For over seven decades, Palestine has constantly witnessed tribulation after tribulation as the then newly formed state of Israel began invading the country. Since 1948, much has happened which has caught the attention of people around the world, causing us to take action against the apartheid and occupation in our very own ways.
More recently, the world is witnessing another ethnic cleansing as millions of Palestinians are forced to flee northern Gaza. With social media posts flooding our timelines and many taking to the streets to protest, there is no shortage of people raising awareness.
However, if you’re eager to learn more – which is a major responsibility in this catastrophic time – it’s ideal to begin thinking about reading into the history of Palestine. For those of us who are unaware of the occupation and how it all happened – as well as why things are the way they are today – there are several brilliant books shedding light on the topic.
To kickstart your journey into understanding more about Palestine and its history and significance, we list below six of the top-rated books about Palestinian history, it’s significance and it’s ongoing struggle.
On Palestine By Noam Chomsky
In this brilliantly written book, Ilan Pappé and Noam Chomsky, two leading voices in the struggle to liberate Palestine, discuss the road ahead for Palestinians and how the international community can pressure Israel to end its human rights abuses against the people of Palestine. On Palestine is the sequel to their acclaimed book Gaza in Crisis.
The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine By Rashid Khalidi
In this book, the author traces a hundred years of colonial war on the Palestinians, waged first by the Zionist movement and then Israel, but backed by Britain and the United States, the great powers of the age. He highlights the key episodes in this colonial campaign, from the 1917 Balfour Declaration to the destruction of Palestine in 1948, from Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon to the endless and futile peace process. By reevaluating the forces arrayed against the Palestinians, this book offers an illuminating new view of a conflict that continues to this day.
Palestine – A Beginner’s Guide By Ismail Adam Patel
Tracing the events in Palestine from 6,000 BC to 2004, this remarkable book offers a wealth of information and facts. Beautifully laid out and easy to understand, this beginner’s guide to Palestine has been prepared in a simple format to aid understanding of the holy land’s history and to grasp why this once pluralist land is now the capital of faith-based sectarianism.
Masjid Al Aqsa: A Journey Through Time By Ebrahim Moosa
Masjid al-Aqsa: A Journey Through Time is the culmination of numerous speaking engagements of the same title undertaken by the author over the past decade. The key objective of the book is to dispel the misconception that Masjid al-Aqsa in Islamic tradition only draws its significance from Prophet Muḥammad’s PBUH miraculous journey of Israʾ and Miʿraj. To the contrary, this work sets out to illustrate how the Masjid has an illustrious history feted in Islam, almost from the onset of human existence, and how it will maintain its significance right until the End of Time. (Suhayla)
The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine By Ilan Pappe
Renowned Israeli historian, Ilan Pappe’s groundbreaking book revisits the formation of the State of Israel. Between 1947 and 1949, over 400 Palestinian villages were deliberately destroyed, civilians were massacred and around a million men, women, and children were expelled from their homes at gunpoint. Denied for almost six decades, had it happened today it could only have been called “ethnic cleansing”. Decisively debunking the myth that the Palestinian population left of their own accord in the course of this war, Ilan Pappe offers impressive archival evidence to demonstrate that, from its very inception, a central plank in Israel’s founding ideology was the forcible removal of the indigenous population. Indispensable for anyone interested in the current crisis in the Middle East. (OneWorld)
The Question of Palestine By Edward Said
This original and deeply provocative book was the first to make Palestine the subject of a serious debate–one that remains as critical as ever. With the rigorous scholarship he brought to his influential Orientalism and an exile’s passion (he is Palestinian by birth), Edward W. Said traces the fatal collision between two peoples in the Middle East and its repercussions in the lives of both the occupier and the occupied–as well as in the conscience of the West. He has updated this landmark work to portray the changed status of Palestine and its people in light of such developments as the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the intifada, the Gulf War, and the ongoing Middle East peace initiative. For anyone interested in this region and its future, The Question of Palestine remains the most useful and authoritative account available. (Penguin Random House)
Juber Ahmed is our Digital Editor and travel enthusiast with a keen interest in Islamic history and heritage. He travels with his wife to various places around the world and writes about his experiences.
Juber's favourite Quote...
"The World Is a Book and Those Who Do Not Travel Read Only One Page" [Saint Augustine]