Coffins on Our Shoulders: The Experience of the Palestinian Citizens of Israel

Coffins on Our Shoulders: The Experience of the Palestinian Citizens of Israel

Coffins on Our Shoulders: The Experience of the Palestinian Citizens of Israel

Coffins on Our Shoulders: The Experience of the Palestinian Citizens of Israel

Synopsis

This highly original historical and political analysis of the Arab-Israeli conflict combines the unique perspectives of two prominent segments of the Middle Eastern puzzle: Israeli Jews and the Palestinian citizens of Israel. Written jointly by an Israeli anthropologist and a Palestinian family therapist born weeks apart to two families from Haifa, Coffins on Our Shoulders merges the personal and the political as it explores the various stages of the conflict, from the 1920s to the present. The authors weave vivid accounts and vignettes of family history into a sophisticated multidisciplinary analysis of the political drama that continues to unfold in the Middle East. Offering an authoritative inquiry into the traumatic events of October 2000, when thirteen Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed by Israeli police during political demonstrations, the book culminates in a radical and thought-provoking blueprint for reform that few in Israel, in the Arab world, and in the West can afford to ignore.

Excerpt

The idea to write this book came up before the rift that opened between Israel and the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and inside Israel in September 2000. When we began working on the manuscript, few believed that the arena it describes could deteriorate so quickly and turn into the dangerously bleeding wound that it has become in recent years.

Coauthoring a book, a complicated task under any circumstances, required in our case the spanning of interpersonal, cross-gender, crosscultural, and cross-ethnonational perspectives. It became a mental journey whose intensity and outcomes took us completely by surprise.

If this odyssey in any way improved our capacity to understand the complex reality that we attempt to represent here, it happened because friends and colleagues helped along the route. Many have been generous with their time and insights. Members of both our families consented to reopen in our presence some traumatic pages from their personal memories and the national histories in which they participated. We are grateful to the staff at Mar Elias College in ʿIblin, to the parents of the late Asil . . .

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