What to Read This Weekend

This week’s must-read list is all about Gaza, grief, Israeli aggression, and Palestinian struggle

This week’s must-read list is all about Gaza, grief, Israeli aggression, and Palestinian struggle. The first few articles on this list are so essential that I hope you’ll stop what you’re doing and read one of them right now.

“We Cannot Cross Until We Carry Each Other” by Arielle Angel. “On the left, I hope we do not mistake the inevitability of the violence for an inescapable limit on our work or the quality of our thought. Even if our dreams for better have failed, they must accompany us through this moment to the other side.”

In Gaza, no one can believe their eyes by Mosab Abu Toha .“In the days ahead, I know that we will hear more bombs falling. We will wait in dread and think: ‘Is it my turn this time?’ When we see the flash of the explosion, we know that we’ve been spared, because if you’re hit you only see death. It was someone else’s turn. And then we remember to mourn.”

Have We Learned Nothing? by David Klion. “It wasn’t that American elites were unaware that the United States had committed injustices around the world, or that 9/11 could plausibly be construed as blowback; it was that 9/11 had given them permission not to care.”

There’s No Path to Ending Bloodshed If Palestinian Rights Continue to Be Denied by  Michel Moushabeck. “This outrage must end. There can be no hope for peace until there is an end to the occupation; until Palestinians get justice, freedom and equal rights; and until Israel adheres to international law. Those who care about humanity — and those who care about the lives of Israelis and Palestinians — will have to ask themselves a simple question: Isn’t it time to put an end to all this suffering by supporting freedom and equality for all?”

Palestinian Journalists Targeted, Killed Amid Israel’s Onslaught on Gaza by Zane McNeill. “Israel’s ongoing shelling of the Gaza strip has killed at least six Palestinian journalists over the past few days, press freedom watchdogs say.”

Where the Palestinian Political Project Goes from Here by Isaac Chotiner. “It quickly became clear that Hamas was actually a good partner for Israel in the sense that it was able to stabilize the Gaza Strip and it provided the perfect fig leaf for the Israelis to justify their blockade. No one could really question why Israel had such an inhumane blockade. And so Hamas became a very good interlocutor. It was a violent equilibrium.”

Israel Is Using Starvation as a Weapon of War Against the Palestinian People by Marjorie Cohn. The consequences of allowing Israel to continue and escalate its aggression against the Palestinian people are unimaginable.

‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 4: ‘You wanted hell, you will get hell,’ Israeli army chief says, calling Palestinians ‘human animals’ (Mondoweiss Palestine Bureau). “‘The state will leave no stone unturned to help all of you,’ Netanyahu said, speaking to local mayors in southern Israel. ‘I ask that you stand steadfast because we are going to change the Middle East.’”

What Preceded the Killings in Israel and Gaza Was Not “Peace” — It Was Apartheid by Kelly Hayes and Mariame Kaba. “Life is precious, and bloodshed and killings are tragic for all. But for some, such losses have been an ongoing way of life. Worse, that perpetual state of loss is often characterized as ‘peace’ by the world at large.”

If you’re looking for something to listen to, I highly recommend checking out this week’s episode of Movement Memos, Israel’s Tools of Occupation Are Tested on Palestine and Exported Globally, featuring The Palestine Laboratory author Antony Loewenstein and Ahmad Abuznaid, the executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights.

If you’re looking for a book to read, I think this is a good weekend to pick up a copy of Rebellious Mourning. As the anthology’s editor Cindy Milstein writes in the book’s introduction:

Rebellious Mourning gathers firsthand, frontline stories—works of artful wordsmithing and agile thinking—speaking to what it looks like when people collectively yet personally disquiet centuries of loss. It asks its contributors and readers to journey without answers, with curiosity, by walking directly into our grief. It sees the work of grief, and spaces for it, as something that similar to water and libraries, should be freely, healthily, and publicly available to all. In this way, precisely because we can more openly experiment with sharing the fullness of life, we can begin to rehumanize the world and ourselves.

Engaging with our grief in a way that rehumanizes the world, and ourselves, feels like an important task right now. Wherever you are, whatever you have lost recently, I hope you are supported this weekend, and I hope that you are able to inhabit your grief in ways that are meaningful to you. I believe that suppressing our grief or trading it in, momentarily, for less painful emotions, such as anger or angst, often brings out the worst in us. I have seen a bit of that in recent days. The hard truth is that, as usual, we need each other. If we are going to grow together, through loss, rather than splintering apart, we must nurture the best parts of ourselves. We must honor our pain and acknowledge that it comes from a place of love.

I hope you have what you need to honor your grief today. And I hope that your willingness to do so allows you to inhabit difficult truths and to imagine a world beyond them. May we move toward that world together.

In solidarity,