Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation

Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation

3.6 3
by Saree Makdisi
     
 

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“A compelling account . . . and a reminder that a true peace can be built only on justice.”—Desmond M. Tutu

Tending one’s fields, visiting a relative, going to the hospital: for ordinary Palestinians, such activities require negotiating permits and passes, curfews and closures, “sterile roads” and “seam

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Overview

“A compelling account . . . and a reminder that a true peace can be built only on justice.”—Desmond M. Tutu

Tending one’s fields, visiting a relative, going to the hospital: for ordinary Palestinians, such activities require negotiating permits and passes, curfews and closures, “sterile roads” and “seam zones”—bureaucratic hurdles ultimately as deadly as outright military incursion. In Palestine Inside Out, Saree Makdisi draws on eye-opening statistics, academic histories, UN reports, and contemporary journalism to reveal how the “peace process” institutionalized Palestinians’ loss of control over their inner and outer lives—and argues powerfully and convincingly for a one-state solution.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In chronicling Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories-from road blocks to curfews, economic chaos to health care crises-UCLA professor Makdisi sketches a powerful, relentlessly heartbreaking account of a reality few Westerners know. According to Makdisi, the global media rarely covers the "routine" destruction of the occupation; rather than assessing the hermetic sealing of the Gaza Strip or the slicing up of West Bank communities for the sake of Israeli settlements, the media focuses on violence-eclipsing the "deadly effects of the Israeli apparatus of bureaucracy and control." Makdisi unequivocally condemns attacks on civilians, Israeli or Palestinian, and acknowledges the many Israelis working toward conflict resolution (indeed, much of his data comes from Israeli human rights organizations), but his scholarship occasionally fails when surveying Israeli society: Jews who fled Arab lands don't generally consider themselves "Arab Jews," for instance, and Zionism is a 19th-century nationalist movement, not a reaction to the Holocaust. Yet this doesn't detract from the urgency of Makdisi's work. The combined weight of personal stories of abject suffering, harsh statistics (in the past seven years, Israeli military operations have killed 854 Palestinian children) and facts on the ground make Makdisi's case that the occupation is destroying the Palestinian people, and possibly any chance for peaceful coexistence. (May)

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Kirkus Reviews
An intense look at the difficult daily existence of people who are often little more than pawns in a bigger chess game. A half-Palestinian Christian who grew up in Beirut, Makdisi (English and Comparative Literature/UCLA; William Blake and the Impossible History of the 1790s, 2002, etc.) combines interviews with average citizens and a detailed history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Even those not supportive of the Palestinian cause may be affected by the author's stark descriptions of the restrictions on liberty that he asserts are a hallmark of the Israeli occupation. A Palestinian man describes how guards punished him when he and his family tried to get into a shorter line while going through a border crossing on the West Bank: "I did not lose consciousness, but the many blows I suffered completely disoriented me. The two soldiers . . . punched and kicked me all over my body." Occasionally the quotations run too long and begin to ramble, decreasing their effectiveness, and the narrative sometimes awkwardly straddles the line between academic and general-interest text. The author rarely discusses underlying reasons for Israeli actions, such as the ongoing threat of suicide bombers and the stated desire of some Palestinian leaders to destroy Israel. In his extensive discussion of Israel's creation and the concomitant displacement of many Palestinians, he impugns the motives of Zionists and their allies throughout Western Europe and rarely displays the empathy for the Israelis that he asks people to show for the Palestinians. Makdisi dismisses the efforts of some Israeli and Western leaders to resolve the conflict and create a Palestinian homeland (e.g., the 2000 Camp Davidcompromise rejected by PLO leader Yasser Arafat) as both insincere and insufficient. Those looking for a moving and humane account of the lives of Palestinians will be rewarded, but readers expecting an evenhanded assessment will be disappointed. Agent: Melanie Jackson/Melanie Jackson Agency
Times Higher Education Supplement
“An extraordinarily detailed portrait. . . . Weaves together a tapestry of harrowing narratives in a lucid and measured tone.”
Boston Globe
“A lucid, invaluable chronicle of Palestinian daily life in the occupied territories.”
Richard Falk
“This book needs to be required reading for all who seek a peaceful future for these two long-tormented peoples.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393069969
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
04/12/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
1,060,640
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Saree Makdisi is a professor of English and comparative literature at UCLA. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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