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Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity - Resource List on the Gaza/Israel Crisis
In line with our mission to support teaching and research in comparative studies of race and ethnicity, and with sincere care for the diverse perspectives and experiences of our faculty, staff, and students, we have assembled a compendium of scholarly articles and opinion pieces that offer context for what happened on the border of Israel on October 7 and what is happening right now in Gaza. We invited five faculty members who are affiliated with CCSRE to provide a curated list of sources providing histories, analyses, and perspectives on the ongoing conflict; they were generous in their willingness to do so. We do not presume that this list of resources is exhaustive or offers a resolution. Rather, we hope to help illuminate some of the complex and fundamental issues that underlie what is happening in Israel and Palestine. We hope this can be one small step toward understanding how we might work together for a more just and peaceful world.
From Ari Y. Kelman, Jim Joseph Professor of Education and Jewish Studies
- Read comedian and writer David Baddiel’s “Jews Don’t Count: How Identity Politics Failed One Particular Identity” about why Jews are often excluded from discussions about ethnic minorities.
- Read James Loeffler’s chapter on “Anti-Zionism” in the volume Key Concepts in the Study of Antisemitism edited by Sol Goldberg, Scott Ury, and Kalman Weiser (Palgrave MacMillan 2021).
- Read Derek J. Penslar’s 2001 article “Zionism, Colonialism and Postcolonialism” in the Journal of Israeli History 20 (2-3): 84-98. See also Penslar’s book Zionism: An Emotional State (Rutgers 2023). It is a superb analysis of why Israel—and the ideology that inspired it—evoke such strong reactions from all sides of the political and cultural spectrum. Penslar holds the Chair in Jewish History at Harvard.
- Read Judith Butler's essay in the London Review of Books entitled “The Compass of Mourning” about violence and the condemnation of violence.
From Alexander Key, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature
- Read Adania Shibli's Touch, the luminous short story of a girl's horizons growing up in Palestine that launched the author’s career (Clockroot Books, 2010).
- Read “Containment and Pacification,” the concluding chapter of Tareq Baconi's book Hamas Contained: The Rise and Pacification of Palestinian Resistance (Stanford 2018). Baconi’s book is the most up-to-date and well-regarded of the monographs on Hamas and the Conclusion is a good synopsis of the situation in the years before October 2023.
- Graham Usher’s book, Dispatches from Palestine: The Rise and Fall of the Oslo Peace Process (Pluto Press 1999), is an excellent analysis of the "Oslo" period from 1993 to 1998, a period that saw massive political changes that largely created the twenty-first century landscape of Palestine and Israel. The book covers the Palestinian Authority, the major political actor in the West Bank and Gaza alongside Hamas, in detail.
- Sara Roy’s book Hamas and Civil Society in Gaza: Engaging the Islamist Social Sector (Princeton 2013) provides a history of the movement up to 2013 and analysis of its social and governmental roles.
From Jonathan Rosa, Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education
- Read an interview that anthropologist Sa’ed Atshan, Associate Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College, gave about his book Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique (2020, Stanford UP). The book brings critical attention to pinkwashing efforts that have mobilized narratives of queer inclusion in Israel to obscure the brutality of its colonial occupation of Palestine. PDF of interview.
- Feminist Studies and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Professor Jennifer Lynn Kelly's book, Invited to Witness: Solidarity Tourism across Occupied Palestine (Duke 2023), provides a powerful account of the strategic use of tourism as a political strategy for challenging colonial relations and structures. Read more in her short pieces published for the UC Santa Cruz Humanities Institute and Dalia Association.
- Read here a short piece in truthout that presents some key points from Indigenous Studies and Comparative Literature scholar Steven Salaita’s book Inter/Nationalism: Decolonizing Native America and Palestine. The book engages in a careful relational race and ethnic studies analysis to argue for the significance of connecting Native American and Palestinian political struggles.
- See here a video-taped conversation between Noura Erakat and educational anthropologist Marc Lamont Hill and President of ReThinking Foreign Policy Mitchell Plitnick, the authors of Except for Palestine: The Limits of Progressive Politics. The book is an important account of how advocates for various justice struggles are systematically unwilling or unable to address existential colonial violence in Palestine.
From Shirin Sinnar, William W. and Gertrude H. Saunders Professor of Law
- Read Noura Erakat’s Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine (Stanford 2019), especially the Introduction, Chapter 1 and Conclusion
- Read Lisa Stampnizky’s Disciplining Terror: How Experts Invented “Terrorism,” (Cambridge 2013) especially Chapter 5: “Terrorism Fever: The First War on Terror and the Politicization of Expertise.” Dr. Stampnizky is Lecturer in Politics at the University of Sheffield.
- Read here an essay entitled “Occupation Law and the One State Reality” by Darryl Li, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago.
- See here the Human Rights Watch website on Israel/Palestine.
From Steven Zipperstein, Daniel E. Koshland Professor in Jewish Culture and History and Faculty Director of the Taube Center for Jewish Studies
- See here a short piece entitled “On Slaughter and Solidarity” by Vashti reporters David Feldman and Brendan McGeever on the crucial distinctions between antisemitism and anti-Zionism where they differ and where they intersect. Feldman, a historian, is director of a leading center for the study of antisemitism in London. PDF
- See here a remembrance by journalist Bradly Burston of Vivian Silver who was murdered on October 7 and was a co-founder of Women Wage Peace, an Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking organization. PDF
- See here a recent article entitled “Even the Oppressed Have Obligations: Not Every Act of Resistance is Justified.” The piece by Michael Walzer, American political theorist and professor emeritus for the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, was published in The Atlantic. PDF
- See here a short article entitled “Toward a Humane Left” that was authored by journalist, editor, and translator Joshua Leifer and published in Dissent Magazine. PDF