Professor Ilan Pappé’s latest book, “The Biggest Prison on Earth: A History of the Occupied Territories”, is a review of Israeli policy towards the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The historian sheds light on the mechanism that has been created to rule millions of Palestinians, who have effectively lived in an open air prison for 50 years.
In fact, Pappé goes back to 1948 and takes the reader on a journey through Israel’s political strategy since its creation on Palestinian land. In doing so, he highlights some defining moments and key players in the conflict, whilst pointing continuously to the fact that the total occupation of Palestine and the eradication of its population was always the ultimate end goal of the planners of the Zionist state.
The book makes clear its position on the current situation of the Palestinian territories early on when Pappé contests the definition of occupation. His first reservation is that the term creates “a false separation between Israel and the occupied areas”, such that the Israeli presence as a democratic state outside of the occupied territories is legitimised. He then objects that “occupation” implies a temporary state of affairs, yet this has been the accepted norm for the Palestinians for decades.
This book has been shortlisted for the Palestine Book awards 2017, please click here to read the full review on the Palestine book awards site.