Our Way to Fight: Israeli and Palestinian Activists for Peace

Overview

The news coming out of the Israel-Palestine conflict remains grim. The region remains a symbol of instability fueled by violence and hatred.

            In Our Way to Fight, journalist and author Michael Riordon offers a different perspective, exploring the conflict through local Israeli and Palestinian peace activists who break all stereotypes. Riordon travels to thousand-year-old olive groves, besieged villages, refugee ...

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Overview

The news coming out of the Israel-Palestine conflict remains grim. The region remains a symbol of instability fueled by violence and hatred.

            In Our Way to Fight, journalist and author Michael Riordon offers a different perspective, exploring the conflict through local Israeli and Palestinian peace activists who break all stereotypes. Riordon travels to thousand-year-old olive groves, besieged villages, refugee camps, checkpoints, and barracks, talking with people on both sides of the Wall who fight violence and war through creative resistance. He uncovers the crises that stirred them to act, the risks they face in working for peace, and the small victories that sustain them.

            In the face of deepening conflict, Our Way to Fight is a portrait of courageous grassroots action that provides hope for a livable future and inspiration to peace activists in all nations.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Riordon (An Unauthorized Biography of the World) presents lyrical portraits of nonviolent peace activists from both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian divide. From Israeli draft refusal to Palestinian opposition to Israel's security wall, the efforts to circumvent the occupation and bridge the gaps between the peoples are many and varied, though activists are often forced to retreat in the face of forces in both societies that see cooperation as capitulation. Critically, Riordon includes many representatives of Israel's own Palestinian community—the 20% of Israel's population who are Palestinian but have Israeli citizenship, and are only rarely considered in any treatment of the conflict. Even while maintaining a sober assessment of the difficult road activists face, simply by demonstrating that Israelis and Palestinians can and do work in common cause, Riordon offers an important corrective to the standard tale of an intractable conflict. (May)
From the Publisher
"A book like a pocket lamp that contests darkness: the darkness fabricated by those who have promoted a global blindness concerning what has happened in Palestine and Israel during the last sixty years. The battery of this remarkable lamp is true observation, and with it you discover exemplary courage in the most unexpected places. Pocket it!" —John Berger, author of Ways of Seeing and About Looking

“Riordon’s portraits reveal what it means to be a courageous person, a seeker of truth. This is a vital intervention for all who care about peace and justice.” —Neve Gordon, author of Israel's Occupation

"Riordon offers an important corrective to the standard tale of an intractable conflict." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"An important asset for those with advanced knowledge of Israel's apartheid. It adds clarity and most importantly—humanity—to such a complex situation in which the repressors portray themselves and even see themselves as the victims, that is valuable for even the most experienced activist." —Shir Hever, author of The Political Economy of Israel's Occupation

"Sensitive interviewing and careful attention to detail." —IllumeMagazine.com

VOYA - Courtney M. Krieger
Traveling through modern-day, war-torn Israel, author and documentary filmmaker Riordon records first-hand accounts of Israeli and Palestinian peace activists working together to overcome a corrupt Israeli government bent on exterminating Arabs from its Holy Land to make room for new settlements. Throughout the book, Riordon documents the violence Palestinians have experienced since the 1948 War of Independence, and introduces the reader to activists of all ages (eighteen to seventy-six) who have faced beatings, imprisonment, and possible death in pursuit of what he coins as "just peace"?"peace without justice is hollow, a sham, the deathly stillness of tyranny triumphant. By contrast, a just peace is alive, clamorous, and vibrant with possibilities" (p. 1). Refusing to play into the politically correct notion that Israeli citizens are victims of Palestinian terrorists, Riordon paints another picture, one that depicts Palestinians, not as terrorists, but as victims of ethnic cleansing. Riordon's nonfiction challenges stereotypes and accepted truths concerning the Israeli/Palestinian conflict by exposing the censored version to the world. Taking on the role of storyteller, he uses vignettes to show the reader the conflict through Israeli and Palestinian peace activists' eyes. Each chapter works independently of each other and addresses issues of persecution as well as ways activists are fighting back, legally and peacefully. This book would be an excellent resource for teachers to address current issues of propaganda, censorship, colonization, civil rights, and the power that individuals possess to effect change. In addition, most of the activists' organizations maintain websites, which could be wonderful teaching tools to connect students with the voices found throughout this book. Reviewer: Courtney M. Krieger
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569767788
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/2011
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 576,992
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

A writer and an award-winning documentary filmmaker, Michael Riordon is the author of An Unauthorized Biography of the World: Oral History on the Front Lines and three other books.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vi

Introduction 1

1 A Day in the Country 5

2 My Way to Fight 17

3 The Jerusalem Syndrome 29

4 Bridge to the World 42

5 Witness 54

6 There is a Law 68

7 This is My Homeland 80

8 Facts Under the Ground 89

9 A Drop in the Sea 100

10 Dreams Have Their Uses 113

11 Civilizing Israel 126

12 The Generation that Matters 139

13 Naming Palestine 152

14 A Cure for Amnesia 164

15 The Tempo of History 177

16 Hello? 190

17 Cracks in the Wall 199

18 The Safety of Sleep 215

Index 231

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