Sometimes I don't think you WANT peace!
February 6, 2007 5:17 PM   Subscribe

I/P in tha house! Hey, everyone. I have a student wanting to undertake an independent study on contemporary Israel/Palestine relations. I'd like to expose him to both sides, so does anyone have any suggestions for some online resources--ideally, reputable ones--for this student to begin his study? Thanks in advance!
posted by John of Michigan to Society & Culture (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
have him read "palestine" by joe sacco. It's not online. But it's sooo good.
posted by bash at 5:49 PM on February 6, 2007

You could do worse than read what Noam Chomsky and Edward Said have written on the subject, though I wouldn't leave it at just those two.
posted by rhizome at 6:12 PM on February 6, 2007

Actually, if you're looking for anything like an even-handed appraisal of the situation, you'd have to work hard to find a worse choice than Chomsky and Said. Gack.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:22 PM on February 6, 2007

Honestly, I think that truly independant I/P stuff simply does not exist, it will only appear to be independant if it appears to match ones own viewpoint (see comments on Chomsky and Said above, and SCdB: what would be your suggestion for something better to read?).

An example of this is the BBC in the UK, which has a mandate to present an independant viewpoint, but is considered to be pro-Palestinian by pro-Israelis, and pro-Israeli by pro-Palestinians (a quick google for BBC pro-Israeli and BBC pro-Palestinian will turn up arguments from both sides)

Your best bet is to look at various sites from both sides and let him try to find his own perspective: this really is one issue where there is no right answer, or rather there are several simple answers which noone wants to accept.

Here is a couple of links that I did not see in the other thread linked by b1tr0t.

Bitter Lemons EU funded site (but editorially independant) presenting counterpointing articles on a varietly of subjects from israel and palestinian authors

Memri Somewhat controversial site co-founded by an Ex-Israeli Military Intelligence officer that claims to translate Arab/Persian press into English to present the ideas circulating in the Arab world. Is accused of cherry-picking the articles to make Arabs look bad

As already mentioned in the other thread, English language Israeli newspapers also contain a variety of opinion, but note that Ha'aretz for one is accused of having a habit of making it's english version more 'left' than it's hebrew version.
posted by nielm at 12:31 AM on February 7, 2007

I highly recommend Tom Segev's One Palestine, Complete for an evenhanded introduction to the history of the problem. (N.b.: Chomskyites will think it's too soft on the Jews, rabid Zionists that it's too soft on the Palestinians. That's what evenhandedness gets you.) For an attempt to get beyond the usual dichotomies and expand the context to include historic ties between Sephardic Jews and the Arab world (and point out the often neglected tensions between European Zionists and the local Sephardic Jews), read Ammiel Alcalay's After Jews and Arabs.
posted by languagehat at 6:07 AM on February 7, 2007

I found the United Nations website to be a great resource for maps, quotes and facts on the Israel/Palestine relations from 1917 till present. UN seems to have more weight when used to backup arguments, as opposed to Chomsky and such ~ at least in my experience. Question of Palestine
posted by LeavenOfMalice at 8:20 AM on February 7, 2007

Noam Chomsky and Alan Dershowitz debated many of the relevant issues last year at Harvard. The event lasted about an hour and a half, and was variously fascinating, infuriating, and informative. While I vigorously disagree with the above assertion that one could do worse than to begin with Chomsky, I thought this video would be a valuable introduction to the spectrum of opinions on the matter.
posted by prophetsearcher at 7:11 PM on February 7, 2007

I'd like to expose him to both sides--

Okay, here's some suggestions for on-line resources.

The story of the S. S. St. Louis. Why the Jews felt they had to establish their own state in Palestine: they were fleeing the Nazis, and they had nowhere else to go.

King Abdullah (of Jordan), "As the Arabs See the Jews," The American Magazine, November 1947. The Arab view of Jewish immigration into Palestine and the attempt to establish a Jewish state.

Here's my attempt to summarize the history of the conflict. For an example of how controversial just establishing the historical facts can be, here's a long argument (self-link) about who was responsible for the 1967 war. ("Only after Nasser startled Israel and the world community, did these mysterious, disappearing 100,000 troops arrive. Did they actually arrive, or did someone decide to take advantage of a bad situation and hype up a threat of 100,000 non-existent troops?")

For a description of the current political situation, here's a couple essays from the New York Review of Books on Olmert, Hamas, and the war between Israel and Hezbollah.

For more of an on-the-ground perspective, here's an interview with Richard Ben Cramer and a blog post by ihath.
posted by russilwvong at 12:50 PM on February 8, 2007

« Older How do I monetize domain names I own?   |   What to eat the day before a sonogram? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.