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Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Palestine Inside OutPalestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation chronicles how the peace process has made life hell for ordinary Palestinians and goes over the every day trials and tribulations of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and non-Jewish Arabs inside Israel.  The main focus of this book is the bureaucracy of the occupation and the politics of it.

This book is not about suicide bombers. Tending one’s fields, visiting a relative, going to the hospital: for ordinary Palestinians, such everyday activities require negotiating permits and passes, curfews and closures, “sterile roads” and “seam zones”—bureaucratic hurdles ultimately as deadly as outright military incursion.

Not since the late Edward Said has there been such an articulate Arab voice on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In devastating detail, Saree Makdisi reveals how the “peace process” institutionalized Palestinians’ loss of control over their inner and outer lives. He shows how Israel’s massive concrete walls going up around Gaza and the West Bank isolate communities from their lands, their livelihoods, and each other. Through eye-opening statistics and day-by-day reports, we learn how Palestinians have seen their hopes for freedom and statehood culminate in the creation of abject “territories” comparable to open-air prisons.

Anyone surprised at Arab anger or the election of Hamas must read this book.

Dr. Saree Makdisi (Photo from Al-Ahram Weekly)

Dr. Saree Makdisi (Photo from Al-Ahram Weekly)

Dr. Saree Makdisi is a professor of English and comparative literature at UCLA.

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