AMMAN- For decades, Palestinians have shown strength and resistance against the Israeli settler-colonial power in an ongoing battle for liberation. In recent days, the Israeli occupation has intensified its efforts to eradicate the Palestinian identity and take over the Palestinian land through enacting forced evictions and mass genocide across the country, and specifically in Sheikh Jarrah, Lydd, Haifa, Jerusalem, and the Gaza strip.

We curated a list of publications to amplify the voices of the Palestinian people and educate people on the struggle Palestine has been enduring for 73 years now. While the literature of Palestine is rich and endless, with voices like Suzan Abulhawa, Mourid Barghouti, Ghada Karmi, Ghassan Kanafani, Edward Said, Noura Erekat, Ilan Pappe, Mahmoud Darwish, Shlomo Sand, Fadwa Tuqan, Lila Abu-Lughod and many others. This list is an attempt to collect the essential stories and academic texts one needs to read in order to learn about the history of the war, the treatment of the people under the occupation, the exploitation of minorities, the progressive facade of the settler state, and the global movements that support the Palestinian resistance. 

Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa, 2010:

Israeli occupation exposes us very young to the extremes of our emotions, until we cannot feel except in the extreme.

In a similar story to what happened in Sheikh Jarrah, Abulhawa tells the story of a family evicted by the Israeli army from their home in Ein Hod to live in the Jenin refugee camp. This book dives deep into the atrocities of the occupation and the celebration of simple victories while displaying the difference between the political and the personal, and how one is not separate from the other.

Stone Men: The Palestinians Who Built Israel by Andrew Ross, 2019:

They demolish our houses while we build theirs

Based largely on field interviews with Palestinians, Andrew Ross examines how the settler state exploits the Palestinian nation to build and rebuild Israel. In this book, Andrew shows how the construction industry in the country has predominantly depended on the backs of Palestinian generations while exposing how the apartheid was built with the stone of the stolen land; where the indigenous people were hired by settlers to build their new home on fresh blood. 

Ten Myths About Israel by Ilan Pappe, 2017:

In other words, though they did not believe in God, He had nonetheless promised them Palestine.

Published on the fiftieth anniversary of the Occupation, the Israeli-Jewish historian Ilan Pappe debunks the 10 most widespread myths reinforced by the settler state to support their claim on the Holyland, from media hoaxes, to “facts” unquestioned by the international law.  This book is for anyone looking to read beyond the propagandized media outlets to closely study the flawed plan knitted by the occupation to mask their war crimes. 

Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the United States Was Used to Create Israel by Alison Weir, 2014:

I turned my shoulder to the camera, stared straight into Begin’s eyes, and asked: ‘How does it feel, in the light of all that’s going on, to be the father of terrorism in the Middle East?’ ‘In the Middle East?’ he bellowed, in his thick, cartoon accent. ‘In all the world’.

In this historical account, Alison Weir discusses the early worries expressed by the United States to create a new nation and how it can impact its foreign interests in the region, among many other topics. This book unfolds the history of the settler state and the implicit contribution of the United States in funding the creation of modern-day ‘Israel’.

Men in the Sun by Ghassan Kanafani, 1963:

“But could the sun kill them and all the stench imprisoned in their breasts?” Abul Khaizuran looked at Marwan and then at Abu Qais, whom he found staring at him. He tried to smile, and failed, so he wiped the sweat from his forehead with his sleeve, murmuring:
“This is the Hell that I have heard of”
“God’s Hell?”

In a heart-wrenching account of the Palestinian men traveling from a refugee camp in Iraq to Kuwait, Ghassan Kanafani explicitly describes the journey of the Palestinian body outside of their country. In Men in the Sun, the political activist shares the stories of the people who have no choice in life but either surrender or resist; both of which would ultimately lead to their demise. 

The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood by Rashid Khalidi, 2006:

This new generation of Palestinian activists was rooted in a major change in the social basis of political power, which deeply influenced the politics of the subsequent decades.

Rashid Khalidi serves as a great introduction to understanding the beginning stages (and later on, occupation) of the colonial power on the Palestinian land by emphasizing the role of the British Mandate almost a century ago. The book explains the difficulty in discussing the occupation by foreign entities while breaking down the nuances of the anti-Semitism discourse. This academic work is an essential reference for everyone looking to invest in the Palestinian struggle. 

The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler-Colonial Conquest and Resistance, 1917-2017 by Rashid Khalidi, 2020:

Comparisons between Palestine and the Native American or African American experiences are fraught because the United States has yet to fully acknowledge these dark chapters of its past or to address their toxic effects in the present.

In this book, Khalidi goes way before the creation of the settler state and studies the first colonialization of the Palestinian people by the British during WW1. He explains the complicity of both the US and the United Kingdom in the Palestinian struggle while studying it closely to other struggles, such as that of the Irish people in 1919. 

I Saw Ramallah by Mourid Barghouti, 2008:

Here I am walking toward the land of the poem. A visitor? A refugee? A citizen? A guest? I do not know. Is this a political moment? Or an emotional one? Or social? A practical moment? A surreal one? A moment of the body? Or of the mind?

The autobiography of the Palestinian writer, Mourid Barghouti, still stands as one of the most popular accounts of exile the Palestinian person experiences. In his autobiography, Mourid talks about belonging, identity, family, and homeland; the distortion of those concepts for all those Palestinians scattered all around the world. This lyrical account is for anyone looking for a short and powerful text that lays down the Palestinian diaspora struggle while expressing nostalgia to a place that is not familiar anymore.

The Invention of the Jewish People by Shlomo Sand, 2009:

Behind every act in Israel’s identity politics stretches, like a long black shadow, the idea of an eternal power and race.

In one of the most translated books about the Israeli identity and the Zionist ideology, Shlomo Sand comes out with a controversial text that debunks the claim of the Ashkenazi Jews to the Holy land. This book examines the dilemma of Modern Israel while providing evidence to the many historical myths used by the occupation to justify their ongoing violence.

In Search of Fatima Book by Ghada Karmi, 2002:

We never set eyes on Fatima or our dog or the city we had known ever again. Like a body prematurely buried, unmourned without coffin or ceremony, our hasty untidy exit from Jerusalem was no way to have said goodbye to our home, our country and all that we knew and loved.

A captivating memoir of loss, exile, and injustices. Ghada Karmi lays day the complexity of the Palestinian struggle in clear and eye-opening personal narrative that takes place in Palestine, England, and limbo in between. This book captures the hardship of displacement and assimilation through a raw lens while delving into the question of the Palestinian identity amid the many attempts at erasing it. 

The Question of Palestine by Edward W. Said, 1979:

In a very literal way the Palestinian predicament since 1948 is that to be a Palestinian at all has been to live in a utopia, a nonplace, of some sort.

A classic Edward Said, The Question of Palestine lays down the history and origin of the Palestinian-Israeli war. This book takes a theoretical approach that closely analyzes the origin of the Palestinian struggle from the country’s partition all the way into the Madrid Conference. For academics, this book is an essential must-read.