Palestine Speaks: Voices from the West Bank and Gaza

Edited by Mateo Hoke and Cate Malek. McSweeney’s/Voice of Witness, $16 (320p) ISBN 978-1-940450-24-7
This eloquent study shows the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the West Bank and Gaza through the eyes of the people who live it each day. Hoke and Malek have transcribed 15 interviews, out of many more conducted over the course of four years, to convey a diverse cross-section of Palestinian life. They begin with the director of a West Bank children’s center, whose disabilities, caused by childhood polio, prove unexpectedly linked to the political impediments placed on her mobility. They go on to cover a young female Gaza journalist’s uncomfortable attempts to negotiate the patriarchal Hamas government and a Bethlehem defense lawyer’s memories of two decades within an Israeli prison. Since Israelis now make up an estimated 10% of the occupied territories’ population, the editors also include two Israeli voices—one belonging to a security officer for an Israeli settlement and the other to an activist opposed to the West Bank wall. Though the book’s somewhat narrow focus excludes Palestinian experiences within Israel or the wider diaspora, its grounding in personal experience and the contours of daily life still makes for an excellent introduction to a controversial subject. Hoke and Malek’s work should prove a sturdy and revelatory resource for those looking for a deeper understanding of an intractable conflict. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/2014
Release date: 11/01/2014
Ebook - 467 pages - 978-1-940450-70-4
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-1-78478-050-0
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