ISRAEL: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth
by Noa Tishby

Noa Tishby — a self-described Zionist and pro-Israel, pro-Palestinian, anti-Hamas, American Israeli Jewish woman — has written an accessible introduction to Israel's many complexities. Her book is many things: a personal family narrative, a concise history lesson, and a closer look at everything from antisemitism to BDS to the United Nations.


My name is Noa Tishby, and I was born in Israel. I was raised in the suburbs of Tel Aviv, in a middle-class, politically active family that can trace its lineage through the creation of the state. My grandmother was one of the founders of the first kibbutz (a collective farm; more on this later) in Israel, my great-grandfather was the founder of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and my grandfather was Israel's first ambassador to West African countries and served as a member of the Israeli delegation to the United Nations.

Needless to say, this left a strain of intrepid curiosity in my DNA. Growing up, I accompanied my parents to various protests and demonstrations, and we had ministers and ambassadors over for dinner several times a month. Politics was all around me, which is why it was somewhat surprising that I decided to go into the entertainment industry …

A political map of Israel with arrows


“In a funny, surprising, and straightforward voice, Noa Tishby rolls the entire history of Israel into a blunt and insightful read. The perfect anti-textbook for anyone who slept through class, this is not your Bubbie's history book.”
- Television host Bill Maher

“This is a fascinating — and very moving — book that should be read by anyone for whom Israel is a mystery.”
- Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin

“Heartfelt, funny, and genuine — for anyone confused by the furious debates about Israel, time spent with Noa Tishby's book feels less like a college class than like drinks with a smart and passionate friend.”
- Israeli author Matti Friedman

“ISRAEL is essential reading for Arabs, Jews, Americans, and the rest of the world. A beautiful and inspiring human journey ... ”
- Palestinian author Mosab Hasan Yousef

“Everything to do with this subject is controversial, but Noa Tishby doesn't shy away. An engaging and provocative invitation to debate.”
- Columbian director and screenwriter Rodrigo Garcia

“This is a book well worth the read for anyone who cares about, or needs a crash course on, the Jewish state.”
- Hadassah Magazine

For more reviews, visit the Simon & Schuster website.


Noa Tishby

Actress, producer, writer, and activist Noa Tishby

Actress, producer, writer, and activist Noa Tishby was born and raised in Tel Aviv.

She served two-and-a-half years in the Israeli army before she landed a starring role on the nation's highest-rated prime time drama Ramat Aviv Gimmel. She became a household name, appearing in numerous TV shows, films, theater productions, and national fashion campaigns before moving to Los Angeles, where she sold the Israeli TV show In Treatment to HBO, making history as the first Israeli television show to become an American series. She coproduced over 150 episodes of the show, which earned a Peabody Award and twelve Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.

A passionate political activist, Tishby founded the nonprofit Act for Israel, Israel's first online advocacy organization, and was appointed as Israel's first Special Envoy for Combatting Antisemitism and Delegitimization. She has been a keynote speaker and panelist at events around the world and has appeared in such venues as the United Nations General Assembly, where she has discussed everything from BDS to Israeli innovation. She is a contributor to publications such as the Huffington Post, Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Journal, Tablet and Ynet, where she writes about policy, culture, and international relations.