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2014 Dayton Literary Peace Prize — Nonfiction Runner Up
The complex histories and memories of Jewish and Palestinian Israelis today frame Israel’s future possibilities for peace.
1948: As Jewish refugees, survivors of the Holocaust, struggle toward the new State of Israel, Arab refugees are fleeing, many under duress. Sixty years later, the memory of trauma has shaped both peoples’ collective understanding of who they are. After a war, the victors write history. How was the story of the exiled Palestinians erased – from textbooks, maps, even the land? How do Jewish and Palestinian Israelis now engage with the histories of the Palestinian Nakba ("Catastrophe") and the Holocaust, and how do these echo through the political and physical landscapes of their country? Vividly narrated, with extensive original interview material, Contested Land, Contested Memory examines how these tangled histories of suffering inform Jewish and Palestinian-Israeli lives today, and frame Israel’s possibilities for peace.
Trained in her native England as a lawyer and anthropologist, Jo Roberts is now a freelance writer. For five years she was managing editor of the New York Catholic Worker newspaper, to which she frequently contributed. Her reportage from Israel and from the West Bank has appeared in Embassy, Canada’s foreign policy weekly. She lives in Toronto, Canada.
Table of Contents
TABLE OF CONTENTS Maps Introduction 1) 1948 2) Catastrophe and Memory 3) “New Israelis” 4) Reshaping the Landscape 5) Knowing the Land 6) Ghosts of the Holocaust 7) “All This Is Part of the Nakba” 8) Ghosts of the Nakba 9) Histories Flowing Together Appendix Notes