Apartheid in Palestine

Apartheid in Palestine

Hard Laws and Harder Experiences

Book - 2016
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"Of all the crimes to which Palestinians have been subjected through a century of bitter tragedy, perhaps none are more cruel than the silencing of their voices. The suffering has been most extreme, criminal, and grotesque in Gaza, where Ghada Ageel was one of the victims from childhood. This collection of essays is a poignant cry for justice, far too long delayed." --Noam ChomskyThere are more than two sides to the conflict between Palestine and Israel. There are millions. Millions of lives, voices, and stories behind the enduring struggle in Israel and Palestine. Yet, the easy binary of Palestine vs. Israel on which the media so often relies for context effectively silences the lived experiences of people affected by the strife. Ghada Ageel sought leading experts--Palestinian and Israeli, academic and activist--to gather stories that humanize the historic processes of occupation, displacement, colonization, and, most controversially, apartheid. Historians, scholars and students of colonialism and Israel-Palestine studies, and anyone interested in more nuanced debate, will want to read this book.Contributors: Yasmeen Abu-Laban, Ghada Ageel, Huwaida Arraf, Abigail B. Bakan, Ramzy Baroud, Samar El-Bekai, James Cairns, Edward C. Corrigan, Susan Ferguson, Keith Hammond, Rela Mazali, Sherene Razack, Tali Shapiro, Reem Skeik, Rafeef Ziadah.
Publisher: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada : The University of Alberta Press, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781772120820
Branch Call Number: 956.940049274 Apa
Characteristics: 263 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Ageel, Ghada 1970-- Editor

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c
cstadt
May 15, 2016

The systemic injustice that the Palestinian people suffer at the hands of official Israeli policy is allowed to continue because the official Israeli narrative of their history has rendered the Palestinians invisible. One passage in the book that I found to be particularly helpful in putting them back in the picture is the following:

“The best way that I can explain the Palestinian case to a person who argues against it is by putting the person in the shoes of the Palestinians. I ask them to imagine the home they live in now and have spent money and labour on – and have many happy memories in. This place is your shelter and part of you. Imagine if one day, a perfect stranger came to your home and decided to take it over because he had a hard life, was victimized by another person to whom you had no relation, and decided that your home would be perfect compensation. Would you, the owner, stand by and let them take it or would you fight for it?” She continues a bit further on: “So I say to them, this is why we fight the Israeli military occupation to this day. As the famous Palestinian thinker Edward Said once stated, ‘You cannot continue to victimize someone else just because you yourself were a victim once – there has to be a limit’” (p. 45). I would add that I think it goes without saying that having been a victim once never gives one the right to victimize others.

Asking the right questions will expose the deceitful nature of the pro-Israeli narrative. The right questions are not anti-Semitic or anti-Israeli. But they are, by removing the invisibility of the Palestinian people, pro-truth and pro-justice.

The topic nevertheless is such that some people will be offended, but we must remember that the truth itself is never offensive, while disturbing long-held views and prejudices certainly is. And the first meaningful steps towards a lasting peace in this part of the world must begin here, because peace can never be had at the expense of justice.

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