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3 Books to Help You Understand Why Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem Prompted Protests

On Monday, the United States Embassy was formally moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which prompted mass protests by tens of thousands of Palestinians along the border with Gaza. At least 60 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,700 were injured. These books contextualize the deep tensions between Israelis and Palestinians and explain the significance of Jerusalem, in particular — the status of which former American administrations had hoped would be resolved in a peace agreement.


Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel, 1917-2017
By Ian Black
606 pp. Atlantic Monthly Press. (2018)

Though there are many histories of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this is perhaps the most up-to-date, and our reviewer wrote that Black “has a gift for summary” and “synopsizes events in sharp, fast paragraphs filled with vivid detail.” He covers the major milestones in the decades-long conflict, including the Six-Day War of 1967 and the first and second Intifadas — Palestinian uprisings against Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Black presents a balanced account, relating, for instance, that historically, some Israeli leaders have been empathetic to the Palestinian opposition or the ways in which Palestinian leaders have harmed their cause.


City of Mirrors
By Amos Elon
286 pp. Little, Brown Company. (1989)

This is a biography of the city that, at the time of Elon’s writing, as well as today, was emblematic of the ongoing conflict. But, Elon writes, in the early days of the Jewish state, its founding fathers

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