As the Israel-Hamas war stretches into its fourth week, the horror and grief have only escalated. On Friday, Israel intensified its air bombardment and said it is expanding its ground operations in the Gaza Strip, a move that the United Nations has warned would be a humanitarian catastrophe for Gaza’s 2.3 million residents, per The Washington Post. That came as Gaza residents experienced a “total or near total” internet blackout, according to internet monitoring groups.
As of Oct. 27, more than 1,400 Israelis and more than 7,000 Palestinians in Gaza had been killed in the conflict, according to the Israeli military and Gaza’s health ministry, respectively. The current wave of violence ignited after Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7, prompting Israeli troops to fire continued airstrikes on Gaza. But this latest violence is only part of a much larger history of conflict between Israel and Palestine.
The war has ignited deeply polarized debates on social media, with people across the world consuming news (as well as misinformation and disinformation) about the war. With so many different perspectives, it can be difficult to understand a conflict that stretches back decades.
To provide deeper context, POPSUGAR asked three scholars to share media that they personally find helpful to better understand the historical context of Israeli and Palestinian relations – in the form of nonfiction books, novels, and films. We tapped Yara M. Asi, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of Central Florida and a fellow at Arab Center DC and the Foundation for Middle East Peace; Shayna Weiss, PhD, senior associate director at Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University; and Rebecca Carol Johnson, PhD, an associate professor of English and Middle East and North African Studies at Northwestern University, for their recommendations
The following is by no means a comprehensive list but may serve as a starting point.