"In the case of Palestine, we deliberately and rightly decline to accept the principle of self-determination."-Lord Balfour, author of the Balfour Declaration
A critical and crucial book about the Palestinian experience in the West Bank. Depending on your politics, you'll call it the occupation. Regardless, the tensions between Israelis and Palestinians has been a seemingly insoluble issue for decades and one which has led to violence over and over again. Americans are conditioned to be pro-Israel without really understanding the history, complexity, or nuances of the situation. Ben Ehrenreich (his mother is Barbara) puts a very human face on the occupation with this incisive, intelligent, and compassionate book. While it presumes some familiarity with the history, Ehrenreich does a good job of putting it in context, but his real focus is on the human cost of the occupation, which is considerable. An eye-opening and necessary book that should be required reading. Some other useful books about Israel/Palestine: "1967" (about the 6-day war), "13 Days in September" (about the Camp David accords), and "Lawrence in Arabia" (about the roots of the creation of the Jewish state).
This is a stunning book. Ehrenreich writes vividly about the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. He offers intimate portraits of villagers' lives and is meticulous in documenting the impact of the occupation. The book reveals a way of life dying in the shadow of ever-expanding settlements. This is what occupation looks like on the ground where theft, abuse and humiliation are the tools of oppression.
I certainly hope that more than one only book is purchased by the library.
The recommendations don't mention several important books from the anti-Zionist perspective;
Max Blumenthal's 'Goliath'; Ilan Pappe's 'The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine'; Mearshimer and Walt, 'The Israel Lobby' and others.
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