10 books like The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

By Ilan Pappé,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Seven Pillars of Wisdom

By T.E. Shaw,

Book cover of Seven Pillars of Wisdom

This is a brilliant autobiographical account of the astonishing experiences of British Army Colonel T.E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia") as he served as a military advisor to Bedouin forces during the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Turks, 1916-1918. With the support of Emir Faisal and his tribesmen in Wadi Rum, he helped carry out attacks on the Ottoman forces from Aqaba in the south to Damascus in the north. Many sites inside the Wadi Rum area have been named after Lawrence, including the rock formations near the entrance now known as "The Seven Pillars."

Seven Pillars of Wisdom

By T.E. Shaw,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Seven Pillars of Wisdom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With an Introduction by Angus Calder.

As Angus Calder states in his introduction to this edition, 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom is one of the major statements about the fighting experience of the First World War'. Lawrence's younger brothers, Frank and Will, had been killed on the Western Front in 1915. Seven Pillars of Wisdom, written between 1919 and 1926, tells of the vastly different campaign against the Turks in the Middle East - one which encompasses gross acts of cruelty and revenge and ends in a welter of stink and corpses in the disgusting 'hospital' in Damascus.

Seven Pillars of…


Gaza

By Norman Finkelstein,

Book cover of Gaza: An Inquest Into Its Martyrdom

Finkelstein is the son of holocaust survivors and explains so meticulously how terribly Israel has treated the people of Gaza since occupying it in 1967. Two-thirds of its two million Palestinian inhabitants are refugees, and more than half its population is under 18. Israel has not only systematically destroyed the Gazan economy turning into “the world’s largest open-air prison camp,” But it has launched no fewer than nine military operations against Gaza – including Operation Cast Lead in 2008 and Operation Protective Edge in 2014 with its latest bout of savage bombing all but destroying the place altogether.

Gaza

By Norman Finkelstein,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"In its comprehensive sweep, deep probing and acute critical analysis, Finkelstein's study stands alone."-Noam Chomsky

"No one who ventures an opinion on Gaza . . . is entitled to do so without taking into account the evidence in this book."
-The Intercept

The Gaza Strip is among the most densely populated places in the world. More than two-thirds of its inhabitants are refugees, and more than half are under eighteen years of age. Since 2004, Israel has launched eight devastating "operations" against Gaza's largely defenseless population. Thousands have perished, and tens of thousands have been left homeless. In the meantime,…


Palestine

By Nur Masalha,

Book cover of Palestine: A Four Thousand Year History

The Palestinian writer, Nur Masalha, traces Palestine's thousands of years old heritage, uncovering cultures and societies of extraordinary depth and complexity that stretch back to the very beginnings of recorded history. Starting with the earliest references in Egyptian and Assyrian texts, Nur Masalha explores how Palestine and its Palestinian identity have evolved over thousands of years, from the Bronze Age to the present day. Drawing on a rich body of sources and the latest archaeological evidence, Masalha shows how Palestine’s multicultural past has been distorted and mythologised by Biblical lore and the Israel–Palestinian conflict. 

Palestine

By Nur Masalha,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This rich and magisterial work traces Palestine's millennia-old heritage, uncovering cultures and societies of astounding depth and complexity that stretch back to the very beginnings of recorded history.

Starting with the earliest references in Egyptian and Assyrian texts, Nur Masalha explores how Palestine and its Palestinian identity have evolved over thousands of years, from the Bronze Age to the present day. Drawing on a rich body of sources and the latest archaeological evidence, Masalha shows how Palestine's multicultural past has been distorted and mythologised by Biblical lore and the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

In the process, Masalha reveals that the concept of…


Orientalism

By Edward W. Said,

Book cover of Orientalism

A classic of classics in understanding the west representation of the East. It made me make sense of why in many instances the West's media portrayal of Arabs and Muslims culturally, socially, and politically has been a repetitive list of stereotypical images, as if these societies and its people are static and not capable of change. Many scholars have argued over the years that Orientalism as a thesis has become redundant. I have argued and still do that it is still alive and kicking and has been manifesting itself in the daily news coverage year after year. 

Orientalism

By Edward W. Said,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Orientalism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The seminal work that has redefined our understanding of colonialism and empire, with a preface by the author

'Stimulating, elegant and pugnacious' Observer
'Magisterial' Terry Eagleton

In this highly-acclaimed work, Edward Said surveys the history and nature of Western attitudes towards the East, considering orientalism as a powerful European ideological creation - a way for writers, philosophers and colonial administrators to deal with the 'otherness' of eastern culture, customs and beliefs. He traces this view through the writings of Homer, Nerval and Flaubert, Disraeli and Kipling, whose imaginative depictions have greatly contributed to the West's romantic and exotic picture of…


Arabs and Israelis

By Abdel Monem Said Aly, Shai Feldman, Khalil Shikaki

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

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, a regional, and an international context.

Arabs and Israelis

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…


What It Means to be Palestinian

By Dina Matar,

Book cover of What It Means to be Palestinian: Stories of Palestinian Peoplehood

As a journalist I have often reported on the Palestinian refugees in my home country Lebanon. I visited the refugee camps and spoke to its residents, and every time I leave the place with stories of what they have behind when they had to flee the historic land of Palestine in 1948 and later in 1967. The old keys and deeds to their homes that had been passed on from one generation to another, stay witness to their conviction of their right to return. This book is about those people and their narratives. It is about Palestinians’ collective memory of loss, that has been kept alive mostly through the spoken word. This book is a narrative documenting those narratives. It captures the essence of what it means to be Palestinian. 

What It Means to be Palestinian

By Dina Matar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What It Means to be Palestinian as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"What It Means to be Palestinian" is a narrative of narratives, a collection of personal stories, remembered feelings and reconstructed experiences by different Palestinians whose lives were changed and shaped by history. Their stories are told chronologically through particular phases of the Palestinian national struggle, providing a composite autobiography of Palestine as a landscape and as a people. The book begins with the 1936 revolt against British rule in Palestine and ends in 1993, with the Oslo peace agreement that changed the nature and form of the national struggle. It is based on in-depth interviews and conversations with Palestinians, male…


Dear Palestine

By Shay Hazkani,

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

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.

Dear Palestine

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…


Spies of No Country

By Matti Friedman,

Book cover of Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel

The life of a spy is psychologically difficult as he must keep loyalty to his own country, while secretly blending in with that of the enemy. For the Middle Eastern Jews who spied for Israel during its war of independence, the heroes of Matti Friedman’s excellent book, life was even more difficult, by upbringing and background their identity was interwoven with that of the enemy. In this book, Friedman follows these spies and covert warriors through a breathless sequence of assassinations and espionage operations against the Arab foes besieging Israel from all sides. Aside from being taken over by the plot, I love this book because it raises intriguing questions of identity during times of crisis and war, still relevant in the turbulent region of the Middle East and beyond. 

Spies of No Country

By Matti Friedman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Spies of No Country as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Wondrous . . . Compelling . . . Piercing.” —The New York Times Book Review

Award-winning writer Matti Friedman’s tale of Israel’s first spies has all the tropes of an espionage novel, including duplicity, betrayal, disguise, clandestine meetings, the bluff, and the double bluff—but it’s all true.

Journalist and award-winning author Matti Friedman’s tale of Israel’s first spies reads like an espionage novel--but it’s all true. The four agents at the center of this story were part of a ragtag unit known as the Arab Section, conceived during World War II by British spies and Jewish militia leaders in Palestine.…


1948

By Benny Morris,

Book cover of 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War

History is often in the eye of the beholder. There are many histories, not just one. This is true in general and this statement is particularly apt when we discuss the first Arab-Israeli war. When I teach about the conflict, students ask me for an objective account of the war. My answer is that none is in existence but the closest to the truth, in my opinion, is Morris’ account. It is the best book about the war, based on maticulate survey of documents. It provides a thorough explanation of the war in each and every stage.

Morris paid a price for his honesty. I was happy to pave his way into Israeli academia.

1948

By Benny Morris,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked 1948 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Benny Morris demolishes misconceptions and provides a comprehensive history of the Israeli-Arab war of 1948

This history of the foundational war in the Arab-Israeli conflict is groundbreaking, objective, and deeply revisionist. A riveting account of the military engagements, it also focuses on the war's political dimensions. Benny Morris probes the motives and aims of the protagonists on the basis of newly opened Israeli and Western documentation. The Arab side-where the archives are still closed-is illuminated with the help of intelligence and diplomatic materials.

Morris stresses the jihadi character of the two-stage Arab assault on the Jewish community in Palestine. Throughout,…


In Search of Fatima

By Ghada Karmi,

Book cover of In Search of Fatima: A Palestinian Story

There is no better way of understanding what it means to be a Palestinian than reading a personal account. When this account is written by one of the veteran activists on behalf of Palestine in the West and a scholar by her own right, the reward is even greater for the reader of this autobiographical tale.  

In Search of Fatima

By Ghada Karmi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ghada Karmi's acclaimed memoir relates her childhood in Palestine, the flight to Britain after the catastrophe of 1948, and coming of age in the coffee-bars of Golders Green, the middle-class Jewish quarter in North London. A gentle humor describes the bizarre and sometimes tense realities that mask her life in 'Little Tel Aviv' and, later, her struggle, like that of many other women in the late fifties, to get a university grant to study medicine. Ghada's personal story is set against the continuing crisis in the Middle East. "In Search of Fatima" reminds us that the only crime the Palestinians…


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Interested in Palestine, the Middle East, and the Arab–Israeli conflict?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Palestine, the Middle East, and the Arab–Israeli conflict.

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