Except for Palestine

The Limits of Progressive Politics

A bold call for the American Left to extend their politics to the issues of Israel-Palestine

“A thoughtful and incisive analysis of how progressive commitments to racial and social justice are undermined by the ‘Palestinian exception’ . . . timely and vital.”

—Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib

Winner of the Palestine Book Awards’ Counter Current Award

In this major work of daring criticism and analysis, scholar and political commentator Marc Lamont Hill and Israel-Palestine expert Mitchell Plitnick spotlight how one-sided pro-Israel policies reflect the truth-bending grip of authoritarianism on both Israel and the United States. Except for Palestine argues that progressives and liberals who oppose regressive policies on immigration, racial justice, gender equality, LGBTQ rights, and other issues must extend these core principles to the oppression of Palestinians. In doing so, the authors take seriously the political concerns and well-being of both Israelis and Palestinians, demonstrating the extent to which U.S. policy has made peace harder to attain. They also unravel the conflation of advocacy for Palestinian rights with anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel.

Hill and Plitnick provide a timely and essential intervention by examining multiple dimensions of the Israeli-Palestinian conversation, including Israel’s growing disdain for democracy, the effects of occupation on Palestine, the siege of Gaza, diminishing American funding for Palestinian relief, and the campaign to stigmatize any critique of Israeli occupation. Except for Palestine is a searing polemic and a cri de coeur for elected officials, activists, and everyday citizens alike to align their beliefs and politics with their values.


“For too long, many have championed the rights and liberties of oppressed peoples here and abroad, but remained silent on Palestinian freedom, or even worse, supported U.S. policies that render Palestinian humanity and suffering invisible. This clear and courageous book is a clarion call for moral integrity and political consistency.”
—Cornel West, Union Theological Seminary
Except for Palestine calls on progressives to apply the same principles to Israel-Palestine that they apply to the U.S. It’s a simple, radical, and deeply important argument, which anyone who cherishes justice should not ignore.”
—Peter Beinart, author of The Crisis of Zionism
Except for Palestine cogently explores the reasons for the silence of so many progressives and liberals when it comes to the unceasing violations of the rights of the Palestinian people. Hill and Plitnick dismantle one by one the arguments used to justify this shameful silence, and in doing so provide an eloquent, balanced, and hard-hitting analysis of why ending an egregious exception to accepted norms of justice and equality is so imperative.”
—Rashid Khalidi, author of Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East
“A timely and compelling treatise on the moral failings of U.S. policy and American politics in relation to Israel/Palestine.”
—Khaled Elgindy, Responsible Statecraft
“A remarkable little book. . . . Except for Palestine should be read by anyone interested in events in Israel/Palestine—and obviously in particular, anyone claiming to be progressive and liberal.”
Palestine Chronicle
“This book explores some of the most fundamental contradictions confronting liberal spaces in the U.S. and makes a powerful case for the progressive core values of humanity, justice, and dignity to finally include the Palestinian people.”
—Ahmad Abuznaid, executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights
“Hill and Plitnick have produced a timely and powerful indictment of decades of U.S. policy exceptionalizing Israel at the expense of progressive values. Their thorough examination of American progressives’ intellectual and moral hypocrisy when it comes to defending Palestinians’ human rights, civil rights, and right to challenge Israeli occupation is a valuable resource.”
—Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace
“[A] principled cri de coeur to progressives everywhere. . . . Except for Palestine is a crucial and ultimately hopeful tool that better equips progressives to combat injustices within their own political circles.”
“A sweeping exposé of the single most brazen double standard in US foreign policy. This book should be read by all liberals and progressives who have been shamed, intimidated, and hoodwinked into silence on Palestinian rights.”
—Andrew Ross, author of Stone Men: The Palestinians Who Built Israel
“An accessible, in-depth analysis that takes U.S. politics to task for normalising both Israel’s colonial violence and, as a result, the oppression of the Palestinian people.”
Middle East Monitor

News and Reviews

Book Excerpt

Read the introduction and chapter four from Except for Palestine to learn more about the history of the crisis in Gaza and the moral failings of U.S. foreign policy.

Democracy Now!

Watch an interview with Except for Palestine co-authors Marc Lamont Hill and Mitchell Plitnick on Democracy Now!.

Goodreads Reviews