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Insights into Gaza and Israel

Readers' Cafe

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Book Jacket for The Blockade of the Gaza Strip style=
Book Jacket for A Day in the Life of Abed Salama Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy style=
Book Jacket for Eighteen Days in October The Yom Kippur War and How It Created the Modern Middle East style=
Book Jacket for Enemies and Neighbours Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel, 1917-2017 style=
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Book Jacket for My Promised Land The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel style=
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Book Jacket for The Lemon Tree An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East style=
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Book Jacket for A Tale of Love and Darkness style=

Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide / Michael B Oren

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERMichael B. Oren's memoir of his time as Israel's ambassador to the United States - a period of transformative change for America and a time of violent upheaval throughout the Middle East - provides a frank, fascinating look inside the special relationship between America and its closest ally in the region.

Michael Oren served as the Israeli ambassador to the United States from 2009 to 2013. An American by birth and a historian by training, Oren arrived at his diplomatic post just as Benjamin Netanyahu, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton assumed office. During Oren's tenure in office, Israel and America grappled with the Palestinian peace process, the Arab Spring, and existential threats to Israel posed by international terrorism and the Iranian nuclear program.

Forged in the Truman administration, America's alliance with Israel was subjected to enormous strains, and its future was questioned by commentators in both countries. On more than one occasion, the friendship's very fabric seemed close to unraveling.

Ally is the story of that enduring alliance - and of its divides - written from the perspective of a man who treasures his American identity while proudly serving the Jewish State he has come to call home. No one could have been better suited to strengthen bridges between the United States and Israel than Michael Oren - a man equally at home jumping out of a plane as an Israeli paratrooper and discussing Middle East history on TV's Sunday morning political shows.

In the pages of this fast-paced book, Oren interweaves the story of his personal journey with behind-the-scenes accounts of fateful meetings between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu, high-stakes summits with the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, and diplomatic crises that intensified the controversy surrounding the world's most contested strip of land.

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The Blockade of the Gaza Strip

Ever since Israel ended its occupation of Gaza in 2005, Islamist group Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza have created conflicts with Israel. In 2007, Israel instituted a blockade of the Gaza Strip, restricting border crossings and access to necessities such as food, water, and power. Israel maintains that the intent of the blockade is to eliminate Hamas' ability to launch rockets into Israel. The Palestinians charge that the blockade effectively weakens Hamas and constitutes suffering and human rights violations among Gaza's citizens. In this informative and provocative resource, essay authors share their unique perspectives on this contentious issue.

A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy / Nathan Thrall

Immersive and gripping, an intimate story of a deadly accident outside Jerusalem that unravels a tangle of lives, loves, enmities, and histories over the course of one revealing, heartbreaking day.

Five-year-old Milad Salama is excited for a school trip to a theme park on the outskirts of Jerusalem. On the way, his bus collides with a semitrailer. His father, Abed, gets word of the crash and rushes to the site. The scene is chaos - the children have been taken to different hospitals in Jerusalem and the West Bank; some are missing, others cannot be identified. Abed sets off on an odyssey to learn Milad's fate.

It is every parent's worst nightmare, but for Abed it is compounded by the maze of physical, emotional, and bureaucratic obstacles he must navigate because he is Palestinian.

Eighteen Days in October: The Yom Kippur War and How It Created the Modern Middle East / Uri Kaufman

October 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, a conflict that shaped the modern Middle East. The War was a trauma for Israel, a dangerous superpower showdown, and, following the oil embargo, a pivotal reordering of the global economic order. The Jewish State came shockingly close to defeat. A panicky cabinet meeting debated the use of nuclear weapons. After the war, Prime Minister Golda Meir resigned in disgrace, and a 9/11-style commission investigated the "debacle.

Enemies and Neighbours: Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel, 1917-2017 / Ian Black

A century after Britain's Balfour Declaration promised a Jewish 'national home' in Palestine, veteran Guardian journalist Ian?Black?has produced a major new history of one of the most polarizing conflicts of the modern age.

Drawing on a wide range of sources - from declassified documents to oral testimonies and his own decades of reporting -?Enemies?and?neighbours?brings much-needed perspective and balance to the long and unresolved struggle between Arabs and Jews in the Holy Land

The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine / Ilan Pappe

Since the Holocaust, it has been almost impossible to hide large-scale crimes against humanity. In our communicative world, few modern catastrophes are concealed from the public eye. And yet, Ilan Pappe unveils, one such crime has been erased from the global public memory: the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in 1948. But why is it denied, and by whom? The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine offers an investigation of this mystery.

Footnotes in Gaza / Joe Sacco

"Sacco brings the conflict down to the most human level, allowing us to imagine our way inside it, to make the desperation he discovers, in some small way, our own."?Los Angeles Times

Rafah, a town at the bottommost tip of the Gaza Strip, has long been a notorious flashpoint in the bitter Middle East conflict. Buried deep in the archives is one bloody incident, in 1956, that left 111 Palestinians shot dead by Israeli soldiers. Seemingly a footnote to a long history of killing, that day in Rafah?cold-blooded massacre or dreadful mistake?reveals the competing truths that have come to define an intractable war.

In a quest to get to the heart of what happened, Joe Sacco immerses himself in the daily life of Rafah and the neighboring town of Khan Younis, uncovering Gaza past and present.

Hamas / Paola Caridi

When the radical Islamist group Hamas was elected to lead Palestine in 2006, the Western world was shocked. How had the majority of Palestinians come to support an extremist organization and how would the group's new political power affect the larger Israel/Palestine conflict?.

Italian journalist and historian Paola Caridi offers a clear-eyed account of how the conditions in this war-torn region led to the rise of Hamas and an unbiased look at the complex feelings that Palestinians have toward getting behind a government that supports violent resistance. By breaking from the sensationalist journalism surrounding the elections, Caridi is able to tell the story of a movement caught between the desire to resist its oppressor and the need to provide support for a refugee people.

My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel / Ari Shavit

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW AND THE ECONOMISTWinner of the Natan Book Award, the National Jewish Book Award, and the Anisfield-Wolf Book AwardAn authoritative and deeply personal narrative history of the State of Israel, by one of the most influential journalists writing about the Middle East today Not since Thomas L. Friedman's groundbreaking From Beirut to Jerusalem has a book captured the essence and the beating heart of the Middle East as keenly and dynamically as My Promised Land.

Facing unprecedented internal and external pressures, Israel today is at a moment of existential crisis. Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family's story, illuminating the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is larger than the sum of its parts: both personal and national, both deeply human and of profound historical dimension.

Rifqa / Mohammed El-Kurd

Each day after school, Mohammed El-Kurd's grandmother welcomed him at the door of his home with a bouquet of jasmine. Her name was Rifqa - she was older than Israel itself and an icon of Palestinian resilience. With razor-sharp wit and glistening moral clarity, El-Kurd lays bare the brutality of Israeli settler colonialism.

His poems trace Rifqa's exile from Haifa to his family's current dispossession in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem, exposing the cyclical and relentless horror of the Nakba. El-Kurd's debut collection definitively shows that the Palestinian struggle is a revolution, until victory.

Against the Loveless World / Susan Abulhawa

From the internationally bestselling author of the "terrifically affecting" (The Philadelphia Inquirer) Mornings in Jenin, a sweeping and lyrical novel that follows a young Palestinian refugee as she slowly becomes radicalized while searching for a better life for her family throughout the Middle East, for readers of international literary bestsellers including Washington Black, My Sister, The Serial Killer, and Her Body and Other Parties.

As Nahr sits, locked away in solitary confinement, she spends her days reflecting on the dramatic events that landed her in prison in a country she barely knows. Born in Kuwait in the 70s to Palestinian refugees, she dreamed of falling in love with the perfect man, raising children, and possibly opening her own beauty salon.

Apeirogon / Colum McCann

From the National Book Award-winning and bestselling author of Let the Great World Spin comes an epic novel rooted in the real-life friendship between two men united by loss. Colum McCann's most ambitious work to date, Apeirogon - named for a shape with a countably infinite number of sides - is a tour de force concerning friendship, love, loss, and belonging.

Bassam Aramin is Palestinian. Rami Elhanan is Israeli. They inhabit a world of conflict that colors every aspect of their daily lives, from the roads they are allowed to drive on, to the schools their daughters, Abir and Smadar, each attend, to the checkpoints, both physical and emotional, they must negotiate. Their worlds shift irreparably after ten-year-old Abir is killed by a rubber bullet and thirteen-year-old Smadar becomes the victim of suicide bombers.

When Bassam and Rami learn of each other's stories, they recognize the loss that connects them and they attempt to use their grief as a weapon for peace. McCann crafts Apeirogon out of a universe of fictional and nonfictional material. He crosses centuries and continents, stitching together time, art, history, nature, and politics in a tale both heartbreaking and hopeful. Musical, cinematic, muscular, delicate, and soaring, Apeirogon is a novel for our time.

Enter Ghost / Isabella Hammad

A bold, evocative new novel from the Sue Kaufman, Betty Trask and Plimpton Prize Award winner Isabella Hammadthat follows actress Sonia as she returns to Palestine and takes a role in a West Bank production of Hamlet

After years away from her family's homeland, and healing from an affair with an established director, stage actress Sonia Nasir returns to Palestine to visit her older sister Haneen. Though the siblings grew up spending summers at their family home in Haifa, Sonia hasn't been since the second intifada and the deaths of her grandparents.

While Haneen stayed and made a life commuting to Tel Aviv to teach at the university, Sonia remained in London to focus on her burgeoning acting career and now dissolute marriage. On her return, she finds her relationship to Palestine is fragile, both bone-deep and new.

The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East / Sandy Tolan

In 1967, Bashir Al-Khayri, a Palestinian twenty-five-year-old, journeyed to Israel, with the goal of seeing the beloved old stone house, with the lemon tree behind it, that he and his family had fled nineteen years earlier. To his surprise, when he found the house he was greeted by Dalia Ashkenazi Landau, a nineteen-year-old Israeli college student, whose family fled Europe for Israel following the Holocaust. On the stoop of their shared home, Dalia and Bashir began a rare friendship, forged in the aftermath of war and tested over the next thirty-five years in ways that neither could imagine on that summer day in 1967.

Based on extensive research, and springing from his enormously resonant documentary that aired on NPR's Fresh Air in 1998, Sandy Tolan brings the Israeli-Palestinian conflict down to its most human level, suggesting that even amid the bleakest political realities there exist stories of hope and reconciliation.

Sadness Is a White Bird / Moriel Rothman-Zecher

"Nuanced, sharp, and beautifully written, Sadness Is a White Bird manages, with seeming effortlessness, to find something fresh and surprising and poignant in the classic coming-of-age, love-triangle narrative, something starker, more heartbreaking: something new." - Michael Chabon "Unflinching in its honesty, unyielding in its moral complexity." - Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks

In this lyrical and searing debut novel written by a rising literary star and MacDowell Fellow, a young man is preparing to serve in the Israeli army while also trying to reconcile his close relationship to two Palestinian siblings with his deeply ingrained loyalties to family and country.

The story begins in an Israeli military jail, where - four days after his nineteenth birthday - Jonathan stares up at the fluorescent lights of his cell, and recalls the series of events that led him there. Two years earlier: Moving back to Israel after several years in Pennsylvania, Jonathan is ready to fight to preserve and defend the Jewish state, which his grandfather - a Salonican Jew whose community was wiped out by the Nazis - helped establish. But he is also conflicted about the possibility of having to monitor the occupied Palestinian territories, a concern that grows deeper and more urgent when he meets Nimreen and Laith - the twin daughter and son of his mother's friend. From that winter morning on, the three become inseparable: wandering the streets on weekends, piling onto buses toward new discoveries, laughing uncontrollably. They share joints on the beach, trading snippets of poems, intimate secrets, family histories, resentments, and dreams. But with his draft date rapidly approaching, Jonathan wrestles with the question of what it means to be proud of your heritage and loyal to your people, while also feeling love for those outside of your own tribal family.

And then that fateful day arrives, the one that lands Jonathan in prison and changes his relationship with the twins forever. Powerful, important, and timely, Sadness Is a White Bird explores one man's attempts to find a place for himself, discovering in the process a beautiful, against-the-odds love that flickers like a candle in the darkness of a never-ending conflict.

Salt Houses / Hala Alyan

"Reading Salt Houses is like having your coffee grounds read: cosmic, foreboding and titillating all at once. In this magnificent debut, Alyan's powerful and poetic voice guides us into the dark recesses of history and leads us right up to the present tensions between East & West, the modern & ancestral, the hopeless and the hopeful." - Aline Ohanesian, author of Orhan's Inheritance

On the eve of her daughter Alia's wedding, Salma reads the girl's future in a cup of coffee dregs. She sees an unsettled life for Alia and her children; she also sees travel, and luck. While she chooses to keep her predictions to herself that day, they will all soon come to pass when the family is uprooted in the wake of the Six-Day War of 1967. Salma is forced to leave her home in Nablus; Alia's brother gets pulled into a politically militarized world he can't escape; and Alia and her gentle-spirited husband move to Kuwait City, where they reluctantly build a life with their three children.

When Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait in 1990, Alia and her family once again lose their home, their land, and their story as they know it, scattering to Beirut, Paris, Boston, and beyond. Soon Alia's children begin families of their own, once again navigating the burdens (and blessings) of assimilation in foreign cities. Lyrical and heartbreaking,

Salt Houses is a remarkable debut novel that challenges and humanizes an age-old conflict we might think we understand - one that asks us to confront that most devastating of all truths: you can't go home again.

To the End of the Land / David Grossman

From one of Israel's most acclaimed writers comes a novel of extraordinary power about family life - the greatest human drama - and the cost of war. Ora, a middle-aged Israeli mother, is on the verge of celebrating her son Ofer's release from army service when he returns to the front for a major offensive. In a fit of preemptive grief and magical thinking, she sets out for a hike in the Galilee, leaving no forwarding information for the "notifiers" who might darken her door with the worst possible news.

Recently estranged from her husband, Ilan, she drags along an unlikely companion: their former best friend and her former lover Avram, once a brilliant artistic spirit. Avram served in the army alongside Ilan when they were young, but their lives were forever changed one weekend when the two jokingly had Ora draw lots to see which of them would get the few days' leave being offered by their commander - a chance act that sent Avram into Egpyt and the Yom Kippur War, where he was brutally tortured as POW.

5 Broken Cameras / Emad Burnat

An extraordinary work of both cinematic and political activism, 5 Broken Cameras is a deeply personal, first-hand account of non-violent resistance in Bil'in, a West Bank village threatened by encroaching Israeli settlements. Shot almost entirely by Palestinian farmer Emad Burnat, who bought his first camera in 2005 to record the birth of his youngest son, the footage was later turned into a galvanizing cinematic experience by co-directors Guy Davidi and Burnat.

Structured around the violent destruction of a succession of Burnat's video cameras, the filmmakers' collaboration follows one family's evolution over five years of village turmoil. Burnat watches from behind the lens as olive trees are bulldozed, protests intensify, and lives are lost.

A Tale of Love and Darkness / Portman, Natalie

Academy Award?-winning actress Natalie Portman directs and stars in the emotional and thought-provoking story about Fania, a young wife and mother in war-torn Jerusalem, during the early years of the State of Israel. Stifled in her relationship and weary from the tedium of her new life, Fania creates fantastical stories for Amos, her 10-year-old son, amazing him with tales of adventure and beauty - stories that would influence the boy to become a writer himself.

Based on the international best-selling memoir by Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness is "the most revolutionary Jewish movie since Schindlers List" (Stephen Marche, Esquire) . ]]>


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Poudre River Public Library District (970) 221-6740
Including the collection of Front Range Community College, Larimer Campus


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Facebook Instagram LinkedIn You Tube

Poudre River Public Library District
(970) 221-6740

Including the collection of
Front Range Community College, Larimer Campus