Notes on the Occupation: Palestinian Lives

Overview

A rare, inside look at real life in the west bank, introduced by one of the world's leading Palestinian intellectuals.

Almost forty years after the Israeli military occupation of Palestine, scenes from everyday life in the West Bank remain rare and fragmented in the West. Despite its prominence in world news, surprisingly little is known about daily life in this troubled land. Yet with the publication of former President Jimmy Carter's ...
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Overview

A rare, inside look at real life in the west bank, introduced by one of the world's leading Palestinian intellectuals.

Almost forty years after the Israeli military occupation of Palestine, scenes from everyday life in the West Bank remain rare and fragmented in the West. Despite its prominence in world news, surprisingly little is known about daily life in this troubled land. Yet with the publication of former President Jimmy Carter's controversial new book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, it has become clear that an unvarnished view of Palestinian life is an essential prerequisite to peace. In Notes on the Occupation, critic and intellectual Eric Hazan provides crucial insight into life in the occupied state.

The result of a month-long visit to the region during the summer of 2006, including visits to Nablus, Qalqilyah, and Hebron, Hazan's eloquent account reveals the complex and devastating impact of the occupation.

With an introduction by celebrated Middle East scholar Rashid Khalidi and an epilogue by activist Michel Warschawski, Notes on the Occupation is a rare portrait of a population living with the reality of war and the dream of peace.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Hazan, a French editor and publisher, visited three West Bank towns in the summer of 2006 to observe the human cost of the Israeli occupation, which has lasted almost 40 years. He writes simply of the Palestinians he meets-mayors, mothers, militants, farmers, and others-surviving the ongoing economic, social, and political repression and daily humiliations. Hazan presents the human tragedy endured by the Palestinians without an analytic frame and concludes with his amazement that they can remain optimistic about the future. His perspective is important for library collections.


—Elizabeth R. Hayford
Kirkus Reviews
Ordinary citizens in three Palestinian cities on the West Bank come under scrutiny in this short, stimulating study. During a two-month period in 2006, French writer/publisher Hazan traveled to Nablus, Qalqilya and Hebron, all under Israeli occupation, in an attempt to document the lives of a diverse array of people. In the foreword, Rashid Khalidi (Arab Studies/Columbia Univ.) summarizes the book as "deceptively simple," a fitting description of the three chapters (one on each city) that follow. The interviews were conducted during a relatively quiet period on the West Bank, and Hazan takes a nonjudgmental tone throughout, allowing his subjects (many identified only by an initial) to speak directly to the reader. The stories they told set a disquieting and fearful tone. A group of poorly treated teachers in Nablus hadn't been paid in three months, since the boycott of the Hamas government began, and were forced to work second jobs. Their main concern, however, was the "lies" they were teaching in their classes-"None of that's true!" students said scornfully when told about the Declaration of Human Rights. "Why can't anybody in the world stop the Israelis?" Near Qalqilya, Hazan stayed with two brothers who sold and repaired cell phones. Their customers in this farming village could no longer pay them because produce could not be sold outside the village and government paychecks had dried up with the boycott. "If they keep strangling us, there will be terrorism in Israel," the brothers warned. In Hebron, the secretary of a women's-rights group noted that many wives were forced into the labor market because their men were either in jail or unemployed. These accounts, and the many othersincluded, make for deeply unsettling reading. An epilogue by Jerusalem-based peace activist Michel Warschawski does not noticeably brighten the picture. Offers a much-needed perspective on events in this turbulent, and often terrifying, region of the world.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595582027
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 11/1/2007
  • Pages: 113
  • Product dimensions: 5.02 (w) x 7.28 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Hazan is an editor, translator, and founder of the publishing house La Fabrique. He lives in Paris, France. Rashid Khalidi is the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies and the director of the Middle East Institute at Columbia University. Michel Warschawski is the director of the Alternative Information Center in Jerusalem, a well-known peace activist, and author of a book about the Israel-Palestine situation. George Holoch has translated more than twenty books, including works by Bernard-Henri Lévy, Jean Lacouture, and Olivier Roy. He lives in Hinesburg, Vermont.
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