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Books to Understand the Israel-Palestine Conflict

As one of the most contentious and controversial relationships in the world, the Israel-Palestine conflict has found its way into the headlines for various reasons over the last few decades. Often, those reasons are tied to the reignition of tensions or the crumbling of peace talks. It is a particular hot-button issue within U.S. politics with large contingents in both major parties weighing in on the issue. Like any conflict of this scale, the decades-long struggle between Israel and Palestine is a complex one. The books listed below should provide some insight into both the conflict itself and the very human toll it inflicts.
  1. 1

    Six Days of War

    While it technically lasted only six days, the aftereffects of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War — also known as the Six-Day War — continue to ripple across the Middle East. Historian and politician Michael B. Oren (he served as Israeli Ambassador to the United States from 2009 to 2013) gives the definitive account of the Six-Day War and the ways it continues to shape Israeli-Palestinian relations.

    Six Days of War Book Cover Picture
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    Michael B. Oren — a dual U.S./Israeli Citizen — as mentioned above, served as Israel’s Ambassador to the United States from 2009 to 2013, a tumultuous period that saw another failed attempt at peace between Palestine and Israel, the Arab Spring, and fears of Iran’s nuclear program. His book Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide offers a frank behind-the-scenes view of the complicated, oft-strained relationship between the U.S. and Israel.

    Ally Book Cover Picture
  3. 3

    My Promised Land

    Utilizing the stories of various Israelis, journalist Ari Shavit weaves together a powerful portrait of Israel’s history. Drawing on interviews, historical documents, diaries, and his own family’s history, Shavit gives a frank and deeply personal take on the state of Israel and its tenuous and contentious position in the region.

    My Promised Land Book Cover Picture
  4. 4

    To the End of the Land

    Through the story in this riveting novel, Israeli author David Grossman explores the strain of war on the families of deployed soldiers, centering on Ora, a divorced mother who is devastated by her son’s decision to voluntarily to return to military service. It is a shattering and unflinching enunciation of the very human toll of the struggle between Israel and Palestine.

    To the End of the Land Book Cover Picture

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