Historical books about the Palestine-Israel conflict. We are talking about Best Books to Understand the Israel-Palestine Conflict.
For most ordinary readers, reading books that have been tested for a long time and still retain a strong explanatory power is a shortcut to refer to this international difficult situation, or at least it will help most ordinary readers.
Understand the basic clues and background of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a perspective
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has recently continued to escalate, causing more people to pay attention to Middle East affairs again. The "Palestinian-Israeli conflict" and even the Middle East issue can be said to be one of the most thoroughly studied fields in the world.
Professional researchers from various disciplines such as history, religion, ethnology, diplomacy, and international politics have set foot in this area. The academic Red Sea has published a large number of excellent books, which can be said to be full of sweat.
But today, the Palestine issue and the Palestine-Israel conflict, whether in academic circles, political circles, or religious circles, are still at odds on possible solutions, even in the academic field.
25 Best Books to Understand the Israel-Palestine Conflict
If you want to thoroughly study an academic issue, the most critical first step is to find the most important books on the issue. As for the most important books discussing the Palestine-Israel conflict, they must include "Jerusalem: The Biography", "The Bible and the Sword", "Enemies and Neighbors", etc.
They have repeatedly appeared in academic discussions on the Middle East issue, and they have been Scholars frequently quoted. These three books can be regarded as a general and overview introduction to the issue of the "Palestinian-Israeli conflict".
What do you think about the recent Palestine-Israel conflict? Are there any books on this period of history recommended?
Here we recommend the 25 Best Books to Understand the Israel-Palestine Conflict.
1. The Bible and the Sword
by Barbara W. Tuchman
The Bible and Sword: England and Palestine from the Bronze Age to Balfour.
"The Bible and the Sword" is a masterpiece by the famous historian Barbara Tachman. Tuchman's historical writing is known for its literary and factual nature. He is good at nesting the sorrows and joys of specific characters in a grand vision, and he uses vivid details to cut into the reflection on historical events.
The main thrust of "The Bible and the Sword" is to trace the international political roots of Zionism. Under the premise of mastering a large amount of precious historical materials, Tachman pointed out that the support of the United Kingdom played a key role in the success of the Zionist nation-building.
The reason why the United Kingdom is doing this is due to two reasons. One is the psychological indebtedness to the Jewish nation, and the other is the need for its own strategic goals in the region. The "Bible" and "Sword" in the title of the book are meant to be this.
2. Jerusalem: The Biography
by Simon Sebag Montefiore
Simon Montefiore is an internationally renowned "all-rounder" writer. He is not only a historian, novelist, journalist, and documentary writer. His work has won numerous awards, and many of his works have been or are being adapted into film and television works.
"Jerusalem: The Biography", "Catherine the Great and Potemkin", and "Young Stalin" have won many international book awards. "Jerusalem: The Biography" is hailed as the most readable masterpiece of the history of world religions in recent years and an excellent work "using history to explain religion".
The author himself has a very strong family, and there were European diplomats and bankers in his clan, and his great-uncle, Sir Moses Montefiore, was the one who built the first Jewish residential area outside the Old City of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is the capital of two nations, and it is also the holy land of the world's three major religions. The history that has taken place around this city is thrilling and misty.
In particular, it is shrouded by various religious legends and nationalist narratives, as well as geopolitical disputes, which have caused the city's history to be infected with complexity and controversy.
"Jerusalem: The Biography" follows the chronological order of three major religions around the "holy city" competition, with the rise and fall of several major families as the mainline, vividly narrating the past and present of Jerusalem, and reflecting on many forgotten histories.
3. Enemies and Neighbors
by Ian Black
"Enemies and Neighbors" is a must-read for understanding the Palestine-Israel conflict, and it has repeatedly appeared in various book lists and academic articles related to Middle East issues. Prior to this book, most researchers' views on this issue were completely divided into two categories.
They either analyzed the rationality of their demands from the standpoint of the Palestinians or supported Israel’s standpoint, demonstrated that the Jews returned to their ancestral homes, and reaffirmed their historical rights. Legality.
"Enemies and Neighbors" took a unique approach, did not easily choose one side, but wrote the history of Palestine from the perspective of both the Palestinians and the Jews. That is what the author said, "tell the stories of both sides from the perspective of both sides, and the entanglement of their fate with each other".
The basic clue of the whole book is the narrative of the two nations, Palestine and Jews, which are diametrically opposed to each other to a large extent.
4. From Beirut To Jerusalem
by Thomas L. Friedman
Thomas Friedman is also a world-class best-selling author, whose work is best known to the public as the "World Is Flat" series. Friedman himself is an American Jew and is fluent in Hebrew and Arabic. In the early 1980s, he served as the "New York Times" interview director in Lebanon.
Based on his personal experience in the Middle East, he wrote "From Beirut to Jerusalem", which fully and vividly described the Jewish state and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It has been 40 years since the original English edition of this book, and it is still one of the must-reads for studying Middle East issues.
"From Beirut to Jerusalem" is based on Western observations, witnessing and telling the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Lebanese civil war. The author did not make a simple statement of the situation in the Middle East, nor did he make an academic explanation of the Arab-Israeli contradiction.
Instead, he used his own personal investigation to focus on the daily mentality and attitude of the people at the center of the contradiction. Friedman uses the rich material obtained from extensive contacts with people from all walks of life to dig deeper into the deep connotations of ethnicity, religion, culture, and society, reflecting the complex landscape of social contradictions in the Middle East.
5. My Promised Land
by Ari Shavit
"My Promised Land": The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel. The author of this book is the famous Israeli columnist Ali Shavit. Although he is now an Israeli, his great-grandfather Herbert Bentway originally lived in a peaceful and comfortable England.
Many people will wonder why Bentway gave up the stable and happy life and chose to return to the homeland that is no longer there. Perhaps this is the answer that the author has been looking for. In "My Promised Land", he shows the Jews' feelings for "hometown" and "home".
There are seventeen chapters in the book, mainly about three aspects. One is that Herbert Bentway gave up the original comfortable life in Britain, embarked on a voyage ship, returned to his homeland, and found his no longer homeland.
It is no longer a Jewish territory, and most of the Arabs live there. The second is that the Jews decided to establish their own country on the land of the Arabs. They wanted to live in their original hometown.
Perhaps in the hearts of the Jews, this land is their root. After experiencing countless wars and a firm belief in "home", we finally saw what is now Israel. The third is the status quo of Israel and the threats Israel faces.
"My Promised Land" talks bluntly about the pioneering spirit of Zionism but also pays attention to the dramatic life stories of the protagonists in the book. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak commented: ""My Promised Land" is an exploration of the shocking experience of a suffering motherland by a humanitarian. It is an ultimate personal Odyssey. At the center of global attention."
6. Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid
by Jimmy Carter
"Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" This is the memoir of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. It tells the author's personal history of the Middle East, as well as his personal experience with the major political figures in the region. Carter has promoted the Egypt-Israel peace treaty as president and has been involved in Middle East affairs for a long time.
Therefore, he has a deep understanding of the root causes of the conflict in the Middle East, the crux of the long-term Israeli-Arab confrontation, the plight of the Palestinians, and the feasible solutions to these problems. Carter said frankly that if Israel wants to achieve lasting peace, it must allow the Palestinians to enjoy fair treatment and dignity.
The book does not have the literary beauty of Tuchman, nor does Ian Black’s majestic observational vision, and the writing is exhaustive, involving many clues to the characters, and it is boring to read, but it is the central character of the storm on the Arab-Israeli problem.
First-hand observations and records are important works that break the existing narrative paradigm. This book helps readers understand the roots of the Arab-Israeli confrontation in the Middle East and the crux of the conflict between Palestine and Israel.
7. The Invention of the Jewish People
by Shlomo Sand
"The Invention of the Jewish People". This is the foundation work of Shlomo Sand's "fictional trilogy", challenging mainstream historiography and overturning the past Israeli history and Jewish mythology. The author believes that the formation of the Jewish nation and the Israeli state is a history of "codification" or "fiction".
At the same time, it points out that most Jews live scattered all over Europe, especially in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. The reason why these scattered and different groups can form the Jewish nation, And then become a Jewish country, can only resort to the history that has been adopted.
The strong exclusive national identity of the Israelis is not ancient, but it was invented by historians, archaeologists, and other spokespersons of human memory in the second half of the 19th century.
8. After the Last Sky
by Edward W. Said
"After the Last Sky". This book can be counted as a "video book". The next part is written by the famous public intellectual Edward W. Said, and the video part is about the living conditions of Palestinians taken by the famous humanitarian photographer Jean Moore. More than 130 stunning photos.
Said was born in Jerusalem in 1935. During the British occupation, he attended Western schools in Palestine and Cairo, Egypt. He received British education. In the 1950s, he went to the United States to study and obtained a Ph.D. from Harvard University.
Since 1963, he has taught at Columbia University. His representative works include "Oriental Studies" and "The Question of Palestine". As a public intellectual, when Said's writing involves the Palestinian issue, he often portrays the Palestinian experience to readers from an internal perspective and regards it as a spiritual country.
The author is committed to fighting for equal politics and human rights for the Palestinians in Israel and asking the United States to exert pressure on Israel to protect and respect these rights. He is known as the "most powerful political voice" of the Palestinian people.
When Palestinians appear in world news headlines, they are often associated with negative images such as terrorists and refugees, but the real-life situation of these people is poorly known to the outside world.
Through Said's words and Jean Moore's photographs, this book together depicts another vivid portrait of the Palestinians. Said’s words in the foreword are the best commentary on the subject of the book: “Let’s use these photos and captions to tell the story of the Palestinians that have never been mentioned before.”
9. How I Stopped Being a Jew
by Shlomo Sand
"How I Stopped Being a Jew". The famous Israeli historian Shlomo Sand recalled his growth experience in this book, tracing the history of the Jewish nation and Israel, with both emotional and intellectual writing, and boldly exposed Israel's concept of "God's chosen people" and the Holocaust.
The preaching of suffering questioned the way in which the Jewish nation was defined, and criticized the deep-rooted concepts and the reality that has become a habit: the solidification of Jewish identity, the moral superiority of the Jews, the racial politics of Zionism, and the hierarchical differences of Israel.
And colonialism... After questioning and criticizing, Sander envisioned a secular, non-exclusive, and trans-Zionist Israeli identity, a future guided by candid and generous universal principles.
As I cannot bear the fictitious national attributes imposed by the Israeli law, and it is even harder to bear it as a member of the God’s Chosen Club in front of other peoples in the world, I am willing to give up being a Jew and no longer consider myself a Jew. ——Shlomo Sand
10. The Invention of the Land of Israel
by Shlomo Sand
Shlomo pointed out that the so-called "land of Israel" is neither the state of Israel as a nation-state in contemporary times, nor the Jewish kingdom that appeared in the Fertile Crescent in history, but a history of the continuous accumulation and addition of Zionism in different historical periods.
Conceptually, its borders are constantly floating, providing historical legitimacy for the expansion of the territory of the contemporary State of Israel.
11. Mornings in Jenin: A Novel
by Susan Abulhawa
" Mornings in Jenin: A Novel" when buying the book, the bookseller recommended that the book is "the only novel that has completely condensed the history of Palestine's suffering since 1948."
I don't know if it's the "only" or not, and I don't know why the title of this book is "David's Scar" because David is not the protagonist in more than half of the content. The novel is beautiful and meticulous, with graceful sadness and hidden power.
David's scar is not on his face, but in the torn identity, in the love that is forcibly separated by history and society. His injury is a special case of an individual, but it seems to be a portrayal of the reality of this area.
On the one hand, this book opens a door (although it is a fictional story), allowing readers to see the "human" side of the PLO members who were once regarded as "terrorists", their history, and their families. , Growth, love, and dreams.
On the other hand, the author did not simply accuse the Jews of being invaders. The moment Amel faced the gun, her hatred dissipated, and she finally didn't need to suppress herself anymore. "Redemption by love".
I often wonder if the existence of Jerusalem is a warning from God to mankind. If he really exists. Human injuries, nothing can compare to what we make each other. In addition to time, the healing of these wounds depends on human beings to pay and give to each other.
I read the news a few days ago and said that Palestine has joined the United Nations as a country (or region?) for the first time. I just want to bless those hurting souls.
by Hannah Lillith Assadi
"Sonora-by Hannah Lillith Assadi" Raised outside of Phoenix, Arizona, half-Palestinian, half-Israeli Ahlam never felt like she belonged. She falls into a passionate love story with another girl, Laura, and the couple flees into the bright lights of the Big Apple ... but can they escape what awaits them at home?
A fevered, lyrical debut about two young women drawn into an ever-intensifying friendship set against the stark, haunted landscape of the Sonoran desert and the ecstatic frenzy of New York City.
Ahlam, the daughter of a Palestinian refugee and his Israeli wife, grows up in the arid lands of desert suburbia outside of Phoenix. In a stark landscape where coyotes prowl and mysterious lights occasionally pass through the nighttime sky, Ahlam’s imagination reigns.
She battles chronic fever dreams and isolation. When she meets her tempestuous counterpart Laura, the two fall into an infatuated partnership, experimenting with drugs and sex and boys and watching helplessly as a series of mysterious deaths claim high school classmates.
The girls flee their pasts for New York City, but as their emotional bond heightens, the intensity of their lives becomes unbearable. In search of love, ecstasy, oblivion, and belonging, Ahlam and Laura’s drive to outrun the ghosts of home threatens to undo them altogether.
13. I Saw Ramallah
by Mourid Barghouti / Edward W. Said / Ahdaf Soueif
"I Saw Ramallah" Winner of the prestigious Naguib Mahfouz Medal, this fierce and moving work is an unparalleled rendering of the human aspects of the Palestinian predicament.
Barred from his homeland after 1967's Six-Day War, the poet Mourid Barghouti spent thirty years in exile—shuttling among the world's cities, yet secure in none of them; separated from his family for years at a time; never certain whether he was a visitor, a refugee, a citizen, or a guest.
As he returns home for the first time since the Israeli occupation, Barghouti crosses a wooden bridge over the Jordan River into Ramallah and is unable to recognize the city of his youth.
Sifting through memories of the old Palestine as they come up against what he now encounters in this mere “idea of Palestine,” he discovers what it means to be deprived not only of a homeland but of “the habitual place and status of a person.” A tour de force of memory and reflection, lamentation and resilience, I Saw Ramallah is a deeply humane book, essential to any balanced understanding of today's the Middle East.
14. Kingdom of Olives and Ash
by Michael Chabon
"Kingdom of Olives and Ash": Writers Confront the Occupation. A groundbreaking collection of essays by celebrated international writers bears witness to the human cost of fifty years of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
In Kingdom of Olives and Ash, Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman, two of today's most renowned novelists and essayists, have teamed up with the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence—an organization comprised of former Israeli soldiers who served in the occupied territories and saw firsthand the injustice there—and a host of illustrious writers to tell the stories of the people on the ground in the contested territories.
Kingdom of Olives and Ash includes contributions from several of today’s most esteemed storytellers including Colum McCann, Jacqueline Woodson, Colm Toibin, Geraldine Brooks, Dave Eggers, Hari Kunzru, Raja Shehadeh, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Assaf Gavron, as well as from editors Chabon and Waldman.
Through these incisive, perceptive, and poignant essays, readers will gain a unique insight into the narratives behind the litany of grim destruction broadcasted nightly on the news, as well as a deeper understanding of the conflict as experienced by the people who live in the occupied territories. Together, these stories stand witness to the human cost of the occupation.
15. An Improbable Friendship
by Anthony David
An Improbable Friendship: The Remarkable Lives of Israeli Ruth Dayan and Palestinian Raymonda Tawil and Their Forty-Year Peace Mission.
A True Story of Friendship and Faith in the Face of Insurmountable Hatred
An Improbable Friendship is the dual biography of Israeli Ruth Dayan, now over one hundred, who was Moshe Dayan's wife for thirty-seven years, and Palestinian journalist Raymonda Tawil, Yasser Arafat's mother-in-law, now seventy-eight.
It reveals for the first time the two women’s surprising and secret forty-year friendship and delivers the story of their extraordinary and turbulent lives growing up in a war-torn country.
Based on personal interviews, diaries, and journals drawn from both women—Ruth lives today in Tel Aviv, Raymonda in Malta—author Anthony David delivers a fast-paced, fascinating narrative that is a beautiful story of reconciliation and hope in a climate of endless conflict.
By experiencing their stories and following their budding relationship, which began after the Six-Day War in 1967, we learn the behind-the-scenes, undisclosed history of the Middle East's most influential leaders from two prominent women on either side of the ongoing conflict.
An award-winning biographer and historian, Anthony David bring us the story of unexpected friendship while he discovers the true pasts of two outstanding women. Their story gives voice to Israelis and Palestinians caught in the Middle East conflict and holds a persistent faith in a future of peace.
16. The Way to the Spring
by Ben Ehrenreich
The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine. Ben Ellenrich, winner of the National Magazine Award, author of two best-selling novels "Ether" and "The Suitors". His work has been seen in many newspapers and magazines, including "Harper", "New York Times" and "London Review of Books".
Over the past three years, American writer Ben Ehrenreich has been traveling to and living in the West Bank, staying with Palestinian families in its largest cities and its smallest villages.
He has witnessed the extremes to which they are pushed, the daily deprivation and oppression that they face, and the strategies they construct to survive it - stoicism, resignation, rebellion, and stubborn defiance.
In The Way to Spring, he describes the cruel mechanics of the Israeli occupation and the endless absurdities and tragedies it engenders: the complex and humiliating machinery of the checkpoints, walls, courts, and prisons; the steady, strangling loss of land that has been passed down for generations; the constant ebb and flow of deadly violence.
Blending political and historical context with riveting personal stories, The Way to Spring is a testimony, a provocation, and an unflinching act of witnessing.
17. To the End of the Land
by David Grossman
The 600-page novel "To the End of the Land" describes an Israeli mother who fled the house with her old lover because she was afraid of receiving a notice of her son's death.
During the journey, she told him about the growing up of their son. The details present the typical fate of a modern Israeli family in detail. Ola, the protagonist of the novel, is a simple housewife.
She is kind-hearted, gentle, and sensitive, and always regards family stability as her greatest happiness, but the world does not develop as she envisioned. She has no power to stop the spread of violence and terrorism, nor can she change the wishes of the people she loves.
The only thing she can do is to create a weird disconnect in the course of the world's operation, so as to "stop" the doom.
18. Drinking the Sea at Gaza
by Amira Hass
Drinking the Sea at Gaza: Days and Nights in a Land Under Siege.
In what is sure to be a controversial book, Israeli reporter Amira Hass offers a rare portrait of the Palestinians in Gaza. Very few journalists have lived in that troubled region; Jewish ones are rarer still. "To most Israelis," Hass writes, " my move seemed outlandish, even crazy, for they believed.
I was surely putting my life at risk." But Israelis desperately need to understand the plight of the Palestinian people, she writes, and few of them read the unvarnished truth in the Jerusalem press. This has made most of them ignorant of what goes on right next door, and inspired unduly "harsh" attitudes toward Gaza and its one million residents.
Hass even quotes the late Yitzhak Rabin, who wished that Gaza "would just sink into the sea, "shortly before he signed the Oslo Accords. Wishing away the problem, however, is no solution, and Hass delivers a detailed--and highly opinionated--diagnosis of what's wrong with Israeli policy toward Gaza.
Strong supporters of Israeli will say that Hass is nothing but a mouthpiece for the Palestinians. Indeed, this book's subtitle could apply as much to Israel, surrounded by bitter enemies, as it does to Gaza. Yet it would be wrong to ignore Hass: the scene in Gaza is woefully unreported.
The book is not likely to change many minds--this is one of those subjects where passions run deep and fierce. Those who already sympathize with Hass's pro-Palestinian views will find Drinking the Sea at Gaza an invigorating book. --John J. Miller
19. Our American Israel
by Amy Kaplan
Our American Israel: The Story of an Entangled Alliance
An essential account of America’s most controversial alliance that reveals how the United States came to see Israel as an extension of itself, and how that strong and divisive partnership plays out in our own time.
Our American Israel tells the story of how a Jewish state in the Middle East came to resonate profoundly with a broad range of Americans in the twentieth century. Beginning with debates about Zionism after World War II, Israel’s identity has been entangled with America’s belief in its own exceptional nature.
Now, in the twenty-first century, Amy Kaplan challenges the associations underlying this special alliance.
Through popular narratives expressed in news media, fiction, and film, a shared sense of identity emerged from the two nations’ histories as settler societies. Americans projected their own origin myths onto Israel: the biblical promised land, the open frontier, the refuge for immigrants, and the revolt against colonialism.
Israel assumed a mantle of moral authority, based on its image as an “invincible victim,” a nation of intrepid warriors and concentration camp survivors. This paradox persisted long after the Six-Day War when the United States rallied behind a story of the Israeli David subduing the Arab Goliath.
The image of the underdog shattered when Israel invaded Lebanon and Palestinians rose up against the occupation. Israel’s military was strongly censured around the world, including notes of dissent in the United States. Rather than a symbol of justice, Israel became a model of military strength and technological ingenuity.
In America today, Israel’s political realities pose difficult challenges. Turning a critical eye on the turbulent history that bound the two nations together, Kaplan unearths the roots of present controversies that may well divide them in the future.
20. Dear Zealots
by Amos Oz
Dear Zealots: Letters from a Divided Land.
This collection of three new essays – all based on talks delivered by Amos Oz – was written out of a sense of urgency, concern, and belief that a better future is still possible.
It touches on the universal nature of fanaticism and its possible cures; the Jewish roots of humanism and the need for a secular pride in Israel; and the geopolitical standing of Israel in the wider Middle East and internationally.
These three pleas illuminate the argument over Israeli, Jewish, and human existence, and Amos Oz sheds a clear and surprising light on vital political and historical issues, daring to offer new ways out of a reality that appears to be closed down.
Dear Zealot is a significant document that outlines Amos’s current thinking about the Middle East – urgent reading for anyone interested in the conflict.
I saw it last year. It's very short. The most impressive point is justice against justice, which is also injustice against justice, and a conversation between the author and the taxi driver about killing all the Palestinian.
The conversation ends with whether or not to kill the last Palestinian baby in an apartment. Most of the time, fanaticism is just a concept in the mind that has not been materialized, but the hatred that has not been materialized is inflammatory.
21. The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
by Ilan Pappe
"The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine" As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to escalate, I want to know why the once-displaced Jews will once again displace Palestinian Arabs.
And this book traces the source of history. In 1948, more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs either fled or were expelled. These people accounted for half of the Palestinian Arab population before the 1948 Palestinian War. About 400 to 600 Palestinian villages were destroyed. This tragedy is called Nakba.
Just as the author wrote in his thank-you speech: Ever since I knew Nakba, I have been burdened with their suffering and hope. Only when they return to their homeland will this tragedy be over and let all people live in Palestine in peace and harmony.
22. Strangers with the Same Dream
by Alison Pick
"Strangers with the Same Dream" is A brilliant, astonishing, and politically timely page-turner set in 1921 Palestine, from the author of the bestselling novel Far to Go, nominated for the Man Booker Prize.
This spare, beautifully written, shocking, and timely novel whisks us back to 1921 Palestine, when a band of young Jewish pioneers, much-escaping violence in their homelands, set out to realize a utopian dream: the founding of a kibbutz on a patch of land that will, twenty-five years later, become part of the State of Israel.
Writing with tightly controlled intensity, Alison Pick takes us inside the minds of her vastly different characters--two young unmarried women, one plain and one beautiful, escaping peril in Russia and Europe; one older man, a charismatic group leader who is married with two children; and his wife, Hannah, who understands all too well the dark side of "equality"--to show us how idealism quickly tumbles into pragmatism, and how the utopian dream is punctured by messy human entanglements.
This is also the story of the land itself (present-day Israel and Palestine), revealing with compassion and terrible irony how the pioneers chose to ignore the subtle but undeniable fact that their valley was already populated, home to a people whose lives they did not entirely understand.
Writing with extraordinary power, Pick creates unforgettably human characters who, isolated in the enclosure of their hard-won utopian dream, are haunted by ghosts, compromised by unbearable secrets, and finally, despite flashes of love and hope, worn down by hardship, human frailty, and the pull of violent confrontation.
The novel's utterly shocking but satisfying conclusion will have readers flipping back to the first page to trace patterns and wrestle with the question of what is, or is not, inevitable and knowable in the human heart.
23. All the Rivers
by Dorit Rabinyan
"All the Rivers" A chance encounter in New York brings two strangers together: Liat is an idealistic translation student, and Hilmi is a talented young painter. Together they explore the city, share fantasies, jokes, and homemade meals, and fall in love.
There is only one problem: Liat is from Israel, and Hilmi is from Palestine. Keeping their deepening relationship secret, the two lovers build an intimate universe for two in this city far from home. But outside reality can only be kept at bay for so long.
After a tempestuous visit from Hilmi's brother, cracks begin to form in the relationship, and their points of difference - Liat's military service, Hilmi's hopes for Palestine's future - threaten to overwhelm their shared present.
When they return separately to their divided countries, Liat and Hilmi must decide whether to keep going or let go. A prizewinning bestseller, but banned in Israeli schools for its frank and tender depiction of a taboo relationship, this is the deeply affecting story of two people trying to bridge one of the most deeply riven borders in the world.
24. Sadness Is a White Bird: A Novel
by Moriel Rothman-Zecher
"Sadness Is a White Bird" The story begins in an Israeli military jail, where—four days after his nineteenth birthday—Jonathan stares up at the fluorescent lights of his cell, and recalls the series of events that led him there.
Two years earlier: Moving back to Israel after several years in Pennsylvania, Jonathan is ready to fight to preserve and defend the Jewish state, which his grandfather—a Salonican Jew whose community was wiped out by the Nazis—helped establish.
But he is also conflicted about the possibility of having to monitor the occupied Palestinian territories, a concern that grows deeper and more urgent when he meets Nimreen and Laith—the twin daughter and son of his mother's friend.
From that winter morning on, the three become inseparable: wandering the streets on weekends, piling onto buses toward new discoveries, and laughing uncontrollably. They share joints on the beach, trading snippets of poems, intimate secrets, family histories, resentments, and dreams.
But with his draft date rapidly approaching, Jonathan wrestles with the question of what it means to be proud of your heritage and loyal to your people, while also feeling love for those outside of your own tribal family. And then that fateful day arrives, the one that lands Jonathan in prison and changes his relationship with the twins forever.
25. Out of Place: A Memoir
by Edward W. Said
"Out of Place: A Memoir" by Edward W. Said. From a broad and ultimate perspective, life is wandering all the time and everywhere.
It seems that precisely because of this, nostalgia for the homeland and nostalgia for the past has become a precious emotional experience-a kind of slightly bittersweetness.
I have no religious beliefs if some of my personal beliefs are not considered religious. But because he entered the "knowledge circle" inexplicably, he can roughly understand the psychology of intellectuals.
I saw Augustine’s CONFESSIONS in 2001, but I didn’t understand it; I saw Rousseau’s CONFESSIONS in 2002, but I didn’t understand it at all; I just got Edward's ·W·Said’s OUT OF PLACE-A Memoir today, and I feel it is possible to understand.
Taking into account the stated premises, everything is taken for granted. But there are still huge doubts: the author finally mentioned: "There are so many harmonics in my life, I have learned that I don't have to be suitable for everyone, and I would rather be out of place." [E·W·Said, P357] Then this Is the selectable out-of-place result of the selection, or is it selected by the result?
During the day, I saw a small article linked to the Department of Sociology of Nanjing University, talking about the "good boy syndrome" of overseas Chinese-it is thought-provoking but also quite confusing. Compared with Said’s experience and conclusions (both life and academic conclusions).
I am more admired for my family’s survival skills, and I am still afraid of praising the master’s "incompatibility"-----Neither orientation will seduce me. What path will I take? It seems that you have to pick it yourself.
I am afraid that there is no way on the road, and I will finally practice the teachings of my predecessors with my own body.