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Shifting Sands: Jewish Women Confront the Israeli Occupation Paperback – May 4, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Whole World Press; First Edition edition (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984512810
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984512812
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,832,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Throughout history, women's stories have played a key role in drawing attention to social injustices and human rights violations. Indeed it is stories that have shaped the Jewish-American experience and collective memory. Yet, amid stories of suffering and triumph, so many nations, races, borders and enemies have been defined, that it demands the grueling work of unlearning preconceived notions in order to uncover the other stories that parallel these. This anthology contains Jewish-American women's stories spanning generations, life experiences, and means of questioning the status quo and making room for more than one victim. Their bravery in speaking out against the injustices perpetuated by our own people (this time) is not the main story here--the legacy they will create is through their acts of witnessing the truth, swallowing its ramifications and exposing stories too often untold to Jews worldwide. If there is ever to be true, just peace and reconciliation in Israel/Palestine, it must start with embracing our traditions and stories enough to depart from them and teach new ones. --Emily W. Schaeffer, American-Israeli human rights lawyer and anti-occupation activist

Writing with personal modesty yet great humanity, these courageous women offer richly textured, revelatory accounts that will grip the reader's thoughts and feelings. All the selections are finely rendered, insightful, and endowed with a determined sense of justice and compassion. --Michael Parenti, author of Contrary Notions and God and His Demons

This is a moving collection of readings by Jewish women writers who are committed to the quest for justice and compassion in Palestine and Israel. They powerfully articulate, in their different ways, the axiom of our common humanity. It may have taken our whole life to reach that place (as one contributor put it), but those who are finally able to see, must stand up and advocate for sanity now, today. --Deb Reich, translator, Abu Ghosh, Israel/Palestine

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Emman Chehade on May 14, 2010
"Throughout history" writes American Israeli activist Emily Schaeffer, "women's stories have played a key role in drawing attention to social injustices and human rights violations". This book, edited by Osie Gabriel Adelfang is just that: A collection of essays of 14 Jewish women who collectively say, 'Not in my name'. It is prefaced by Amira Hass, an Israeli journalist who routinely writes about the horrors of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank as well as the inherent inequalities in Israel amongst Jews and Palestinians. The forward is written by Cindy Sheehan, no stranger to pain herself.

Then there is Osie's essay in the book, reading it will provide the entire motivation behind this beautiful book. It was her cousin Haim who refused to serve in the Israel Defense Force, inspiring her to edit this book and to open her eyes to the true and harsh realities that exist in Israel and the occupation. Hedy Epstein is also a contributor. A Holocaust survivor who writes, "The Israeli government's arrogance, its chutzpah, and its violent practices stand in the way of accomplishing the peace Israelis say they want. It stands in the way of Palestinians having the same rights all human being s deserve. The Palestinians will not go away. They are a resilient, ever-hopeful people. They are my brothers and sisters".

Buy the book. Read it. Recommend it. It is a powerful combination of pain, loss, empathy, compassion and razor sharp reasoning on why Israel must, for the sake of Jews and Palestinians, cease its violent and racist policies, and enter into a meaningful and just peace based on equality and fairness for everyone.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Anis B. Salib on May 10, 2010
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Honest and brave Jewish women express their outrage against Israel's treatment of the same Palestinians whom it dispossessed and expelled in 1948, then resumed the process of ethnic cleansing since it occupied their remaining lands and refugee camps in 1967 to this day. These graceful women, including the book's editor who was inspired by her cousin's moving letter to his commander declaring his refusal to be a soldier enforcing occupation, and along with thousands of other Jewish and Israeli human rights activists and hundreds of Israeli soldiers refusing to serve the occupation, are a living testimony that genuine humanitarian feelings go across the superficiality of ethnic and religious barriers.

Anis Salib, May 10, 2010
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Raymond Deane on July 20, 2010
Several of the essays in this remarkable book feature a characteristic "epiphany" (a moment when the hitherto concealed truth of a situation flashes forth). For Maia Ettinger this was a photo in the New York Times showing "a clean-shaven young Arab man" descending "the steps of a government building in Israel", " four uniformed Israeli soldiers... pushing him, tearing at his clothes, kicking his legs. And laughing." For Hedy Epstein it was the applause of "a mainstream Jewish community group" on hearing news of the Sabra and Shatila massacre in 1982. For Sandra Butler it was the 13th International Women in Black Conference in Israel/Palestine that made her "eyes and ... heart fill with an altered reality..." For Osie Gabriel Adelfang, who has edited the collection, it was translating from Hebrew into English a letter from her refusenik cousin for publication in the UK Guardian (May 6, 2002) that taught her "a lesson in courage and hope."

Such moments are also familiar to many Gentiles whose path to the Palestinian cause was not necessarily a self-evident one. Jews, however, have a specific opportunity - and, perhaps, responsibility - to fight the propaganda ploy that maliciously equates Zionists and Jews, and anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. Contributor Emma Rosenthal is refreshingly described as "affirmatively Jewish and assertively anti-Zionist", a combination that is slowly but inevitably changing public perceptions of the Palestine issue in the two countries that hitherto have been most unquestionably supportive of the Zionist project - the USA and Germany.

Rosenthal's prose piece Good Germans (somewhere between a poem and an essay) explores a risky option that is also more available to Jews than to Gentiles: the comparison with Nazi Germany.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andrea C. Hewitt on May 14, 2010
Even though I consider myself a very informed US citizen, I knew next-to-nothing about the history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. This book is a great way to become informed, and how better than through individual women's stories? I recommend this book to everyone who wants to know more about this situation, especially in light of how much money the US government sends to Israel every year, and the atrocities that happen there while much of the rest of the world turns a blind eye. Get informed, get involved, and enjoy a great read!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Klaiman on May 9, 2010
I was really touched by the content of the book. the stories were beautifully written, interesting, and called for understanding of a tough, tough situation. An important addition to anyone's understanding of a sad situation in an important and beautiful part of the world.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kay L. Campbell on May 3, 2010
I read this in galley form because Osie lives in my city (so she's on my "beat," so to speak). I'd expected to skim it for a superficial review, but found the essays compelling in their scope and viewpoints. Here is the story about this project -- well worth the time of anyone interested in the faces of the troubles in Israel and Palestine: [...]
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