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Two sides to every story!,
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This review is from: The Other Side of Israel: My Journey Across the Jewish/Arab Divide (Paperback)
I was always aware through media about the Palestine/West Bank/Gaza Strip situation and I remember certain strands of people in Northern Ireland did not believe that Arabs were treated so badly. Nationalists tended to sympathise with the Palestinian situation. Perhaps some become caught up in the biblical notion that the Jews are the chosen people of God, therefore, can possibly do no wrong! However, I was not aware of widescale discrimination against Arabs in Israel legitimised by the government to keep it under Jewish control. For example, Nathan writes that in October 2000 Israeli police shot dead thirteen unarmed Arab demonstrators across the Galilee (p.87). Apparently,an official enquiry did not hold any of the Israeli police officers accountable for the killings, but admitted the presence of prejudice in the police force. Nathan claims that government land laws restrict Arabs from building homes on land otherwise they can be bulldozed. It is a sad sorry situation and it is possible to draw parallels with Northern Ireland's past. In fact, Nathan compares Zionist apartheid to South African apartheid. Nevertheless, she argues that Zionist apartheid is more radical, claiming that in Israel 93 per cent of the land designated in law as state land for the settlement, cultivation and development of ews only, and less than 7 per cent is private and so theoretically accessible to non-Jews (p.141). It is a good book and is well worth the read. Nathan admits that whilst being indoctrinated in Zionist history when young, she was not made aware of the real way land was acquired in 1948 and 1967. The book shows that oral tradition throughout generations of families has a way of interpreting history to their own advantage. Consequently, diasporic populations across the world share links to a real or imagined homeland.
I cannot recommend the book highly enough! An important read.
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Initial post: 13 May 2012 19:11:12 BDT
It's this unfounded belife, among the Jews, that the land of Israel was given to them by their god, that's the cause of so much trouble. But let's not overlook the fact that the Palestinians are far from blameless themselves. Looking forward to getting the book though.
In reply to an earlier post on 13 May 2012 21:28:04 BDT
Yes I know that the Palestines are far from blameless. That is why I read books like Nathan's with a view to hearing the other side of an argument as one has to question evidence in relation to who is presenting it and their motives, otherwise there would be little point in me studying social sciences.
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