17.565 | Spring 2019 | Undergraduate

Israel: History, Politics, Culture, Identity


Additional Recommended Bibliography


Caplan, Neil. The Israel-Palestine Conflict: Contested Histories. 2nd ed. Wiley-Blackwell, 2019. ISBN: 9781119523871. 

Eisenstadt, S.N. The Transformation of Israeli Society: An Essay in Interpretation. Routledge, 2019. ISBN: 9780367296667. [Preview with Google Books]

Gold, Steven J. The Israeli Diaspora. University of Washington Press, 2002. ISBN: 978029598280. [Preview with Google Books]

Horowitz, Dan, and Moshe Lissak. Trouble in Utopia: The Overburdened Polity of Israel. State University of New York Press, 1989. ISBN: 9780791401125. [Preview with Google Books]

Khalidi, Rashid. The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood. Beacon Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780807003091. [Preview with Google Books]

 ———. Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness. Columbia University Press, 2009. ISBN: 9780231150750. [Preview with Google Books]

Kimmerling, Baruch. The Invention and Decline of Israeliness: State, Society, and the Military. University of California Press, 2005. ISBN: 9780520246720. [Preview with Google Books]

Pappé, Ilan, ed. The Israel/Palestine Question: Rewriting Histories. Routledge, 1999. ISBN: 9780415169486. [Preview with Google Books]

Penslar, Derek J. Israel in History: The Jewish State in Comparative Perspective. Routledge, 2006. ISBN: 9780415400374. [Preview with Google Books]

Shafir, Gershon, and Yoav Peled. Being Israeli: The Dynamics of Multiple Citizenship. Cambridge University Press, 2002. ISBN: 9780521796729. [Preview with Google Books]

Shapira, Anita, ed. Israeli Identity in Transition. Praeger, 2004. ISBN: 9780275976606.

Smith, Charles D. Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents. 9th ed. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2016. ISBN: 9781319028053. 

Troen, S. Ilan, and Noah Lucas, eds. Israel: The First Decade of Independence. State University of New York Press, 1995. ISBN: 9780791422601. [Preview with Google Books]

Yakobson, Alexander, and Amnon Rubinstein. Israel and the Family of Nations: The Jewish Nation-State and Human Rights. Routledge, 2008. ISBN: 9780415781374. [Preview with Google Books]


On the Israeli diaspora, see Shofar 16, no. 2 (Winter 1998): Special Issue - “Israel and America: Cross-Cultural Encounters and the Literary Imagination.”

Smooha, Sammy. “Arab-Jewish Relations in Israel: A Deeply Divided Society.” Chapter 2 in Israeli Identity in Transition. Edited by Anita Shapira. Praeger, 2004. ISBN: 9780275976606.

Yiftachel, Oren. “‘Ethnocracy’: The Politics of Judaizing Israel/Palestine.” Constellations 6, no. 3 (1999): 364–90.

Gavison, Ruth. “Jewish and Democratic? A Rejoinder to the ‘Ethnic Democracy’ Debate.” Israel Studies 4, no. 1 (1999): 44–72.

Ben-Ari, Eyal, and Yoram Bilu, eds. “Saints’ Sanctuaries in Israeli Development Towns: On a Mechanism of Urban Transformation.” Chapter 3 in Grasping Land: Space and Place in Contemporary Israeli Discourse and Experience. State University of New York Press, 1997. ISBN: 978-0791432174. [Preview with Google Books]

Bilu, Yoram, and Yehuda C. Goodman “‘What Does the Soul Say?’: Metaphysical Uses of Facilitated Communication in the Jewish Ultra-Orthodox Community.” Chapter 25 in Perspectives on Israeli Anthropology. Edited by Esther Hertzog, Orit Abuhav, Harvey E. Goldberg, et al. Wayne State University Press, 2009, pp. 529–54. ISBN: 9780814330500. 

Grossman, David. Excerpts from To the End of the Land. Vintage, 2011. ISBN: 9780307476401. [Preview with Google Books]

 Friedgut, Theodore H. “Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union: Their Influence and Identity.” Chapter 7 in Israeli Identity in Transition. Edited by Anita Shapira. Praeger, 2004. ISBN: 9780275976606.

Scholarly Journals

Israel Studies

Journal of Palestine Studies

Journal of Israeli History

International Journal of Middle East Studies

Israel Affairs



Israeli newspapers and news sites

Palestinian newspapers and news sites


Al Jazeera

The Jerusalem Post


Al Arabiya



The Debka Files

Hebrew University’s Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive (The Archive has over 10,000 titles, with over 400 films currently available for viewing online in full for free)

Zochrot (Remembering)(Zochrot [“Remembering”] is a group of Israeli citizens working to raise awareness of the Nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948)

Palestine Remembered

Israel Defense Forces


WikiProject Palestine

WikiProject Israel

CIA World Factbook—The West Bank 

CIA World Factbook—The Gaza Strip

CIA World Factbook—Israel

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2019