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Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair Paperback – November 11, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'I have been reading Jonathan's work on the internet for years. On Palestine and Israel, I can think of no more reliable source.' - John Pilger 'This is an impressive and timely book written by one of the most knowledgeable writers on the Palestine-Israel conflict. Its insight into the devastating impact of Zionist settler colonialism and its account of the current reality on the ground are unique. A must read for those seeking peace and justice in the Middle East.' - Nur Masalha, Director of the Holy Land Research Project, St Mary's University College (UK), and author of The Bible and Zionism (2007) 'No one is a keener observer of Zionism's true goals, from its bald usurpation of land and resources to its bad faith about seeking real peace. The book provides an unusual depth of evidence and sharp analysis, and a devastating indictment of Zionism. It is a penetrating piece of scholarship and a gem of easy readability.' - Kathleen Christison, former CIA analyst and author of Perceptions of Palestine (1999)

About the Author

Jonathan Cook is the only western journalist to be based in Nazareth, the capital of the Palestinian people in Israel.  He was previously a staff journalist on the Guardian and Observer newsletters, and has also written about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the Times, Le Monde diplomatique, the International Herald Tribune, Al-Ahram Weekly, Counterpunch and Aljazeeria.net.  He is the author of Blood and Religion:  The Unmasking of the Jewish and Democratic State (2006) and Israel and the Clash of Civilisations (2008).  
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Zed Books; illustrated edition edition (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848130317
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848130319
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,292,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mr. Cook starts off the book by examining the foundations of the Jewish state. 750,000 Palestinians fled their homes in 1948 because of ethnic cleansing by Israel. Cook notes that this ethnic cleansing plan, "Plan Dalet" was approved by the Zionist leadership in Tel Aviv in March 1948. Both sides committed atrocities in the 1948 conflict but the Zionists committed several dozen massacres at minimum. Cook writes that the Deir Yessin massacre did not actually kill 250 Arabs but around 100 and that Begin exaggerated the number killed so as to sow terror in Palestinians.. Cook notes that, in the midst of the ethnic cleansing of Lydd and Ramla, forces under the command of Yigal Allon and Yitzhak Rabin massacred about 170 Palestinian males who had taken shelter in the Dahamish mosque in Lydd. Thousands of Israeli Arabs were quietly expelled from their homes in the 1948-56 period. Cook writes that an attempt to create a pretext to expel the Israeli Arab inhabitants of the Iron Triangle, called Operation Hafarferet,had to be called off after the massacre of 47 Israeli Arabs by the Israeli border police at Kafr Qassem.

Israeli Arabs, i.e. non-Jews, make up a fifth of Israel's citizenry. Yet non-Jews are effectively excluded from owning or receiving leases on 93 percent of the land within Israel's pre-1967 borders. They are barred from many job categories because of Jewish racism and numerous barriers limit their access to higher education. Israeli Arabs are forced to use the vast majority of the land allotted to them for residential purposes. They have very little access to land to build new housing or start new businesses--Israeli local and regional government planning bodies make sure that they do not. .
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Format: Hardcover
This book is the first to focus on an essential aspect of Israel's conduct of its nearly 42 year brutal occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza. One cannot comprehend Israel's behavior toward the Palestinian people it holds under its control without the information in this book. What a shame, then, that it is so outrageously overpriced in the United States.

I buy the great majority of my books from Amazon, but in this case I paid about one third the Amazon price by ordering the book from a UK seller via abebooks.com. I strongly recommend this book, but I do not recommend buying it from a U.S. source.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most important work by the exceptional, award winning [...] author Jonathan Cook.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Award for Journalism in June 2011. As covered on the Israeli Occupation Archive ([...]

[Start of quote]

Jonathan Cook, whose work appears regularly on the pages of the IOA, was awarded the Martha Gellhorn Special Award for Journalism.

The award citation reads: "Jonathan Cook's work on Palestine and Israel, especially his de-coding of official propaganda and his outstanding analysis of events often obfuscated in the mainstream, has made him one of the reliable truth-tellers in the Middle East."

Indeed. As regular readers of Jonathan Cook's work already know, Cook's analysis puts today's events in an historical context that never fails to decipher the power interests behind the news. His knowledge of Palestinian and Israeli history; his insightful, astute coverage; and his commitment to justice result in unparalleled reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Occupation, and the life of Palestinians under Israeli rule, both within and outside of the 1967 borders.

[End of quote]

Source: [[...]

This book details the history and reality of Palestinian dispossession by Israel: the thoroughly planned and carefully executed campaign of ethnic cleansing carried out by Israel over decades in which Palestine keeps shrinking and Greater Israel grows even greater.

An essential text for the understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israel's Occupation and the dimming prospects for peace and resolution.

Most highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you want to understand, truly understand, what is going on inside Israel and what life is truly like for Palestinian citizens of Israel, you shoud read this book. NO one understands the intricacies of the Israeli's government's systematic and institutionalized discrimination against its Palestinian citizens like Mr. Cook.
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Format: Paperback
Jonathan Cooks latest book is written about the plight of the Palestinian Peoples at the hands of the Israeli State.

The book is divided into two parts, the first contains a history of and reflections on Zionism - in practice as well as its myths. This includes some fascinating reflections on the provenance of the Jewish People themselves, including new research by an Israeli Historians/Archaeologists that seem to point towards a proselytising phase in Jewish History, and thinks it likely that the modern Jewish people originated from Turks (southern Russia), Berbers (north Africa) and Arabians (Yemen). This will no doubt be rabidly attacked (and apparently has been) for undermining the myth of return. It maybe that they were - in large part - never there in the first place?

Be that as it may, the contested history of millennia ago ought to be as nothing compared with the ongoing dispossession and destruction of Palestinian society and identity in what was Mandatory Palestine. The second part of the book details this, and brings the reader up to date with developments well into 2008 but stopping short of the attack on Gaza over Christmas 2008/9. There are stories of how the wall has divided Palestinians from each other and their land, of the continual Israeli theft of Palestinian land. Particularly moving, and relatively hopeful sections, document those brave Israelis who bear witness at Israeli Defence Force checkpoints in an attempt to curtail the violence and harassment of the Palestinians; and those Israelis who braved the violence of Jewish Settlers in the West Bank to help Palestinians gather in at least some of their olive harvest.

Cook also writes well of the plight of Palestinians within Israel proper (i.e. with in the pre-67 borders).
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