Most recent books published by Afro-Middle East Centre
Winner of the 2014 Palestine Book Award
Efforts to achieve a “two-state solution” have finally collapsed; the struggle for justice in Palestine is at a crossroads. As Israel and its advocates lurch toward greater extremism, many ask where the struggle is headed. This book offers a clear analysis of this crossroads moment and looks forward with urgency down the path to a more hopeful future.In this essential work, journalist Ali Abunimah takes a comprehensive look at the shifting tides of the politics of Palestine and the Israelis in a neoliberal world and makes a compelling and surprising case for why the Palestine solidarity movement just might win.
Ali Abunimah is the author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli Palestinian Impasse, and co-founder and director of the widely acclaimed publication The Electronic Intifada. Based in the United States, he has written hundreds of articles and been an active part of the movement for justice in Palestine for 20 years. He is the recipient of a 2013 Lannan Cultural Freedom Fellowship.
‘Every community that stands fast, loving its people and its land, its customs and its ways, will be seen, eventually, as worthy of saving. This is because it is our own humanity we are learning from, our own value. There will also arise a special voice to champion us, one that is brave, trustworthy and true. In The Battle for Justice in Palestine it is the voice of Ali Abunimah, fierce, wise - a warrior for justice and peace - someone whose large heart, one senses, beyond his calm, is constantly on fire. A pragmatist but also a poet. This is the book to read to understand the present bizarre and ongoing complexity of the Palestine/Israel tragedy. And though it is filled with the grim reality of this long and deadly, ugly and dehumanizing, conflict, it also offers hope: that as more people awaken to the shocking reality of what has for decades been going on, we can bring understanding and restitution to the Palestinian people. Their struggle to exist in dignity and peace in their own homeland - and this may be the biggest surprise of Abunimah's book - is mirrored in the struggles for survival and autonomy of more than a few of us.’
‘This is the best book on Palestine in the last decade. No existing book presents the staggering details and sophistication of analysis that Abunimah’s book offers. Abunimah’s scope includes an analysis of the politics, economics, environmental policies, identity politics, international relations, academic scholarship and activism, global solidarity, and official and unofficial lobbies that have come to bear on Palestine and the Palestinians. The Battle for Justice in Palestine is the most comprehensive treatment of Palestinian suffering under Israeli control and offers the only possible way to end it. It is a must read for anyone seeking to understand the current situation of the Palestinians and Israel.’
—Joseph Massad, Columbia University
‘With incisive style and scrupulous attention to documentation and detail, Ali Abunimah's new book offers a complex portrait, from every angle, of the Palestinian struggle for justice today.’
—Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace
'A crucially needed dose of educated hope. This is what hits me from this fascinating amalgam of incisive journalism, analytic prose and intellectually compelling vision that emanates from many years of brilliant activism. Sailing effortlessly from the domestic to the global, from Johannesburg to Belfast and from Chicago to Tel Aviv, Ali Abunimah paints a lucid, accessible picture out of a complex web of racism, racialized oppression, and creative resistance. Abunimah does not give us hope; he helps us dig for it within us by meticulously laying out before us the facts, the trends, the challenges and the inspiring resistance to them.’
—Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the BDS movement, author of Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights
‘In The Battle for Justice in Palestine, Ali Abunimah—the most astute commentator writing on Palestine today—bursts the leaky myths of Israeli exceptionalism while carefully examining where the battle for Palestine is currently being waged. Forget the endless “peace process,” which has ushered in little more than massive economic exploitation, tragic environmental degradation, and servile and destructive politics. Focus instead, Abunimah tells us, on the many civil society and campus initiatives around the world that are bravely ushering in a new era of global grass-roots organizing for justice. Rich in information and deep in analysis, The Battle for Justice in Palestine will inspire readers that Palestinian self-determination is not only possible but absolutely necessary.’
—Moustafa Bayoumi, author, How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America
‘Those familiar with Ali Abunimah’s writing know to expect sophistication without theoretical jargon... His latest book, The Battle for Justice in Palestine, both reflects and synthesizes the dramatic shifts in the discourse around the Israel-Palestine conflict in the United States as well as in Israel and the Arab world, in particular the emergence of one-state demands and the coalescence of an anti-Zionist position on the left.’
—Steven Salaita, The New Inquiry
‘Though he never loses sight of the grim reality on the ground, Abunimah's writing is infused with a sense of optimism about the possibility of realising decolonization and a just future for all who live in historic Palestine.’
—Ben White, Middle East Monitor
‘The Battle for Justice in Palestine is a crucial book appearing in a crucial time... Abunimah strips away Israel’s justifications for its occupation and makes a vital contribution to real justice in Palestine.’
—Ron Jacobs, CounterPunch
‘The inspiring vision Abunimah lays out reflects the hope stirred by a growing and increasingly successful movement on the ground, which is helping to turn the tide in the struggle for Palestine. For those active in this movement, this book is a must-read, but its lessons are for anyone interested in the fight for a better world.’
—Wael Elasady, Socialist Worker
While the outcomes of the tumultuous uprisings that continue to transfix the Arab world remain uncertain, the root causes of rebellion persist. Drawing upon extensive empirical research, Lineages of Revolt tracks the major shifts in the region’s political economy over recent decades. In this illuminating and original work, Adam Hanieh explores the contours of neoliberal policies, dynamics of class and state formation, imperialism and the nature of regional accumulation, the significance of Palestine and the Gulf Arab states, and the ramifications of the global economic crisis. By mapping the complex and contested nature of capitalism in the Middle East, the book demonstrates that a full understanding of the uprisings needs to go beyond a simple focus on ‘dictators and democracy.’
‘This important, original work should be read by anyone with an interest in the political economy of the Middle East.’
– Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP)
‘Hanieh’s groundbreaking book argues that we should not view the Gulf Arab states as anomalies in the worldwide economy.’
– Arab Studies Journal
‘Insightful, timely, and welcome...the analytical framework and substantial data he puts forward in the book will help readers map out the current and future processes of regional integration, class formations, and contradictions, and to situate these processes within the wider global political economy.’
– International Socialist Review
Adam Hanieh is a Senior Lecturer in Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London (UK). He is author of Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States.
You won’t see segments about it on the nightly news or read about it on the front page of America’s newspapers, but the Pentagon is fighting a new shadow war in Africa, helping to destabilize whole countries and preparing the ground for future blowback. Behind closed doors, US officers now claim that “Africa is the battlefield of tomorrow, today.” In Tomorrow’s Battlefield, award-winning journalist and bestselling author Nick Turse exposes the shocking true story of the US military’s spreading secret wars in Africa.
“A dogged and intrepid journalist who won’t take ‘no comment’ for an answer, Nick Turse has done a fantastic job of exposing the US military’s expansion into Africa and the proliferation of its secret missions on the continent.”
—Craig Whitlock, Pentagon correspondent, Washington Post
“[Turse’s] investigations of US military missions in Africa in Tomorrow’s Battlefield reveal a secret war with grave implications for Africans and Americans, alike.”
“Nick Turse’s investigative reporting has revealed a remarkable picture of evolving US military operations in Africa that have been concealed from view but have ominous portent, as he demonstrates vividly and in depth.”
Nick Turse, an award-winning journalist and historian, is the author and editor of several books, including The Changing Face of Empire: Special Ops, Drones, Spies, Proxy Fighters, Secret Bases, and Cyberwarfare (Haymarket Books), the managing editor of TomDispatch, and a fellow at the Nation Institute.
AMEC insights 2014 brings together the series of AMEC briefs and AMEC insights published by the Afro-Middle East Centre in 2014. These two publications, issued regularly by AMEC, seek to document events in the region, analyse what they mean for the people of the region, the African continent and the globe, and chart future scenarios for how events might unfold. This book thus presents the institute’s analyses of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for that period, as events unfolded. With 2014 being another tumultuous year in the region, the book covers much ground. It presents the reader with analysis that was done in the midst of dramatic events taking place, and with scenarios for the future in the various contexts. It makes an excellent record of the year, and includes chapters on Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, the Islamic State group, Israel, Jordan, Libya, Nigeria, the Palestinian people, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
The Afro-Middle East Centre publishes, on average, one analysis piece a week, addressing the geopolitical and economic situation of the MENA region. Most of the chapters have been authored or co-authored by researchers at AMEC. Other chapters were authored by researchers outside of AMEC. Of these, some were commissioned by AMEC while others were published in terms of publication-sharing agreements with or permission from other institutions.
AMEC intends annually to publish this collection, as a public record of its analyses for the year, and as a measure too of the value of these analyses.
The chapters in Volume 1 cover the entire MENA region, and include:
Written while the euphoria of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) uprisings was still palpable, this is a collection by an international mix of respected academics and active political roleplayers who reflect on the changing face of the MENA region since the end of 2010. The book examines the theoretical frameworks within which the uprisings and the movements for and towards democracy in the region might be situated; and chronicles and analyses the uprisings in the various countries where they occurred, their causes, the role of external actors, and the impact of the uprisings on the African continent.
Carefully focusing on different countries, while not ignoring the regional tapestry which served as a background for the uprisings, this book presents a fascinating and thoughtful look at one of the most exciting – albeit brief – periods in the MENA region in recent times.
Ahmed Abd Rabou, Ashur Shamis, Daryl Glaser, Ebrahim Ebrahim, Ebrahim Shabbir Deen, Francis Nguendi Ikome, Garth le Pere, Hadi Enayat, Houchang E Chehabi, Lutfi Zaitoun, Na’eem Jeenah, Phyllis Bennis, Yahia H Zoubir
Part One MENA UPRISINGS: THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES
Transitions, revolutions, and democratisations: Conceptual clarifications - Houchang E Chehabi
The long road from revolution to democracy in the Middle East and North Africa: Challenges and threats facing states in transition - Garth le Pere
Part Two THREE YEARS OF UPRISINGS: POLITICAL ACTIONS AND ACTORS
Springs and winters: Interventions and interferences in the Arab uprisings - Phyllis Bennis
‘Islamists’ above ground and poised to lead: A Libyan Islamist perspective - Ashur Shamis
Islamist re-awakening in Egypt: From opposition movements to ruling parties - Ahmed Abd Rabou
Law and the judicialisation of politics in the Egyptian revolution - Hadi Enayat
Egyptian liberals in the struggle for and against democracy - Daryl Glaser
The Tunisian intifada and the way forward - Lutfi Zaitoun
Consequences of Ennahda’s relative weakness in Tunisia: Problematising negotiated revolutions - Ebrahim Shabbir Deen
The Arab uprisings: Is Algeria exceptional? - Yahia H Zoubir
Part Three MENA AND THE REST OF AFRICA
After Gaddafi and Mubarak: A new role for North Africa in the African Union - Francis Nguendi Ikome
Lessons from South Africa’s reconciliation process for post-uprising states - Na’eem Jeenah and Ebrahim Shabbir Deen
Azzam Tamimi introduces the thought of Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi, the renowned Islamist political activist who heads Tunisia's most important Islamist political party, Ennahda, previously banned by the authoritarian regime of Zine Abidine Ben Ali, and now the main party in the tripartite government in Tunisia. Ghannouchi, who lived in exile for many years as he was hunted by the Tunisian regime, is also the leader of a school in modern Islamic political thought that advocates democracy and pluralism.
compatibility of democracy with Islam, he believes that because of their secular foundations, contemporary forms of liberal democracy may not suit Muslim societies. Ghannouchi insists, however, that Islam is compatible with Western thought in matters concerning the system of government, human rights, and civil liberties.
Tamimi does an excellent job in unpacking Ghannouchi the person, the political activist, and the scholar. His treatment of Ghannouchi s ideology is unique and highlights why Ghannouchi is probably the deepest and most important Islamist intellectual of our time.
For anyone interested in Palestine, and in national liberation struggles more broadly, AMEC’s powerful new book, The PLO: Critical appraisals from the inside, provides an essential anthology of key perspectives on the Palestinian struggle up to 2006. The book offers readers a rare opportunity to eavesdrop on the conversations of those intimately involved in searching for solutions to one of the world’s most intractable conflicts.
At the turn of the millennium, after decades of struggle, the Palestinian Liberation Organization was in a shambles. In 2005, a reconciliation conference held in Cairo seemed to offer some hope for the revitalisation of the organisation, but Hamas’s victory in the 2006 Palestinian Authority elections caught the PLO off-guard. Conflicts and tensions exploded as the PLO tried to claw back the power it had lost. Amid calls for the organisation to renew itself or make way for a new group, the al-aytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations convened a conference in Beirut to discuss the PLO. Representatives of the PLO’s main factions joined leaders from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, as well as activists and academics, to discuss what they could learn from the past, and try to forge some consensus on how to take the Palestinian struggle forward.
Critical Appraisals from the Inside documents the papers and debates presented at the conference. Originally published in Arabic, the book provides a fascinating window on Palestinians’ unique understandings of the history of their struggle, and of the PLO. It offers an insider’s view on issues such as national unity, the intricate nature of relations between Palestinians in the diaspora and those in the Occupied Territory, the fragmented nature of the Arab condition, as well as the impact of the meddling by Arab nations and western powers in Palestinian affairs.
The book was originally published in Arabic by the Beirut-based Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations, and was translated into English and republished by the Afro-Middle East Centre. It was edited by AMEC’s executive director, Na’eem Jeenah, and Al-Zaytouna Centre director, Mohsen Moh’d Saleh.
Contributing authors include:
Mohsen Moh’d Saleh
Nafez Abu Hasna
Muhammad Tayseer al-Khatib
Ahmad Said Nufal
Saqr Abu Fakhr
Mohammed Sayed Said
Fathi Abu al-Ardat
Marwan Abdul Al
Anwar Abu Taha
The table of contents includes:
Mohsen Moh’d Saleh
The PLO’s journey from 1964 to 2006: An overview
The rise of Palestinian national consciousness in the PLO
Nafez Abu Hasna
Towards an inclusive national charter
Muhammad Tayseer al-Khatib
The Palestinian National Council: Restructuring for
Mohsen Moh’d Saleh
Towards a healthy relationship between the PLO and
the Palestinian Authority
Ahmad Said Nufal
The PLO and endeavours to forge Palestinian national unity
The PLO’s planning and research centres: Academic freedom
and academic research
Saqr Abu Fakhr
The PLO’s handling of the refugee issue
The PLO’s management of negotiations with Israel
The PLO’s perspective on Arab–Palestinian relations
Mohammed Sayed Said
Towards a new kind of international diplomacy for the PLO
Rebuilding the PLO: Fatah’s perspective
Fathi Abu al-Ardat
Rebuilding and reactivating the PLO: The Hamas perspective
The PLO – present reality and future prospects:
The perspective of the Popular Front for the Liberation
Marwan Abdul Al
Rebuilding the PLO: The perspective of the Palestinian
Islamic Jihad movement
Anwar Abu Taha
Rebuilding the PLO: The perspective of the Democratic
Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Can a state be both democratic and ethnically self-defined? The Afro-Middle East Centre’s (AMEC) latest publication Pretending democracy: Israel, an ethnocratic state unpacks this issue by using Israel as a case study. Based on papers presented at AMEC’s 2010 conference themed ‘Locating ethnic states in a cosmopolitan world: The case of Israel’, the book interrogates concepts such as ‘cosmopolitanism’, ‘nationalism’, ‘ethnocracy’ and ‘citizenship’.
Comprising eighteen chapters and divided into four themes over 416 pages, the book presents a comprehensive and lucid analysis of the Israeli state from its founding and the myths that enabled its establishment to the 2008/09 Gaza war and its consequences. The thematic areas covered are: ‘Israel and its founding myths’, ‘The ethnic state and its victims’, ‘Comparative ethnic nationalisms’ and ‘Beyond ethnic nationalism’.
One section elaborates on comparisons between Israel, apartheid South Africa and pre-Good Friday Northern Ireland. Also tackled is the thorny issue of forms of statehood and rich debate takes place in the book between those advocating a South Africa-style single state solution and those promoting a binational state as the most just solution to the inherent contradictions between Israel’s claims of being both a Jewish and a democratic state and its discrimination against Palestinian citizens and occupation of Palestinian lands.
The concluding chapter, by assessing post-apartheid South Africa, looks beyond the conditions and stipulations that would result in a single state wherein Jews and Arabs enjoy the same rights, to teasing out the steps that need to be taken to ensure that these rights are substantive.
Contributors to this volume include award-winning author Shlomo Sands, whose piece debunks the notion that Jews form a genealogical ethnicity; South Africa’s former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils, whose chapter uses the South African Communist Party’s ‘colonialism of a special type’ framework to assess and explain the behaviour of Israel. The foreword was penned by South Africa’s deputy minister of international relations and co-operation, Ebrahim Ebrahim, who opened the conference.
The book is edited by AMEC’s executive director Na’eem Jeenah. His introductory and concluding chapters (the latter co-authored with educationist Salim Vally) do not merely summarise the collection, but present clear and concise arguments which deepen and entrench the statehood debate.
The book brings together a range of viewpoints, from Israeli revisionist historian Avi Shlaim to Islamist Azzam Tamimi who proposes a hudna (peace pact) between Palestinians and Israelis whilst a final solution is being worked out.
Unpacking both Jewish and Palestinian nationalisms, the nation-state and ethnic nationalism, this fascinating collection offers new insights into one of the world’s most intractable conflicts. It will appeal not only to scholars and teachers, but to anyone interested in the history, politics, anthropology and legal standing of Palestine-Israel.
Publisher: Afro-Middle East Centre
Editor: Na'eem Jeenah
Contributors: Ali Abunimah, Neville Alexander, Max du Plessis, Steven Friedman, Daryl Glaser, Ran Greenstein, Heidi Grunebaum, Adam Habib, Na'eem Jeenah, Ronnie Kasrils, Smadar Lavie, Fouad Moughrabi, Nadim N Rouhana, Shlomo Sand, Avi Shlaim, Azzam Tamimi, Salim Vally, Oren Yiftachel and Andre Zaaiman.