2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Billy Briggs Freelance Journalist,
This review is from: Intifada: The Long Day of Rage (Paperback)
Pratt's perceptive book is invaluable for anyone wishing to fully understand the two Palestinian Intifadas and recent history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Pratt is a highly experienced and respected British journalist who has spent more than twenty years covering this conflict, often putting his own life at risk in order to bear witness and to gain first hand experience of one of the world's most tragic stories: Pratt knows his subject matter inside out.
What I enjoyed most about this book is Pratt's writing style and his roller coaster reportage that takes the reader right into the heart of the dozens of major incidents he has covered. Pratt has interviewed most of the major players on both sides during his time but what makes this book for me is the insight the reader is given into how the conflict impacts ordinary people on both sides, details often missed by much media reporting.
In the foreword Pratt refreshingly abandons journalistic impartiality and states his belief that the Palestinian people are victims of a great injustice because the "weight of evidence which as a reporter I have come across over considerable time, convinces me that the State of Israel has a case to answer for its appalling treatment of the Palestinian". It's a courageous move and Pratt must be applauded for being so honest at the outset. I came to a similar conclusion after spending only one week in the West Bank: I'm no anti-Semite and neither is Pratt. Far from it, in fact, and anyone who has spent any time at all in the West Bank/Gaza could possibly come to any other conclusion than that Israel has a lot to answer for in its treatment of the Palestinians. Pratt does not neglect to present the Israeli point of view and he is severely critical of the PLO and Palestinian Authority.
Of course, anyone writing about this conflict is always going to lay themselves open to criticism from both sides and the dilemma for any journalist/writer is how to cut through the masses of disinformation and propaganda churned out by both sides. Pratt achieves notable success in achieving this because he spent time among the people on both sides. This is about real lives summed up in his eloquent foreword - "This book is my account of time spent among Palestinians and Israelis as they contest this battle and struggle to live ordinary lives in extraordinary circumstances."