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5.0 out of 5 stars A unique perspective., 21 Aug 2011
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This review is from: Reporting from Ramallah: An Israeli Journalist in an Occupied Land (Semiotext(e) / Active Agents) (Paperback)
I expect that Amira Hass will be described by the policy makers in Israeli right as another self hating Jew, I also expect that she isn't overly popular with many within the Palestinian Authority either as neither are spared critisism in this book. A.M writes from the unique position of having actually lived under Israeli Occupation from the 1990's within the Occupied Territories, as such she is ideally placed to give testimony to what this actually means for the Palestinian people. Her reports were origionally published in Haaretz and this book is a collection of those reports.

So we have tales of policies that see entire districts being under curfew for days, weeks or months on end in the name of security, arbitary rules enforced on the whim of a check point commander or perhaps just a bored conscript having a bad day. But more than this we have tales of the corrupt Palestinian Authority pressured in to being Israel's brutal proxy enforcer when it comes to Islamic militancy whilst failing to either negotiate a future for or to protect those who elected them. The majority of the population are forced to cope with being labled as terrorists by an all powerful occupying force, punished for the actions of a tiny minority on one side whilst their own government stiffels any legitimate internal protests.

What I personally thought, having read these reports was that the longer Israel and P.A. failed to provide a solution to the occupation or the settlements or the ever more harsh collective punishments and house demolitions, the more the armed resistance of Hamas was seen to be a legitimate response to those elements. This is not to say A.M. thinks the Palestinians were terrorists, more that violence begats violence, especially in the absence of justice. Israeli policy will always fail to provide lasting security whilst it fails to differentiate between 'terrorists' and the innocent. Without hope of a better life the choice of the suicide bomber or the resistance fighter becomes far easier.

It is interesting reading these reports from the 1990's with the hindsight of the present day. It seems to me that by not working with the P.A. over the last twenty years or more, Israel has inadvertantly transformed Hamas into a major political player. Depressing reading made all the more depressing by the total lack of progress since these articles were written.
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