Bibliography - The Arab-Israeli Conflict
Readers have asked me for a bibliography to help better understand the Arab-Israeli conflict. Here are some English-language suggestions – many of them reviewed or discussed elsewhere on this site – starting with background books and proceeding to more specifc ones:
Geoffrey Wigoder, ed., New Encyclopedia of Zionism and Israel.
A top-notch reference book, reliable and complete.
Howard M. Sachar, A History of Israel, 2 vols.
A standard account, readable and engrossing.
Baruch Kimmerling and Joel S. Migdal, Palestinians: The Making of a People.
A first overview of Palestinian history provides a dramatically new perspective.
Hillel Cohen, Army of Shadows: Palestinian Collaboration with Zionism, 1917–1948
A path-breaking account of moderate Palestinians during the Mandatory period, with many implications for the present.
Efraim Karsh, Betraying Palestine.
Powerful review of Arab-Zionist relations during the period of British rule, 1917-49. Establishes how, then as now,the Jewish sde is perpetually seeking agreements the Arab side scorns.
Itamar Rabinovich, The Road Not Taken: Early Arab-Israeli Negotiations.
Convincing account finds that no matter what Israel did, it could not have closed down the conflict early on.
Y. Harkabi, Arab Attitudes to Israel.
Over three decades old but still the edifying if depressing standard work on the subject. It would seem that little has changed.
Fouad Ajami, The Dream Palace of the Arabs: A Generation's Odyssey.
Hope mistaken, faith misplaced; an intellectual history of Arabs with a masterly final chapter on the Arab intellectual class' rejection of the Oslo process.
Michael Oren., Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East.
Excellent history of an astounding and consequential event.
Abraham Rabinovich, The Yom Kippur War: The Epic Encounter That Transformed the Middle East.
Another fine history of an Arab-Israeli war.
Shlomo Gazit, The Carrot and the Stick: Israel's Policy in Judaea and Samaria, 1967-68.
An insider's account of the improvised origins of has become a lengthy rule.
Moshe Shemesh, The Palestinian Entity, 1959-1974: Arab Politics and the PLO.
Scholarly and tough going, but full of information and deep understanding
Barry Rubin, Revolution Until Victory? The Politics and History of the PLO.
Picks up roughly where Shemesh leaves off and in more readable form reviews three decades' worth of PLO complexities.
Danny Rubinstein, The Mystery of Arafat.
Light but highly insightful; not a biography but a deliberation.
David A. Korn, Assassination in Khartoum.
Detailed and compelling analysis of one incident – the 1973 murder of two American diplomats by Palestinians – that still remains an alive issue.
Jonathan Schanzer, Hamas vs. Fatah The Struggle for Palestine.
Focus on the intra-Palestinian conflict, so often obscured and neglected.
Jacob M. Landau, The Arab Minority in Israel, 1967-1991: Political Aspects.
Best book on the question many analysts see as the hardest part of the Arab-Israeli conflict to resolve.
Steven L. Spiegel, The Other Arab-Israeli Conflict:: Making America's Middle East Policy, From Truman to Reagan.
Excellent history of the U.S. involvement, up to 1984.
Raymond Cohen, Culture and Conflict in Egyptian-Israeli Relations: A Dialogue of the Deaf.
Very interesting case that the main problem facing negotiators was not "irreconcilable interests, megalomaniac ambitions, still less soaring ideals, but a cultural chasm."
Yoram Hazony, The Jewish State : The Struggle for Israel's Soul.
An inquiry into the intellectual roots of Israel's Oslo folly.
Kenneth Levin, The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People Under Siege
Key account of where Israel went wrong, complements Yoram Hazony's study.