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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

Book cover for Israel/Palestine
Book cover for Israel/PalestineBook cover for Israel/Palestine

New and Expanded Edition

In Israel/Palestine, Tanya Reinhart traces the development of the Security Barrier and Israel's new doctrine of "disengagement," launched in response to a looming Palestinian-majority population. Examining the official record of recent diplomacy, including United States–brokered accords and talks at Camp David, Oslo, and Taba, Reinhart explores the fundamental power imbalances between the negotiating parties and identifies Israel's strategy of creating facts on the ground to define and complicate the terms of any future settlement.

In this indispensable primer, Reinhart's searing insight illuminates the current conflict and suggests a path toward change.

Book cover for Israel/Palestine
Book cover for Israel/PalestineBook cover for Israel/Palestine

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“[An] excellent book.”

“Reinhart accomplishes the formidable task of adding insight to a subject that is written about endlessly.”

“Tanya Reinhart's Israel/Palestine is the most devastating critique now available of Israel's policy toward the Palestinian people. Written with urgency and an unflinching clarity, it deserves to be read by every American who, unknowingly perhaps, has been subsidizing Israel's 35-yea-old military occupation. Today Palestinians face either ethnic cleansing or apartheid. Reinhart compellingly shows why and how both must be opposed.”

“Tanya Reinhart's informative and chilling analysis could hardly be more timely. It should be read and considered with care, and taken very seriously.”

“Tanya Reinhart is an Israeli scholar who is known for her works in linguistics, but also as the author of a biweekly column in the daily newspaper Yediot Aharonot. Her book demonstrates the hoax suffered by the Palestinians, sometimes with the complicity of their own Authority. It also shows that, behind the semantic and cartographic contortions, the main objective of the Israeli governments has been to give up as little as possible and to accept but a truncated Palestinian autonomy. According to her, the solution is simple: 'In order to initiate true negotiations, Israel has to withdraw unilaterally' from the occupied Palestinian territories.”

blog — October 23

“Nowhere to go, Unprecedented, Unheard” by Paola Caridi

Above image: detail of "Palestine" by Pedro Laperal (Spain), originally printed in England by The Malvern Press, Ltd. London. Reprinted with permission by Liberation Graphics, 1985




Nowhere to go. No safe place to go. Nowhere else to go. Nowhere to bury the dead. It is a litany that is repeated relentlessly in Gaza, and with increasing intensity in recent days. Mainly since the Israeli authorities have ordered the civilian population, the Palestinians living in the Strip, to go south. The Gaza Strip, perhaps the most uncharted place in the world, has been a small land completely closed off from the outside world for seventeen years, ever since Israel imposed the blockade around its land and sea borders, leaving Egypt to manage the southern Rafah crossing. Gaza is a small strip of land where people are born, live and die without ever leaving a prison without bars. Forty kilometers, from north to south. Less than ten kilometers, east to west, between the Mediterranean Sea and the border with Israel.

For a suffering humanity that has already swelled the ranks of the displaced, more than a million people, setting out from their homes or rubble means putting something in a bag, a bottle of water, diapers for the children, something warm to cover themselves, and finding a means of transportation—a car, a cart—where they can pick up an elderly father who cannot walk. It means walking down a road already destroyed by bombs, dodging fighter plane raids, not having water, food, toilets or an electrical outlet to recharge the cell phone and communicate with the family. 

It is an exodus on an unimaginable scale, of which we have very few images other than those Palestinian journalists and cameramen in Gaza manage to dispatch. No international, western or global journalists have access to the Strip. It is only Palestinian journalists in Gaza who are able to send images and reports, putting their lives at risk. 

However, the "nowhere" has a direction, at least for those who are still alive. The south, toward the border with Egypt. Yet, it is not the way to a safe zone, a salvation. It is the direction of exodus. From Gaza, from Palestine, from nowhere, perhaps never to return. For Palestinians, the bitter taste that now runs from mouth to mouth is that of a new nakba, the ruination of Palestinian society that happened in 1948 and the persecution that followed. But 1948 is far away. In the year 2023, no one among the countries that frame Gaza wants the Palestinians to pass through the Rafah border. Not only because it would be unfair and unacceptable, not only because it would be a new nakba. But because Egypt and Jordan, first and foremost, would jeopardize their already delicate systems of internal control in the name of a tragedy with no exit strategy.

In the opposite direction, to the north, other victims ask where to go to find their loved ones, the more than one hundred and fifty five Israelis taken hostage by Hamas and taken who knows where inside the Strip. Nowhere to go, they too repeat, the families of the hostages. Who to ask for help? Where to go to find experienced negotiators and experts in negotiations to free the hostages? For the time being, the "nowhere to go" is the Netanyahu government—now a government of national emergency—which has provided no answers and against which many of the hostages' families have been protesting. 

There is nowhere to go. It is the "untold" truth of politics—Israeli, regional, American, European—that is unable to find a rational answer to get out of a tunnel inside which, for now, only the absolute protagonists of a tragedy of enormous proportions are paying. The victims, all the victims. The civilians, all the civilians. The more than 4,000 killed, the innumerable wounded, if our conscience and values insist that we put Israeli and Palestinian victims in the same death toll.

Increasingly, in contemporary times, wars have civilians as the main targets. The thousand-day siege of the city of Sarajevo taught us an unforgettable lesson. This time, however, in this unprecedented war between Israel and Hamas, civilian casualties were and are the first, undisputed protagonists, the first targets, and at the same time the only ones who receive no serious and reasonable discussion or prioritization at all, none. No one, so far, has chosen to put them at the center of this story, at the center of this history. The full contours and scale of the tragedy for civilians is still uncertain. The politicians, all of the politicians, on all sides, have thus far chosen not to deal with them, as if they were not already fodder for the slaughter, for the battlefield, as if they were an inescapable part of the conflict.

This is unprecedented, unheard, unacceptable.

—Paola Caridi, author of Hamas: From Resistance to Regime, tr. Andrea Teti, and Jerusalem without God: Portrait of a Cruel City

Tanya Reinhart

Born in 1943 in what is now the state of Israel, Tanya Reinhart received a BA in Hebrew literature and philosophy and an MA in comparative literature and philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, before receiving her PhD in linguistics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she studied under Noam Chomsky. A highly accomplished cognitive linguist, she became better known in Israel for her fervent and unwavering criticism of that state’s military tactics and diplomatic dissimulation. Reinhart taught and published on art, literature and media studies; protested vigorously against the Israeli occupation of Lebanon and its continued annexation of Palestinian land; and held visiting professorships at Columbia University, the University of Utrecht, and the University of Paris. After losing her academic position at Tel Aviv University, where she had taught for more than twenty years, Reinhart was immediately offered a full-time position at New York University in 2006. She died in her sleep in Montauk, NY in 2007.