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A Quiet Revolution: The First Palestinian Intifada and Nonviolent Resistance Paperback – Bargain Price, July 12, 2007
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This is an incredibly important book. The author details the overwhelmingly nonviolent first Palestinian Intifada (usually translated as "shaking off"). This is a quite thorough discussion that includes many interviews and archival research dating back to the 19th century. King employs theoretical discussions of nonviolent pioneers like Gandhi and Martin Luther King though she tends to employ a perspective developed by Gene Sharp (usually referred to as strategic nonviolence). She also develops ideas from Ernest Haas and Antonio Gramsci to explain the evolution and transference of nonviolent ideas and practices to the Occupied Territories. Given the dearth of scholarly or journalistic accounts of the nonviolent character of the first Palestinian Intifada, I suspect that quite a few readers will initially be skeptical. However, this book is very well researched.
Additionally, for those skeptical readers, I think that you will find the author's tone to be consistent with the nonviolent approach, primarily the notion that all human beings deserve respect (in this case Israeli and Palestinian). Further, she does not pull any punches and deals forthrightly with controversial issues like stone throwing and petrol bombs that were used in even during the most nonviolent phase of the Intifada.Read more ›
Today, as Palestinians on the Gaza-Egypt border, those in the West Bank mobilizing non-violent direct action against Israel's Apartheid Wall and all those challenging the ever-encroaching expanexpansion of settlements, the lessons of the first intifada are more relevant than ever. We should all be grateful to Mary King for teasing out the lessons of history of that crucial time.
That said, I have some problems with an institutional bias. As an appointee of the Carter administration (with the former president obligingly offering a forward) Ms. King seems too attached to US policy intitiatives, when overwhelmingly the US has backed Israel's "security needs" over any lasting resolution of Palestinian demands. She also glowingly compares the "color revolutions" of the 2000s in Serbia, Georgia, the Ukraine and Lebanon with the US civil rights movement; in reality, these "rose" and "orange" movements were well-funded imports designed to remove unfriendly "regimes" in the interests of NATO expansion and oil politics. What "democracy" they produced is problematic to non-existent. With a straight face Ms. King recounts how Serbian students in the late 90s "had begun studying the academic writings of Gene Sharp in [non-violent] skill-training workshops led by Colonel Robert J. Helvey, a retired U.S. military officer." [p.24.] Obviously the active-duty NATO commanders who subsequently blitzed Serbia with "accidental collateral damage" were not in attendance. . . .
Also problematic is Ms. King's position that non-violent movements are invariably crushed outside the "liberal democracies.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I received this book as a gift that was signed by the author, thank you Mary!
As a Palestinian living in America I can only see what is in front of me. Read more
I read this book as a senior UK medical academic with an interest in global health. My personal background is relevant in that I am from Jewish Eastern European heritage, with... Read morePublished on January 6, 2009 by Prof John S. Yudkin
I write this after reading the morning paper about retaliatory attacks between Hamas inspired militants and the Israeli government that resulted in the deaths of innocent civilians... Read morePublished on March 5, 2008 by Joseph T. Eldridge
I think the press is slanted toward Israel and Mary Elizabeth King gives a very unbiased picture of the Israeli-Palestinian situation.Published on February 13, 2008 by Charlaine McAnany