6 books that offer insightful context for the Israreli-Palestinian conflict.
Over the course of the past few weeks, the murders of four teenagers—three Israeli, and one Palestinian—have sparked a firestorm of upheaval and violence, redoubling ethnic antagonisms in the already fractious region. In the interest of providing context and insight for both the acute and chronic tensions shaping the intractable Israeli-Palestinian schism, our Middle East Studies Editor, Kate Wahl, has compiled a handful of select titles to shed light on the escalating conflict.
Considering the occupation
Ariella Azoulay and Adi Ophir, The One-State Condition: Occupation and Democracy in Israel/Palestine
Even as we’re decades into the occupation—since 1967—most people speak of this rule, both in everyday political discussion and in legal and academic debates, as temporary, as a state of affairs incidental and external to the Israeli regime. Many Israelis, on both the political right and left, agree that the occupation constitutes a problem for Israeli democracy, but few would ultimately question the very structure of the Israeli regime itself and whether Israel is a democracy.
Too frequently ignored in debates about occupation are considerations of how the events of 1948 and 1967 have reinforced the sweeping militarization and recent racialization of Israeli society. Looking closely at the history and contemporary formation of the ruling apparatus—the technologies and operations of the Israeli army, the General Security Services, and the legal system imposed in the Occupied Territories—one can see the “one-state condition” of Israel/Palestine: the grounding principle of Israeli governance is the perpetuation of differential rule over populations of differing status.