CMEP Suggested Viewing and Reading

There are many videos, books and articles on the issue of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. We hope that this intentionally short and annotated list of relevant and current materials will be helpful in your understanding of not only the issues, but the people who are daily affected by the conflict. You may send suggested additions to this list to info@cmep.org.

Videos

  • Simon, Bob. "Christians of the Holy Land." 60 Minutes. CBS. 22 April 2012. The exodus from the Holy Land of Palestinian Christians could eventually leave holy cities like Jerusalem and Bethlehem without a local Christian population, Bob Simon reports. Why are they leaving? For some, life in the midst of the conflict and occupation has become too difficult. This is available at http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7406228n.
  • My Neighbourhood (2012, 25 minutes, Not Rated) The film features Mohammed El Kurd, a Palestinian boy growing up in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in the heart of East Jerusalem. When Mohammed turns 11, his family is forced to give up part of their home to Israeli settlers, who are leading a campaign of court-sanctioned evictions to guarantee Jewish control of the area. This is available http://www.justvision.org/myneighbourhood/watch.
  • The Syrian Bride (2004, 97 minutes, Not Rated) This amusing and provocative film, set in the Druze community of the Golan heights, illustrates how bureaucracy highlights the absurdity of politics as Druze Bride-to-be Mona struggles to crosses into Syria with her spouse, perhaps never to see her family again. This is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svXetQB_tz0.
  • Five Broken Cameras (2011, 94 minutes, Not Rated) is an Oscar-nominated, deeply personal, first-hand account of life, death, and non-violent resistance in Bil’in, a West Bank village surrounded by Israeli settlements. Shot by Palestinian farmer Emad Burnat, who bought his first camera in 2005 to record the birth of his youngest son, Gibreel, the film was co-directed by Burnat and Guy Davidi, an Israeli filmmaker. This is available http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIdm3BJJv3s.
  • The Gatekeepers (2012, 101 minutes, PG-13) A documentary featuring interviews with all surviving former heads of Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency whose activities and membership are closely held state secrets. All now support creation of a Palestinian state on the West Bank.  This is avaialble at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIdm3BJJv3s.
  • The Law In These Parts (2011, 100 minutes, Not Rated) is an Israeli documentary investigation into the justice (and injustice) of the legal system imposed since 1967 in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. See the trailer, http://www.thelawfilm.com/eng#!/the-film and a PBS roundtable discussion of the film: http://video.pbs.org/video/2365064948/.

Articles

  • "Israel: Bedouin Facing Mass Evictions From Their Land." Human Rights Watch, 30 Aug. 2013. Israel demolishes Bedouin homes in the Negev on the basis that they were built without permits, often in unauthorized communities. Israel has for decades refused either to legally recognize these communities or to allow their residents to gain title to ancestral land. The Israeli government has rejected or delayed discussion of proposed plans submitted by groups seeking authorization for Bedouin communities, making it impossible for residents to obtain building permits.
  • Acting the Landlord: Israel's Policy in Area C, the West Bank. B'Tselem, June 2013. This report presents Israel’s policy as implemented in Area C, primarily by the Civil Administration, and explores the policy’s implications for the population of the West Bank as a whole. The report focuses on several specific locations in Area C where the policy has considerable impact on the lives of the residents.
  • Birnbaum, Ben. "The Believer." Newsweek/Daily Beast, 23 Aug. 2013. Tzipi Livni, the current Israeli Minister of Justice,  has said achieving a two-state solution is “the reason for me to be in politics.” It’s also a task that rests very much on her shoulders. Given her relationships with Palestinian officials, her credibility with the international community, and, these days at least, her rapport with Netanyahu, Livni may be the only person who can drag Israelis and Palestinians together and—after 65 years of conflict—broker an agreement both sides can live with.
  • Ehrenreich, Ben. "Is This Where the Third Intifada Will Start?" The New York Times, 15 Mar. 2013. It took the people of Nabi Saleh more than a year to get themselves organized. In December 2009 they held their first march, protesting not just the loss of the spring but also the entire complex system of control — of permits, checkpoints, walls, prisons — through which Israel maintains its hold on the region. Nabi Saleh quickly became the most spirited of the dozen or so West Bank villages that hold weekly demonstrations against the Israeli occupation.
  • Baskin, Gershon. "Encountering Peace: Negotiating Jerusalem, Negotiating Peace." The Jerusalem Post, 13 Aug. 2013.  “Since most aspects of the Jerusalem issue have been negotiated in the past and since there have been so many workable proposals designed for Jerusalem by Israeli and Palestinian experts who have worked together on finding them, it is more possible to reach an agreement on Jerusalem than most people believe. “
  • "Israel, Palestine and Hebron: Not so Easy." The Economist, 28 July 2012. Even if an Israeli government were determined to remove Jewish settlements in the West Bank in order to make way for a Palestinian state, it would now be exceptionally hard to remove Jews living in the settlement of Kiryat Arba and in the nearby ancient city of Hebron, which has sites that are holy both to Jews and Muslims.
  • Ravid, Barak. "Dani Dayan Boldly Goes Where No Settler Leader Has Gone Before: Washington." Haaretz, 23 June 2013. [Danny Dayan] devotes most of his time to establishing the diplomatic arm of the settler leadership. He wants to imitate Peace Now or the Geneva Initiative − only on the right. He runs around to meetings with foreign diplomats, briefings to the international media and conferences about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in London and Washington. In the time that’s left he is carefully nurturing a social media persona with thousands of Facebook followers and a Twitter account on which he tweets in Hebrew and English against the two-state solution.

Podcasts

Books

  • Dale Hanson Bourke. The Skeptic’s Guide to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. (2012) News about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict often feels overwhelming because every story seems to have an agenda. Here is that rare resource that helps the curious and fair-minded individual shift through all the noise to encounter and understand people and perspectives on both sides. Those who support freedom, dignity and security for Israelis and Palestinians alike should read this book and share it widely.
  • Sami Adwan. (Editor), Side by Side, Parallel Histories of Israel-Palestine (2012). Developed by Israeli and Palestinian teachers, these essays present each society's version of events – literally side by side – highlighting both shared opinions and deep differences.
  • Raja Shehadeh, Palestinian Walks: Forays into a Vanishing Landscape (2007). This book expresses the love of a sensitive Palestinian writer for the landscape of his native country and some of the ominous dangers that threaten it.
  • Simon Goldhill, The Temple of Jerusalem (2004) traces the passions and politics evoked by the first and second temples and temple mount, the bitterly contested monument of the imagination that goes to the heart of current Middle East politics.     
  • Betty Jane Bailey and J. Martin Bailey. Who are the Christians in the Middle East? (2010).  Many Americans think of the Middle East only in terms of Muslims and Jews and are unaware of the extensive Christian communities that still live there. “Who Are the Christians in the Middle East?” chronicles the history and current state of Christianity in this highly volatile region based on personal experience, official church documents, and extensive interviews.
  • Elias Chacour and David Hazard. Blood Brothers (1984.) An exile in his native land, Elias began a years-long struggle with his love for the Jewish people and the world's misunderstanding of his own people, Palestinians. How was he to respond? He found his answer in the simple, haunting words of the Man of Galilee: "Blessed are the peacemakers."
  • Saree Makdisi, Palestine Inside Out (2008.) In devastating detail, Saree Makdisi reveals how the "peace process" institutionalized Palestinians' loss of control over their inner and outer lives. Through eye-opening statistics and day-by-day reports, we learn how Palestinians have seen their hopes for freedom and statehood culminate in the creation of abject "territories" comparable to open-air prisons.
  • Breaking the Silence: Soldiers’ Testimonies, (multiple publications) (2009.) "You feel like an infantile little kid with a magnifying glass looking at ants, burning them." Testimonies of Israeli combat soldiers reveal gaps between the reports given by the army; the needless destruction of houses; firing phosphorous in populated areas and an atmosphere that encouraged shooting anywhere. Multiple publications focus on geographical areas, youth, and gender. PDF is available at http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il/testimonies/publications.
  • Aaron David Miller, The Much Too Promised Land (2009.) Drawing on his 20 years on the front lines of Arab-Israeli peacemaking, career diplomat Miller tells the story of America's role in the conflict from the very beginning, and argues that though the two sides hold ultimate responsibility for their shared fate, renewed American efforts to make peace are more vital to our national interests, and to our security, than at any time since the late 1940s.

Other

  • Rina Castelnuovo. "Bereaved." The New York Times, 13 July 2013. “They are Palestinians, and they are Israelis. They have lost their sisters and brothers and children, lost them in terrorist attacks, clashes, suicide bombings and military service. They understand that the only way to break down the barriers and come out of their darkness is by recognizing one another. They are dreaming of reconciliation. They found one another through groups like Combatants for Peace and the Parents Circle-Families Forum, which runs educational forums to work on reconciliation.”

(October 15, 2013 Version)