OUR SACRED LAND: Voices of the Palestine-Israeli Conflict

Kenize Mourad, Author . Oneworld $16.95 (247p) ISBN 978-1-85168-357-4

For anyone who relished the complex portraits of the first intifada in Joe Sacco's Palestine (a work of Maus -like graphic journalism), here are voices that stretch far beyond the confines of word balloons. Mourad spent 15 years as a Middle East correspondent for France's La Nouvelle Observateur . She presents interviews with a Palestinian man whose home has been repeatedly destroyed; a Jewish settler originally from Morocco; a Christian clergyman from Bethlehem; a Jewish conscientious objector; the family of Wafa, the first female suicide bomber; the sister of a Jewish Israeli killed by a suicide bomber; journalists, children and activists from both sides; and many others. Mourad makes no secret of her opposition to many reported Israeli practices, some of which—like endless bureaucratic delays for Palestinians within and outside of Israel and extended detentions under technicalities—are presented here as covertly sanctioned by branches of the Israeli government. She manages to get excellent material even from interviewees for whom she has little sympathy (even as she dismisses some of what they say), and to allow for the "whys" of the more extreme views on all sides. For anyone numbed by the tactics and body counts coming out of the area, this collection of first-person experiences lends humanizing depth. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/17/2005
Release date: 03/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
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