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Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict (updated 7th edit
A Primer
Phyllis Bennis

published 2018 • 5.25" x 8" • 256 pages
ISBN 9781623719876 • paperback • $15.00

“This balanced and highly useful ‘primer’ presents in question-and-answer form extensive explanations of recent events in the Israeli-Palestinian struggle. It explains both sides’ needs and actions, the recent surge in violence, and the roles of the United States, the United Nations, the Arab States, and Europe. An essential volume by an experienced scholar and analyst at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC.”
—Library Journal

"In her compact, concise, and highly useful guide, Bennis... explains various aspects of the longstanding conflict between the Palestinians and Israel... This is an excellent addition to any Middle East collection.”
—Multicultural Review

“Bennis (Institute for Policy Studies) utilizes a question and answer format in order to provide a well-informed and, considering its brevity, surprisingly detailed primer on Israeli-Palestinian history and politics for an American audience seeking to understand US policy in the region… All but the most expert will likely learn something and the neophyte will greatly benefit in understanding by reading this book.”
—Book News


If you have ever wondered “Why is there so much violence in the Middle East?”, “Who are the Palestinians?”, “What are the occupied territories?” or “What does Israel want?”, then this is the book for you. With straightforward language, Phyllis Bennis, longtime analyst of the region, answers basic questions about Israel and Israelis, Palestine and Palestinians, the US and the Middle East, Zionism and anti-Semitism; about complex issues ranging from the Oslo peace process to the election of Hamas to the Goldstone Report and Trump’s plan to move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Together her answers provide a comprehensive understanding of the longstanding Palestinian–Israeli conflict.

This new edition includes sections on the continuing settlement crisis, Palestine in the Arab Spring, BDS and the Palestinian nonviolent movements, an update on Gaza, US-Israel relations after the election of Donald Trump as president and what’s ahead.

Sections include: The Crisis; The Other Players: The Role of the US, the UN, the Arab States, and Europe; Recent History: Rising Violence; Looking Backward (1900-1991); The Future.

Phyllis Bennis is a fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, and Director of its New Internationalism Program. She is also a Fellow of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. Her areas include U.S. unilateralism and empire, the Middle East (particularly Israel-Palestine and Iraq), and US-United Nations relations. She is the author of Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror, Challenging Empire: How People, Governments and the UN Defy US PowerCalling the Shots: How Washington Dominates Today's UN, and Before & After: U.S. Foreign Policy and the War on Terrorism. Earlier books include From Stones to Statehood: The Palestinian UprisingAltered States: A Reader in the New World Order, and Beyond the Storm: A Gulf Crisis Reader. Bennis appears frequently as a commentator/analyst on U.S. and international television and radio programs, including “The News Hour with Jim Lehrer” on PBS, the CBS “Morning Show,” NPR's “Diane Rehm Show,” “Democracy Now,”  and many others on CNN, BBC, Fox, CBC, and al-Jazeera TV. Her work has appeared in the Baltimore Sun, Christian Science MonitorLe Monde Diplomatique (Paris), TomPaine.com, New York NewsdaySoera (Amsterdam), Papeles (Madrid), die Tageszeitung (Berlin), The Philadelphia EnquirerThe New York TimesThe Washington PostMiddle East Report (MERIP), The NationMother JonesThird World Resurgence (Malaysia), and many other publications.

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