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

4.8 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This is an unauthorized version of Shifting Sands, please do not purchase this book! The 2015 updated Kindle edition is available from Amazon but is not connected to this page so as to discourage people from buying the print edition here. 
Purchase the updated Kindle edition here: amazon.com/gp/product/B014BD6LB8
Purchase the updated print edition here: amazon.com/dp/1519590717
-Osie Gabriel Adelfang, Editor


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

From the Author

This is an unauthorized version of Shifting Sands, please do not purchase this book! The 2015 updated Kindle edition is available from Amazon but is not connected to this page so as to discourage people from buying the print edition here. 
Purchase the updated Kindle edition here: amazon.com/gp/product/B014BD6LB8
Purchase the updated print edition here: amazon.com/dp/1519590717
-Osie Gabriel Adelfang, Editor
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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: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,731,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Andrea C. Hewitt on October 24, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
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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Format: Kindle Edition
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Jews and Israelis against Israel's occupation of Palestine
By Anis B. Salib on May 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'll start with a disclosure. I created the collage used as the cover of this book. I didn't know the editor/author or have anything to do with the book until I connected with her about a magazine article. I was given a few articles to prepare for my part, and reading them was an emotional experience. They were eye opening, gut wrenching, provocative and honest. When you read this collection of essays, you'll come away with a better understanding of the situation and feeling more compassion for Israelis and Palestinians. I recommend this book highly.
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Format: Kindle Edition
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition
"If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective." Martin Luther King Jr.

Each amazing woman who contributed to this anthology took a different path but arrived at the same destination: Israel's continued brutal and violent occupation of the Palestinian people must end in order for there to be any chance of a just and lasting peace in Israel and Palestine. The writers are all women and Jewish, but beyond that, they are very diverse. Among them are an elderly Holocaust survivor, an Ivy league Fullbright scholar, an artist and child psychologist, a doctor, a journalist, a filmmaker, and several writers. Some have always been activists, but not necessarily in this area. Others became activists because of this issue. They are from the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Israel. Each one of them has had to face difficult truths, then face opposition and accusations of being a traitor or "self-hating Jew," not just from the Jewish community at large, but also from their own friends and families. Their stories are very personal and compelling.

Although I am very knowledgeable about the history of the conflict and the occupation, I drew inspiration and courage from these women to continue to struggle for an end to the occupation. How can I be afraid, or too tired, or lose hope after reading about Hedy Epstein, a Holocaust survivor, who has gone to Gaza several times and doesn't give up or give in even after being subject to a humiliating cavity search by Israeli security? Even after being physically attacked in her hometown of St. Louis?
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