Resources & Recommendations

BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Ateek, Naim Stifan. A Palestinian Theology of Liberation: The Bible, Justice, and the Palestine-Israel Conflict (Orbis Books, 2017)

As a Palestinian Christian, Naim Ateek “offers a succinct primer on liberation theology in the context of the Palestinian struggle for freedom and self-determination.” He focuses on the history and the current situation of Palestinian Christians in the land now claimed by Israel, and he presents a counterstrategy to the exclusivist reading of the Bible supported by many Israelis and Western Christians.

Bennis, Phyllis. Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer (Olive Branch Press, 6th revised edition, 2015)

Bennis answers oft-posed questions about the crisis, the role of the U.S., UN, Arab States, and Europe; recent history of conflict; rising violence; looking backward (1900-1991); and the future.

Brenner, Michael. In Search of Israel: The History of An Idea (Princeton Univ. Press, 2018)

“There are excellent histories of both Zionism and the state of Israel, but Michael Brenner has managed to combine the two subjects in a single volume that takes the reader from the original vision of Theodor Herzl to the present . . .” (Itamar Rabinovich). Not an easy read, this volume is Important if you want to understand the complex story of modern Israel.

Brueggemann, Walter. Chosen? Reading the Bible Amid the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (WestminsterJohnKnox, 2014)

Brueggemann takes on the controversial topics of Chosenness, Holy Land, and Zionism by demonstrating that there is no straight line in the Hebrew Bible between the ancient texts and all Zionists claims and actions today.

Chabon, Michael and Ayelet Waldman, ed. Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation (Harper Perennial, 2017)

Renowned novelists and essayists have teamed up with the Israeli Breaking the Silence organization to provide firsthand witness to the life of Palestinians under Israeli occupation.

Chacour, Elias. We Belong to the Land (Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 2001)

The distressing yet dramatic story of the Palestinian Israeli Archbishop who has built schools in the Galilee and works for peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land.

Gelvin, James L. The Israel-Palestine Conflict: One Hundred Years of War (Cambridge University Press, 3rd Edition, 2014, 2005)

This volume offers a readable history of the conflict from the early 20th century into the 21st century. Gelvin treats his sources fairly in outlining the confines of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Hixson, Walter L. Architects of Repression: How Israel and Its Lobby Put Racism, Violence, and Injustice at the Center of U.S. Middle East Policy (Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, Inc., 2021).

Hixson takes on a controversial topic as he seeks to trace the influence of the Israel lobby in the U.S. He writes “Architects of Repression offers a comprehensive, up to date, and evidence-driven historical of the role of Israel lobby in US politics and foreign policy since World War II.”

Isaac, Munther. The Other Side of the Wall (Inter Varsity Press, 2020)

“There is a wall encircling Bethlehem. It is both a reality (made of cement and nine meters high) and a symbol for the life of Palestinian Christians and Muslims: walled, occupied, segregated. In this remarkable book, Munther Isaac [pastor of Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem] takes us behind that wall and offers us a glimpse into things that are generally kept from view. He tells a story that is as compelling as it is heart wrenching, a story that every Christian needs to understand to grasp one seemingly endless conflict in the Middle East.” (Gary Burge)

Khalidi, Rashid. The Hundred Years' War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917-2017 (Metropolitan Books, 2020)

Rashid Khalidi, who is the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University, writes an honest, detailed, yet accessible history of the hundred-year assault on the Palestinian people which his own family endured, yet he does so without portraying the Palestinians as victims. An important book that allows the reader to understand the Palestinian narrative.

Kuttab Jonathan. Beyond the Two-State Solution (Nonviolence International Washington, DC, 2021)

Like many, Kuttab argues that the conventional Two-State Solution is no longer viable due to the Israeli massive settlement enterprise in the West Bank. In this brief volume, Kuttab offers his creative proposal of a more promising future for both Israelis and Palestinians.

Raheb, Mitri. Faith in the Face of Empire: The Bible Through Palestinian Eyes (Orbis Books, 2014)

Raheb is the former pastor of Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem and now President of Diyar, a Consortium of Lutheran Institutions (including Bright Stars of Bethlehem) he founded in 1995.

Raheb, Mitri. The Politics of Persecution: Middle Eastern Christians in an Age of Empire (Baylor University Press, 2021)

“Middle Eastern Christians survived successive empires by developing great elasticity in adjusting to changing contexts; they learned how to survive atrocities and how to resist creatively while maintaining a dynamic identity. In this light, Raheb casts the history of Middle Eastern Christians not so much as one of persecution but as one of resilience” (from the book jacket).

Tolan, Sandy. The Lemon Tree (2006) & Children of the Stone (2015)

These two volumes by the same author interweave engaging stories about Bashir Khariri and Dalia Eshkenazi Landau in the first book and about Ramzi Hussein Aburedwan in the second with the historical events of the conflict from 1948 until the present time.

Younan, Munib. Witnessing for Peace: In Jerusalem and the World (Fortress Press, 2003)

Younan, former Bishop of Lutheran Church in Jordan and Palestine, traces the history of Christianity in Jerusalem and his own family story.