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 […]

A Book Talk: America’s Continuing Misadventures in the Middle East

(A Book Talk at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, May 12, 2016, Washington, D.C.) By Ambassador Chas W. Freeman Since the end of the Cold War, we’re had a lot of very instructive experience in the Middle East. Back in 2010, I compiled the real-time analyses I had made of our policies and their […]

Žižek’s Junction 48: Between Intersectional Analysis and Marxist Critique

By Jamil Khader In his blog, “Junction 48, Sexual is Political” (Huffington Post April 26, 2016), the eminent Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek roots, and rightly so, for Udi Aloni’s film, Junction 48, on “ideologico-political” grounds. Surprisingly, in his commentary on the merits of the film’s subject and form, Žižek is not Žižekian enough. He walks […]

Salman Abu Sitta’s, Mapping My Return – Book Review

Reviewed by Vacy Vlazna  (Salman Abu Sitta, Mapping My Return: A Palestinian Memoir. Publisher: The American University in Cairo Press; 2016) “I spent the rest of my life on a long, winding journey of return, a journey that has taken me to dozens of counties over decades of travel, and turned my black hair to […]

Age of Fools – Book Review

Reviewed by Jim Miles (Age of Fools.  William A. Cook. Dandelion Books, LLC.  Mesa, Arizona. 2015. ) In a world of fools,  Age of Fools by William Cook is passionate and accusatory book that reviews the Bush/Sharon era of Israeli/Palestinian affairs. Cook’s style is different than the usual prosaic works of history, and while the ‘facts’ […]

Poets Saving Palestine: I Remember My Name

Reviewed by Stuart Rees (Vacy Vlazna, ed., I remember my name – Poetry by Samah Sabawi, Ramzy Baroud, Jehan Bseiso. Novum Publishing, 2016) Poetry’s Panacea Conditions on the West Bank, in Gaza, in East Jerusalem and in myriad Palestinian refugee camps are monstrous. What non-violent response can there be to the violence and hatred, the killings […]

My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide – Book Review

Reviewed by Jim Miles (Ally – My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide. Michael B. Oren. Random House, New York, 2015.) Reading a work that would obviously be very pro-Israel sets up an anticipatory set of expectations and Michael Oren’s account of his term as Israeli ambassador to the U.S., Ally – My Journey Across the […]

War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians and Global Pacification – Book Review

Reviewed by Richard Falk (Jeff Halper, War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians and Global Pacification, Pluto Press, 2015, 296 pp., ISBN 9780745334301.) Jeff Halper is an unusual hybrid presence on both the scholarly and political scene. He describes himself as an “activist-scholar” (6), which adopts a controversial self-identification. The conventional stance erects a high […]

Roadmap to Apartheid – Film Review (VIDEO)

Reviewed Jim Miles (Roadmap to Apartheid. Ind. documentary, Ana Noguiera and Eron Davidson. 2012.) It is curious that the more Israel denies apartheid, and the more other states, such as Canada, “condemn” the BDS movement, the more awareness of the true situation of the Palestinians increases in the general population. Fear of BDS The Israelis […]

Legitimizing Palestine in World Literature – Book Review

By Hatim Kanaaneh, MD, MPH. Susan Abulhawa’s The Blue Between Sky and Water (Bloomsbury, 2015) is her second published novel. It is a tribute to the author and to all the other Palestinian raconteurs and activists that not only is this book issued by a major American mainstream publisher but also that rights have been […]

Israeli Society in the 21st Century – Book Review

Reviewed by Jim Miles (Israeli Society in the 21st Century – Immigration, Inequality, and Religious Conflict. Calvin Goldscheider. Brandeis University Press, Waltham , Massachusetts. 2015.) This work intrigued me as it is obviously supportive of the Israeli position in the Middle East and at a quick glance would illuminate something new about the state of […]

Borderline: Forbidden Love Tales in Israel

By Jamal Kanj How can a two-year-old novel become a best seller? Censorship is the short answer. The most important question is, however, why would the “Jewish democracy” censor a love fiction between a Jew and non-Jew? The banned book Borderlife was based on a love story between an Israeli woman and a Palestinian man. According […]

Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict – Book Review

By Jim Miles (Genesis – Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict.  John B. Judis. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, New York. 2014.) Every once in awhile a history book arrives that is remarkable in its presentation.  Genesis is one of those remarkable works, presenting a narrative that goes well beyond dates, times, […]

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