Reviews

A Half Century of Occupation – Book Review

Reviewed by Jim Miles (A Half Century of Occupation – Israel, Palestine, and the World’s Most Intractable Conflict. Gershon Shafir. University of California Press, Oakland, 2017.) It is with trepidation that I read books published under the rubric of the social sciences or humanities finding most of them poorly written, often self-serving, and filled with […]

Reporting from Ramallah: An Israeli Journalist in an Occupied Land – Book Review

Reviewed by Irfan Raja Rachel Leah Jones collected and translated some 500 articles excluding the daily news reports written by of a prominent Israeli journalist Amira Hass in between (1997-2002) that were published in Israel’s leading liberal newspaper, Ha’aretz. This time frame is significant as it encompasses two significant events that are “Oslo” (1997-1999) years […]

‘The Ministry of Utmost Happiness’: Through Eyes of an Activist for Palestine

Reviewed by Vacy Vlazna Of the numerous novels published annually worldwide, Arundhati Roy is one of the rare maverick authors for whom justice and politics is integral to her art and to her identity. Her new novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, which I would describe as her summa injustica of India, has been criticized […]

Ten Myths About Israel – Book Review

Reviewed by Ludwig Watzal – Bonn (Ilan Pappe, Ten Myths About Israel, Verso, London 2017.) Particularly, in the US and some European States, the Israeli and Zionist versions of history are wide-spread. Israel’s narrative relies on a collection of myths aimed at bringing the moral right and the ethical behavior of the Palestinians into twilight and […]

Kingdom of Olives and Ashes: Writers Confront the Occupation – Book Review

Reviewed by Jim Miles (Kingdom of Olives and Ashes – Writers Confront the Occupation. Michael Chabon, Ayelet Waldman, Ed. HarperCollins Publishers, Toronto. 2017.) A collection of twenty-six writers, Kingdom of Olives and Ashes touches on all the main elements of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. All are well written, as they should be for a […]

The Breaking of the Middle East – Book Review

Reviewed by Jim Miles (The Six Day War – The Breaking of the Middle East.  Guy Laron.  Yale University Press, New Haven/London, 2017.) Between a short Introduction that attempts to construct the underlying social science rationale for the outbreak of the Six Day War and a short epilogue that simply highlights the major trend of […]

Balfour’s Shadow – A Book Review

Reviewed by Jim Miles (Balfour’s Shadow – A Century of British Support for Zionism and Israel.  David Cronin. Pluto Press, London. 2017.) The Balfour Declaration, currently accepted by many as the founding legal statement for the establishment of Israel is really nothing more than a letter.  It was a letter of policy between government personnel […]

Wasting the Milk in the Summer – Poetry Review

Reviewed by Samah Sabwai (Wasting the Milk in the Summer by Sara Saleh) Once in a while, you come across a poetry collection and your world comes to a stand still! You hold your breath as the images rise from the pages to confront, terrorize or soothe you. You lose yourself in the spaces between […]

On ISIL, Arab TV and Post-Ideological Politics

By Jamil Khader Saudi-owned TV channel MBC finally caved in to the barrage of scathing criticism of its Ramadan series, Black Crows, pulling it off air after only 20 episodes. MBC has marketed the Black Crows series as the stories of women who join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, known as […]

The Parachute Paradox – A Book Review

Reviewed by Rod Such (Steven Sabella. The Parachute Paradox. Kerber.) If you were asked to conjure up an image that depicts the situation of the Palestinians, what would it be? A graphic image of an Israeli boot on a Palestinian neck, perhaps? The Palestinian artist and journalist Steve Sabella, known internationally for his photography-based collages […]

Easternization – Asia’s Rise and America’s Decline – Book Review

Reviewed by Jim Miles (Easternization – Asia’s Rise and America’s Decline – From Obama to Trump and Beyond. Gideon Rachman. Other Press, New York. 2016.) While this book is not authored by a U.S. educated citizen, its arguments tend to have some of the same problems as the natural born authors have in arguing the […]

Israel’s New Cultural War of Aggression

By Richard Falk A few weeks ago my book Palestine’s Horizon: Toward a Just Peace was published by Pluto in Britain. I was in London and Scotland at the time to do a series of university talks to help launch the book. Its appearance happened to coincide with the release of a jointly authored report […]

No Country for Jewish Liberals – A Book Review

Reviewed by Andy Simons Larry Derfner; No Country for Jewish Liberals (Charlottesville, Virginia : Just World Books, 272 pages, ISBN 978-1-68257-064-7, 2017) It’s rare that we get an Israeli perspective on the Palestinian struggle, one whose audience is broadly Jewish, including Israelis, and yet written in English. Larry Derfner’s political autobiography decidedly lives up to […]

Putin through American Eyes

By Jim Miles Vladimir Putin is the devil incarnate of the present US media frenzy. Having just read a trio of books concerning Putin it is obvious that the lens through which Putin is viewed has blinders on the side and rose colored tints as a lens coating. The blinders are those things the authors […]

Double Exposure: Plays of the Jewish and Palestinian Diasporas – Review

By Vacy Vlazna “To them that walk in power; to exceed is madness, and not wisdom.” — Antigone The creation and slow demise of the two state solution in the Palestinian tragedy of the 20th and 21st centuries has been brought about by the hubris of the main antagonist, Israel. “Hubris, Ate, and Nemesis are three […]

Countering The Palestinian Nakba: One State For All – Book Review

Reviewed by Rifka Al-Amya (Eid, Haidar (Ed.). Countering The Palestinian Nakba: One State For All. Noor Publishing: Bahnhofstrabe, Germany. 2017.) World attention has been captured by Donald Trump’s unthoughtful statement about the one state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a precedent in American intervention in the Middle East. Never has any American president mentioned the […]

What Makes Israeli Apartheid ‘Special’?

By Rod Such Israel and South Africa: The Many Faces of Apartheid, a collection of essays edited by historian Ilan Pappe, takes for granted the validity of the assertion that Israel is an apartheid state. Instead, what this book explores are the similarities and dissimilarities between Israel today and South Africa during its apartheid era. […]

The Train that Divides Jerusalem – Film Review

By Or Amit Google works in mysterious ways. You search for something, you find something else instead, and that something leads to something else still, until you’ve forgotten what you were looking for in the first place. Recently I searched Google for something relating to Noam Chomsky and found a website that mentions Chomsky’s appearance […]

Book ‘In Gaza I Dare to Dream’ Available Worldwide, Except in Gaza

By Yousef M. Aljamal – Gaza The Centre for Political and Development Studies (CPDS), in Gaza, held a lecture on Monday October 10 titled ‘In Gaza I Dare to Dream‘, by Rana Shubair, a Palestinian writer and educator, who teaches English language and translation at various Gaza institutions, to discuss her recently-published book. Dozens of students […]

Dreaming of Freedom: Palestine Child Prisoners Speak

By Noor Abuisha  “A detention room, a big stick, the beating and the kicking” The violence that Ahmed Khalaf, (13 years), used to avoid seeing while watching action movies, was experienced for real with every single horrible detail when the Israeli forces arrested him while he was celebrating the end of school exams with his […]

America and the World in the Post-Cold War Era – Book Review

Reviewed by Jim Miles  (Mission Failure – America and the World in the Post-Cold War Era. Michael Mandelbaum.  Oxford University Press, New York, 2016.) If the reader is looking for the ‘indispensable’ nation and its ‘exceptionalism’, this is the book for you.  Michael Mandelbaum, whose credentials include a PhD in Political Science from Harvard (which […]

Through a Glass Darkly: A Poetry Review – I Remember My Name

Reviewed by Hatim Kanaaneh (I Remember My Name – Poetry by Samah Sabawi, Ramzy Baroud and Jehan Bseiso. Vacy Vlazna, ed., 2016, Novum Publishing. Kindle Edition.) In penning this review, the primacy of Israel in North America’s hegemonic cultural circles limits my expectation of a sympathetic Western readership. The recent furor in Israeli government circles […]

Inside the Middle East – Book Review

Reviewed by Jim Miles (Inside the Middle East – Making Sense of the Most Dangerous and Complicated Region on Earth.  Avi Melamed, Skyhorse Publishing, New York, 2016.) Reading Inside the Middle East is quite an adventure.  I learned that I probably am a fairly quixotic fanatic tilting at windmills; that I need to learn how […]

The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine – Book Review

Reviewed by Jim Miles (The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine. Ben Ehrenreich. Granta Books, London, 2016.) A small town in Palestinian West Bank, north of Jerusalem, Nabi Saleh, essentially the home-town of the Tamimi clan, has like all other Palestinian towns suffered under the occupation of Israeli military forces and settler […]

Obstacle to Peace – A Book Review

Reviewed by Jim Miles (Obstacle to Peace – The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Jeremy R. Hammond. Worldview Publications, Cross Village, Michigan. 2016.) It is obvious to most in the world that the U.S. and Israel are symbiotically linked to each other – each using the other for their own purposes, some of which […]

‘Gate of the Sun’: Hymn or Dirge – A Review

By Gaither Stewart – Rome On this hot Italian late afternoon, after over a week inside the literary work entitled Gate of the Sun, I am still wandering in the gossamer framework of the novel constructed by a great writer and storyteller, Elias Khoury, a 531-page “story” consisting of the stories, incidents, histories, lives and […]

The End of Jewish Modernity – A Review

Reviewed by Jim Miles (Enzo Traverso. The End of Jewish Modernity. Pluto Press, London, 2016.) Works of political theory, written within the sphere of intellectual/philosophical history, are generally a difficult read.  The End of Jewish Modernity would probably do well in an academic discussion within the pretensions of political science or general philosophy programs, but […]

Is Israel a Modern State? – A Book Review

Reviewed by Dr. Ludwig Watzal (Yakov M. Rabkin, What is Modern Israel, Pluto Press, London 2016, 228 pp. $ 27.) Zionism is primarily a Christian Protestant enterprise that has little to do with Judaism. This explains why US Christians are the most ardent Zionists and the most powerful supporters of Israel. The largest opposition to […]

Zarnouqa: Songs of Exile and Melancholy

By Haidar Eid – Gaza “Exile is strangely compelling to think about but terrible to experience. It is the unhealable rift forced between a human being and a native place, between the self and its true home: its essential sadness can never be surmounted. And while it is true that literature and history contain heroic, romantic, […]

America’s War for the Greater Middle East – A Book Review

Reviewed by Jim Miles (America’s War for the Greater Middle East – A military history. Andrew J. Bacevich. Random House, New York, 2016.) Andrew Bacevich has written a series of books on the topic of U.S. imperialism and U.S. military power. His latest work, America’s War for the Greater Middle East [the GME War] is […]

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