With escalations in Gaza within the past few months leading to the deaths of over 11,000 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis and foreigners, the world is horrified by the escalating violence and growing eradication of homes, hospitals, and shelters (Barrons, 2023; Al Jazeera, 2023).
Whilst this escalation of violence has intensified in the past month, this form of colonialism has been an ongoing issue since 1947 (Al Jazeera, 2023). Yet, this decades-long history is not widespread knowledge, or easy information to access on a daily basis. In this article, I have outlined multiple, accessible resources in order to elucidate the history of Israel and Palestine, and how best to educate yourself.
The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine by Rashid Khalidi
Released in 2020, Rashid Khalidi holds nothing back in his informed and passionate critique of Jewish-Israeli policies (which have had wholehearted US support since 1967), alongside his disparagement of the failings of the Palestinian leadership. As an activist scion of a leading Palestinian family, he slams Israel but is also an elegy for the Palestinians, for their dispossession and for their failure to resist conquest (The Guardian, 2020).
Outlining in detail the beginnings of Israel as a “settler colonial conquest” by European-based Zionists, and later aided by Britain from 1917 and by the US later on during important events, such as the Balfour Declaration of 1917, Khalidi is unrelenting in his mission to educate and understand the conflict at hand. This is a must-read for everyone.
The Republic Should Be Kept Clean by Tariq D. Khan
An analysis of the long relationship between America’s colonising ward and virulent anti-communism, Khan’s book, released in 2023, reveals bloodshed and class war as foundational aspects of capitalist domination. As Khan charts the decades of red scares (public hysteria provoked by fear of the supposed rise of leftist ideologies in a society) that began in the 1840s, the book goes into depth about how capitalists and government use much-practiced counterinsurgency rhetoric against movements they vilified as “anarchist” (IWW, 2022).
This is a worthwhile read in order to understand America’s, and the wider Western World’s, political agenda in the matters of Middle Eastern politics.
Arabs and Israelis: Conflict and Peacemaking in the Middle East by Abdel Monem Said Aly, Shai Feldman, & Khalil Shikaki
This book is a broad and incredibly well-executed discussion on the topic. Written by a collection of Israeli, Egyptian, and Palestinian scholars, the book provides context to the situation happening in Gaza, situating it within the complex world of Middle Eastern politics (Harpers Bazaar, 2023). Views are researched thoroughly and are well-balanced. If you want a wider picture and context of the conflict, this is an essential read.
On Palestine by Noam Chomsky & Ilan Pappé
Co-authored by the esteemed American thinker Noam Chomsky and Israeli historian and political activist Ilan Pappé, this seminal book is a nuanced account of Palestine’s history (Harpers Bazaar, 2023). Originally published in 2015, it is an essential guide in understanding the contentious situation and follows after their other acclaimed book, Gaza in Crisis (2010).
Teach Palestine (https://teachpalestine.org/resources/other-resources/)
The Teach Palestine Project website is a resource by and for teachers and teacher educators focused on bringing Palestine into their classrooms and schools (Teach Palestine, 2023). Due to the lack of academic teaching in Palestine, the website and its resources were created to encourage teachers to educate their students in the nation. Teach Palestine is a project of the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA), which works for the rights of children in the Middle East by sending humanitarian aid, supporting projects for children, and educating North American and international communities about the effects of US foreign policy on children in the region (Teach Palestine, 2023).
US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (https://uscpr.org/activist-resource/together-we-rise/)
This website and their project, Together We Rise: Palestine as a Model of Resistance, is a political education curriculum for university students and adults, providing critical voices, context, and resources that make clear the connections between Palestinian rights and the struggles of indigenous, Black, and brown communities, and other marginalised groups impacted by US policies, both within and outside of US borders (US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, 2021).
The website includes three sections to help educate readers. The first is “Not That Complicated”, which provides a 101 overview of the root of the problem and the Palestinian struggle for liberation from the refugee crisis to the Israeli occupation. The second is “Freedom Bound”, which tracks how US and Israeli colonialism and racism are connected, how to learn from multiple different freedom struggles, and how to apply those to this political moment. Finally, the third is “Training and Resources” which offers skill-building, know-your-rights training, and more tools to fight for justice from the US to Palestine. An incredibly useful and informative website, this article implores readers to browse through this extensive resource.
Jewish Voice For Peace (https://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org)
This website houses the largest progressive Jewish anti-Zionist organisation in the world and is organising a grassroots, multiracial, cross-class, intergenerational movement of US Jews into solidarity with the Palestinian freedom struggle (Jewish Voice For Peace, 2019). A valuable resource on the importance of distinguishing Judaism from Zionism.
An easier-to-digest resource with imagery to visualise matters, DecolonizePalestine includes five resource sections: Palestine 101, Myths, Rainbow Washing, FAQ, and a Reading List. Continuously updated to provide the most up-to-date information, this is a useful introductory website on the effects of colonialism in Palestine, and how Israel is involved.
Instagram Information Accounts
The education hub for social media Palestine awareness, the Instagram account also has a website dedicated to learning more about the cause and how to spread awareness: www.palestineacademy.com
With their goal of collective social media mobilisation to spread Palestine awareness, the social media account and the website provide information and resources needed to learn more on the matter.
An American-Palestinian influencer, Subhi has been posting about the effects of colonialism in Palestine since 2020 and is an important account to keep up to date with the latest developments in Palestine. The social media strategist for the @palestine.acadeny, Subhi is an integral account to follow.
Motaz Azaiza is a Palestinian photographer currently located and working in the Gaza Strip, occupied Palestine. Tirelessly reporting on the tragedies happening in Gaza (alongside gut-wrenching and heartwarming videos of the resilience of the Palestinian people), Azaiza is a heroic and brave photographer whose account is worth following in order to get insight on the ground level of what is currently happening in Gaza.
Palestinian Journalist also located in Gaza, Plestia Alaqad records and uploads her daily life during the continuous bombardments. Whilst also having an account on TikTok under the same handle, Plestia has uploaded various videos on her experience, including the food struggle, bombardment of homes and important buildings like hospitals, and her own personal life trying to live in occupied Palestine.
Other recommended Instagram accounts: @ahmedhijazee, @aborjelaa, @salma_shurrab, @joegaza93, @eye.on.palestine, @gazangirl, and @cravingpalestine.
Edited by: Shahnawaz Chodhry
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