Three Books to Understand the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

Posted by Bijal Shah on

As we pray for peace in Palestine and Israel, and the wider Middle East, at the request of a couple of people today, if there were only 3 books I would recommend you read on this conflict these would be it:

1. A Peace to End All Peace by David Fromkin - the book that helped me truly understand how this conflict began and the development of the Balfour Declaration in 1917 when the British were dividing up the Middle East. An insight read, I'd say it was the godfather of all books on how the Middle East came to be following the unravelling of the Ottoman Empire. 

2. Black Wave by Kim Ghattas - I devoured this book in 3 days during Covid-19. It was an eye opener into why the current MiddleEast is in the mess that it is - it doesn't necessarily focus on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict but gives us a strong understanding of the political and cultural dynamics at play in the Middle East should this stem into a bigger war in the region. 

3. The Green Prince by Mosab Hassan Yousef - This one's a memoir but I originally watched the documentary at the 2014 Sydney Film Festival before I read the book and it's actually an incredible book on the interplay of Hamas, the Israeli government, the intelligence networks and so forth. I read this one before I read the two above and it was a fascinating read, especially because it resulted in a friendship of two people, one Arab, one Jewish on different sides of the story. Highly recommend.



A big hello and thank you for reading! Passionate about literature, psychology, and life I launched Book Therapy as an alternative form of therapy using the power of literature.

I train mental health professionals, librarians, teachers as well as readers on using bibliotherapy in their own work through our online Bibliotherapy, Literature and Mental Health course.

We also curate reading lists/personalised book prescriptions for clients based on their individual needs. This is our signature personalised reading service.

You can also check out Book Therapy’s other free reading lists and A- Z of book prescriptions (covering both fiction and non-fiction). These suggest books based on your existing life situation (e.g. anxiety, job change, relationship heartache) as well as interests (e.g memoir, historical fiction, non-fiction, crime etc).

There’s also a Children’s A — Z of Book Prescriptions. Feel free to check out the blog for more literary gems. There’s also a post on my personal story of how I entered the world of bibliotherapy and book curation.

In this role, I have had the opportunity to publish two books called Bibliotherapy: The Healing Power of Reading and The Happiness Mindset, and write various literary essays and pieces for newspapers and magazines.

I have undertaken bibliotherapy workshops for The United Nations, various libraries in New York and corporate organisations in the UK and US. My book recommendations have featured in the Guardian, Marie Claire, NBC News, Asian Voice, New York Observer, Sydney Telegraph and various other publications.

If you are a parent you might enjoy a podcast I’ve recorded with speech and language therapist Sunita Shah on Raising A Reader & Storyteller. And if you’d like to connect, email me at


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