Books: Beyond TON

Short Bibliography of Recommended Reading

(The latest in recommended reading will be posted monthly.)

 Most are Available on Amazon


Cookbgaza-kitchenook with ethnographic asides

The Gaza Kitchen

A Palestinian Culinary Journey

Second Edition

by Laila El-Haddad & Maggie Schmitt

This award-winning cookbook by Laila El-Haddad and Maggie Schmitt shares with readers the little-known but distinctive cuisine of the Gaza region of Palestine, presenting 130 recipes collected by the authors from Gaza. Avid cooks will find in The Gaza Kitchen great, kitchen-tested recipes for Gaza’s many spicy stews, piquant dips, fragrantly flavored fish dishes, and honey-drenched desserts. But they will also be entranced by the hundreds of beautiful photos of Gazan cooks, farmers, and fresh-produce merchants at work, and by the numerous in-kitchen interviews in which these women and men tell the stories of their food, their heritage, and their families.

“Not just a superb cookbook, a collection of vital recipes from a delicious yet often overlooked cuisine, but an argument for understanding. A classic of world food.”-Anthony Bourdain


Graphic novel


by Leila Abdelrazaq

“At turns heartbreaking and humorous, this coming-of-age story is a must read.”-Foreword Reviews

Baddawi is the story of a young boy named Ahmad struggling to find his place in the world. Raised in a refugee camp called Baddawi in northern Lebanon, Ahmad is just one of the many thousands of refugee children born to Palestinians who fled their homeland after the war in 1948 established the state of Israel.

In this visually arresting graphic novel, Leila Abdelrazaq explores her father’s childhood in the 1960s and ’70s from a boy’s eye view as he witnesses the world crumbling around him and attempts to carry on, forging his own path in the midst of terrible uncertainty.


Chief Complaint

A Country Doctor’s Tales of Life in Galilee

by Hatim Kanaaneh

In Chief Complaint, Hatim Kanaaneh, MD, explores the changing, precarious, and ever-shrinking world of Palestinians living in Israel. As his village’s first Western-trained physician, Kanaaneh has had intimate access to his neighbor’s lives, which he chronicles here in a fictionalized collection of vignettes. These compelling short stories reveal the struggles, triumphs, memories, and hopes of the indigenous Palestinian community living in a state that does not acknowledge their past or encourage their future.

“In this captivating page turner, Dr. Kanaaneh reminds us that the Palestinians who remained after the Nakba are the essential part of the native society that gave a lie to the Israeli myth of ‘a land without a people.’”-Susan Abulhawa, Author of Mornings in Jenin and My Voice Sought the Wind

“Hatim Kanaaneh is a master story-teller, whose intimate portraits of village life contain far bigger truths about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than any dry political analysis.”-Jonathan Cook, Author of Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiment in Human Despair



My Voice Sought the Wind

by Susan Abulhawa

“I wrote poetry before I wrote anything else,” says Susan Abulhawa, esteemed Palestinian-American author and social activist, in the introduction to her first book of poems, My Voice Sought the Wind. This work follows her highly acclaimed novel, Mornings in Jenin, which has been translated into 32 languages since it was published in 2010.

My Voice Sought the Wind represents five years of her best poems on the timeless themes of love, loss, identity, and family, brought to life through her vivid observations and intimate personal reflections. She speaks from her own experience, with a style that is romantic, but tinged with disillusionment, often a bit sad and always introspective. The five sections of the book echo her personal journey, from the pain of separation from her homeland and her bitter, yet nostalgic memories of the past, through various phases of love and regret, through the experience of mortality, and finally to her reconciliation with the future and hope of new birth.

“Her flesh open, her soul open, Susan Abulhawa is able to capture in a handful of naked words the infinite anxiety, and the unaccomplished delight, of the wide human experience…”-Amin Khan, Poet, Author of Vision of the Return


Short Stories from Young Writers in Gaza, Palestine

Edited by Refaat Alareer

Gaza Writes Back: Short Stories from Young Writers in Gaza, Palestine, edited by Refaat Alareer is a compelling collection of short stories from fifteen young writers in Gaza, members of a generation that has suffered immensely under Israel’s siege and blockade. Their experiences, especially during and following Israel’s 2008-2009 offensive known as “Operation Cast Lead”, have fundamentally impacted their lives and their writing. Indeed, many of these writers saw the war as a catalyst for their writing, as they sought an outlet and a voice in its aftermath. They view the book as a means of preserving Palestinian memories and presenting their own narratives to the world without filters. Their words take us into the homes and hearts of moms, dads, students, children, and elders striving to live lives of dignity, compassion, and meaning in one of the world’s most embattled communities. (Some of the stories also take us with courage and empathy into the imagined world of Israelis living just on the other side of the great barriers Israel has built in and around Gaza and the West Bank to wall the Palestinians in.

“In a land where hope is the most precious commodity passed down through the generations, these stories provide a tangible platform for silenced voices to be heard and means towards gaining some dignity for a wounded nation.”-Ramzy Baroud, Author of My Father was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story


On youth activism

In Our Power

U.S. Students Organize for Justice in Palestine

by Nora Barrows-Friedman

Foreword by Noura Erakat

In the years following Israel’s 2008–9 “Operation Cast Lead” assault on the Palestinians of Gaza, a new kind of student movement emerged on US campuses, in support of the idea that Palestinians should gain the full exercise of their human and political rights within their historic homeland. This new movement of students for justice in Palestine has helped to put “BDS,” the worldwide campaign supporting the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions of Israel until it abides by international law, firmly onto the national map.

“Nora Barrows-Friedman skillfully keeps the voices of students front and center in her comprehensive new book In Our Power. Their words—passionate, sharp, and inspiring—capture a movement in a historic moment.”–Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace



The General’s Son
Journey of an Israeli in Palestine

Second Edition
by Miko Peled

Foreword by Alice Walker

This is the powerful account by Israeli peace activist Miko Peled of his transformation from a young man growing up in the heart of Israel’s elite and serving proudly in its military into a fearless advocate of nonviolent struggle and equal rights for all Palestinians and Israelis. His journey mirrors in many ways the transformation his father Matti Peled, a much-decorated Israeli general, had undergone three decades earlier. Peled paints touching portraits of his childhood in Jerusalem, of the tumultuous events that sparked his transformation, and of the Palestinian and Israeli peace activists he has worked with in recent years.

“There are few books on the Israel/Palestine issue that seem as hopeful to me as this one.”–Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author




Survival and Conscience

From the Shadows of Nazi Germany to the Jewish Boat for Gaza

by Lillian Rosengarten

In 1936, Lillian Rosengarten and her family fled Nazi Germany for New York. But even there, the legacy of the Nazis’ brutality continued to cast a shadow over her family for many decades. In Survival and Conscience: From the Shadows of Nazi Germany to the Jewish Boat for Gaza, Rosengarten describes how she faced those challenges within her own life while gaining empathy for the struggles of others, realizing that all forms of extreme nationalism and hatred must be vigorously resisted.

“Lillian Rosengarten has done something incredible in Survival and Conscience. By ruthlessly examining her family’s “exodus from Germany” during the Holocaust, she comes to understand the ways that Nazi persecution helped produce mental illness inside her family. But then she breaks down the personal wall of that experience, and by venturing on the Jewish boat to Gaza, explains its connection to Israel’s persecution of the Palestinians. She has produced a brave and wrenching account that is also deeply necessary, as Americans seek to understand how we joined our country’s interests with Israel’s.”–Philip Weiss, Founder and managing editor, Mondoweiss

gaza-momGaza Mom, Abridged Edition

by Laila El-Haddad

In Gaza Mom: Palestine, Politics, Parenting, and Everything In Between, Laila El-Haddad takes us into the life and world of a busy Palestinian journalist who is both covering the story of Gaza and living it—very intensely. This book is El-Haddad’s self-curated choice of the best of her writings from December 2004 through July 2010. She was in Gaza City in 2005, watching hopefully as the Israelis prepared their withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. She covered the January 2006 Palestinian elections—judged ‘free and fair’ by all international monitors. But then, she watched aghast as the Israeli government, backed by the Bush administration, moved in to punish Gaza’s 1.5 million people for the way they had voted by throwing a tough siege around the Strip.

“As far as I am concerned, should be required reading in every classroom in America. Through her personal journey over a six-year period beginning in 2004, Laila El-Haddad opens a crucial and much needed window into the life of her people, into a daily reality that has to be lived defensively, whether in Gaza, Cairo, or the United States. She helps us navigate and experience a world far beyond our own and unknown to us, of what it means to own “a passport that allows no passage.” Perhaps most critically, this book does what few do: it allows us to understand Palestinians as we understand ourselves and in so doing affirms our common humanity. An extraordinary, eloquent work.”–Sara Roy, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University


On the Brink

Israel and Palestine on the Eve of the 2014 Gaza Invasion

by Alice Rothchild

On the Brink: Israel and Palestine on the Eve of the 2014 Gaza Invasion is a compelling collection of blog writing that chronicles a fact-finding and solidarity visit to the West Bank and Israel during the last three weeks of June 2014. Physician, author, filmmaker, and longtime activist Alice Rothchild turns her powers of careful observation and her deep understanding of the consequences of racism and occupation into a lively, honest, heart breaking, collection of reports from the field. She documents the stories and lives that do not make the evening news, but are essential to understanding the context in which that news occurs.

“An honest, compassionate and revealing account… Trained as a physician, Alice Rothchild knows how to listen to her subjects and locate the heart of their stories, while offering us the reader an accurate diagnosis of all she has witnessed.”-Jonathan Cook, Author of Disappearing Palestine



and forthcoming in February 2017 by the same author

Condition Critical

Life and Death in Palestine/Israel

by Alice Rothchild

Since 2003, obstetrician Alice Rothchild has traveled annually to Israel/Palestine with other concerned Americans, to learn about health and human rights situation of politically marginalized communities, especially Palestinians. Condition Critical: Life and Death in Israel/Palestine presents key blog posts and analytical essays that explore everyday life in Israel, East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza up close and with searing honesty. These eyewitness reports and intimate stories depict the critical condition of a region suffering from decades-old wounds of colonization and occupation. Condition Critical dares (and inspires) its readers to examine the painful consequences of Zionism and Israeli expansion and to bend the arc of the moral universe towards justice.


Palestine: The Legitimacy of Hope

by Richard Falk

The distinguished legal scholar Richard Falk recently completed his term as term as UN Special Rapporteur on occupied Palestine. Now, with Palestine: The Legitimacy of Hope, he powerfully illuminates the transformation of the Palestinians’ struggle over recent years into a struggle for legitimacy, similar to that pursued by all the anti-colonial movements of the twentieth century. This shift, he writes in the Introduction, “is… reinforced by disillusionment with both Palestinian armed resistance and conventional international diplomacy, most recently dramatized by the collapse of direct negotiations on April 29, 2014… Such disillusionment also coincides with the spreading awareness that the so-called ‘two-state consensus’ has reached a dead end.

“Richard Falk writes that he has sought to be a “truthful observer.” He has succeeded admirably, and gone well beyond.”-Noam Chomsky


Gaza Unsilenced

Edited by Refaat Alareer and Laila El-Haddad

“… joins the narrative of Palestine’s witness—of oppression, brutality, and death, but also of life reaffirmed and resistance reclaimed.”-Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies

During and after Israel’s 2014 assault on Gaza, voices within and outside Gaza bore powerful witness to the Israeli attacks—and to the effects of the crushing siege that continued to strangle Gaza’s people long thereafter.

“… an outstanding collection of short essays…”-John Mearsheimer, University of Chicago

REFAAT ALAREER and LAILA EL-HADDAD are distinguished Palestinian writers and analysts from Gaza. In Gaza Unsilenced they present reflections, analysis, and images—their own, and those of many other contributors—that record the pain and resilience of Gaza’s Palestinians and the solidarity they have received from Palestinians and others around the world.



A Wal In Jerusalem

Mark Braverman


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A Wall in Jerusalem: Hope, Healing, and the Struggle for Justice in Israel and Palestin

“Mark Braverman stands in the tradition of the Jewish prophets – probing faith, crying out for justice, crossing boundaries, and seeking a compassionate solution to the crisis in Israel and Palestine” – Marc H. Ellis, professor and author of Toward a Jewish Theology of Liberation


Shattered hopes

Josh Ruebner

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Shattered Hopes: Obama’s Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestine Peace

 Written in a clear and accessible style by the advocacy director of a national peace organization and former Middle East analyst for the Congressional Research Service, Shattered Hopes offers an informed history of the Obama administration’s policies and maps out a true path forward for the United States to help achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace.


The Attack

Yasmina Khadra

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The Attack

An award-winning Palestinian surgeon (Ali Suliman) is shocked to discover that his wife was the terrorist responsible for a suicide bombing that claimed 17 lives.


A Witness In Palestine

Anna Baltzer

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Anna Baltzer, a young Jewish American, went to the West Bank to discover the realities of daily life for Palestinians under the occupation. What she found would change her outlook on the conflict forever. She wrote this book to give voice to the stories of the people who welcomed her with open arms as their lives crumbled around them.

Wrestling in the Daylight

Brant Rosen

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Wrestling in the Daylight: A Rabbi’s Path to Palestinian Solidarity


In 2006, Rabbi Brant Rosen, who, at the time, served a Jewish Reconstructionist congregation in Evanston, Illinois, launched a blog called Shalom Rav, in which he explored a broad range of social-justice issues. The focus of his writing – and his activism – changed dramatically in December 2008, when Israel launched a wide, 23-day military attack against Gaza, causing him to deeply question his lifelong liberal Zionism. Unlike the biblical Jacob, who wrestled in the dark of night at a crucial turning point in his life, Rabbi Rosen chose to make his struggle public – to wrestle in the daylight.


Palestine in Israeli School Books

Nurit Peled-Elhanan

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Palestine in Israeli School Books: Ideology and Propaganda in Education

Each year, Israel’s young men and women are drafted into compulsory military service and are required to engage directly in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This conflict is, by its nature, intensely complex and is played out under the full glare of international security. So, how does Israel’s education system prepare its young people for this? How is Palestine, and the Palestinians against whom these young Israelis will potentially be required to use force, portrayed in the school system? Nurit Peled-Elhanan argues that the textbooks used in the school system are laced with a pro-Israel ideology, and that they play a part in priming Israeli children for military service.


The Shift

Menachem Klein

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The Shift: Israel-Palestine from Border Struggle to Ethnic Conflict

Since 2000, the Israeli army has increased the size and strength of its operations in occupied territories. These activities, matched with an unprecedented rise in the construction of Jewish settlements, have irrevocably changed the relationship between Palestinians and Israelis. As Menachem Klein sees it, what was once a border conflict has now become an ethnic struggle, with Jewish Israel establishing an ethno-security regime that stretches from Jordan to the Mediterranean, facilitated and accelerated by the recent results of elections in Israel, the United States, and the territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority.


The Idea of Israel

Ilan Pappe

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The Idea of Israel: A History of Power and Knowledge

Since its foundation in 1948, Israel has drawn on Zionism, the movement behind its creation, to provide a sense of self and political direction. In this groundbreaking new work, Ilan Pappe looks at the continued role of Zionist ideology. The Idea of Israel considers the way Zionism operates outside of the government and military in areas such as the country’s education system, media, and cinema, and the uses that are made of the Holocaust in supporting the state’s ideological structure.