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Behind the Wall: Life, Love, and Struggle in Palestine Hardcover – February 1, 2010
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The pain that we Americans do not see; and pretend not to know is being inflicted on the Palestinians every hour of every day is brought out into the open here. Our collective denial can finally end with this book: Through Rich Wiles journalistic eyes we finally get to see a stark reality that has been shielded from our delicate and sensitive pro-Israeli eyes. And it is not a pretty sight.
I am not a sentimental person, nor especially pro-Palestinian (or anti-Israeli), yet even for me, this is an amazingly powerful read. It is about suffering, about pathos, about the life of the dispossessed, about oppression and repression, hostility and unimaginable and unaccounted for hatred. It is a story of arbitrariness of military rule, of decapitating air strikes, targeting of primary infrastructures, incursions into farmland, villages, of shortages of every imaginable basic necessity, including water. It is about a superior adversary with a deep seated and conscious plan to demean and to dehumanize, and one that systematically succeeds at it while the rest of the world watches, stunned and cajoled into silence.
Indeed, is it not reasonable to ask: where did we last see this picture? I believe it was when Arthur Koestler, among many others, was trying to raise to the attention of the world what was going on behind the screen in Nazi Germany in the concentration camps.Read more ›
We learn intimately of the anguish of unemployed fathers desperate to care for families that survive, just, on the poverty line. We glimpse the inner trauma of prisoners ( even children)tortured by Israeli military and share their familiy's rapture on their release; we cry along with the generational pain of nostagia for stolen farms with once cared-for orchards, olive trees, rocks and wild herbs. We feel the fear when enclosed by Israeli snipers and belligerant soldiers and colonial settlers; we are strung out by concern for relatives taken to hospitals that we are not permitted to visit; we crouch in terror as soldiers invade homes in the night or scream as a home is demolished around us.
Simply put- we enter the 'normal' life of Palestinian refugee families.
We leave Wiles' book amazed by the courage of Palestinians and their samoud (steadfastness) for the love of their land and for their rights under international law.
I recommend this book to anyone and everyone who is capable. You will not be disappointed. Aywa Falasteen!