Entertainment Weekly

On the eve of her daughter Alia’s wedding, Salma reads the girl’s future in a cup of coffee dregs. She sees an unsettled life for Alia and her children; she also sees travel and luck. While she chooses to keep her predictions to herself that day, they will all soon come to pass when the family is uprooted in the wake of…


Book cover of Reclamation: A Cultural Policy for Arab-Israeli Partnership

Georgette F. Bennett Ph.D. Author Of Thou Shalt Not Stand Idly By: How One Woman Confronted the Greatest Humanitarian Crisis of Our Time

From my list on the shifting dynamics in the Middle East.

Why am I passionate about this?

Conflict resolution and intergroup relations are my passions. Perhaps because I’m a child of the Holocaust. My parents and I arrived in the U.S. as stateless refugees. The Holocaust primed me to explore why religion inspires so much hate. My career as a criminologist got me interested in the link between religion and violence. My refugee roots led me to an International Rescue Committee report on the Syrian crisis. That report hit me hard and felt very personal because it echoed my own family’s suffering in the Holocaust. I saw an opportunity to build bridges between enemies—Israel and Syria, Jews and Muslims—while also saving lives.  

Georgette's book list on the shifting dynamics in the Middle East

Georgette F. Bennett Ph.D. Why did Georgette love this book?

Joseph Braude has spearheaded historic and courageous initiatives to integrate Israel into the Middle East for the benefit of the entire region. One of these is the Arab Council for Regional Integration, which I’ve been proud to personally support. Reclamation traces the shifting alliances and unlikely converging of interests of the Sunni world with Israel. Braude is extraordinarily knowledgeable and seasoned in back-channel diplomacy.  

By Joseph Braude,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Whose Promised Land? The Continuing Crisis Over Israel and Palestine

Gary M. Burge Author Of Whose Land? Whose Promise? What Christians Are Not Being Told about Israel and the Palestinians

From my list on helping Christians understand Israel and Palestine.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a professor of New Testament theology who has served in a variety of Christian settings in higher education. My introduction to the world of the Middle East came in the 1970s when I spent a year in Beirut, Lebanon, at the American University. Here I studied Arabic, Islam, and regional politics—and unexpectedly had a front-row seat during the Lebanese civil war. After I completed a PhD in theology and began my career, I returned to the region many times. It was my frequent trips to Israel/Palestine that caught my attention. I’ve led countless student trips to this region and participated in theology conferences. But it's the puzzle of Israel-Palestine that always draws me back.

Gary's book list on helping Christians understand Israel and Palestine

Gary M. Burge Why did Gary love this book?

Chapman has been a theology professor and Islam specialist in the Middle East for many years.

He now resides in Cambridge, England, and has offered one of the best analyses of the current conflicts that don’t want to go away.

This book is unmatched for its clarity and willingness to call out countries—especially Israelfor astonishing human rights abuses. Few have the courage to do this, and Chapman does it with academic depth and conviction.

By Colin Chapman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Whose Promised Land? The Continuing Crisis Over Israel and Palestine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has profoundly affected the Middle East for almost seventy years, and shows no sign of ending. With two peoples claiming the same piece of land for different reasons, it remains a huge political and humanitarian problem. Can it ever be resolved? If so, how? These are the basic questions addressed in a new and substantially revised fifth edition of this highly acclaimed book. Having lived and worked in the Middle East at various times since 1968, Colin Chapman explains the roots of the problem and outlines the arguments of the main parties involved.…


Book cover of The Making of the Modern Middle East: A Personal History

Vassily Klimentov Author Of A Slow Reckoning: The USSR, the Afghan Communists, and Islam

From my list on the modern Middle East and Afghanistan.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian of the Cold War and early post-Cold War period, focusing on Soviet/ Russian foreign policy in Afghanistan and in the Middle East in the 1970s and the 1980s. These are exciting topics on which an increasing number of new documents are released each year. I have a research project and lecture about these issues at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. But academia is my second career. Before my Ph.D., I worked as an aid worker, including for two years in the Middle East. I was in the region during the height of the Syrian crisis, notably running humanitarian multi-sector needs assessments.

Vassily's book list on the modern Middle East and Afghanistan

Vassily Klimentov Why did Vassily love this book?

I bought Jeremy Bowen’s book by chance as I searched for books about the Middle East. I wanted something different from the traditional (and sometimes a bit difficult to read) academic nonfiction book. This book appealed to me because it was written in a journalistic style and because it was as much a book about recent history as one about Bowen’s own travels and encounters in the Middle East. Well, I was not disappointed.

I really enjoyed reading Bowen’s recollections of his time in the Middle East and critical reflections on great powers’ involvement there. That is a book I felt gave a good sense of how the West has mismanaged its policies in the region during the past fifty years. 

By Jeremy Bowen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Making of the Modern Middle East as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Spectator Book of the Year
A New Statesman Book of the Year
'An illuminating and riveting read' - Jonathan Dimbleby

Jeremy Bowen, the International Editor of the BBC, has been covering the Middle East since 1989 and is uniquely placed to explain its complex past and its troubled present.

In The Making of the Modern Middle East - in part based on his acclaimed podcast, 'Our Man in the Middle East' - Bowen takes us on a journey across the Middle East and through its history. He meets ordinary men and women on the front line, their leaders, whether…


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