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Public Opinion and Political Response in Palestine: Leadership, Campaigns and Elections since Arafat

Public Opinion and Political Response in Palestine: Leadership, Campaigns and Elections since Arafat

Editor: Erika Schwarze
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: I.B. Tauris & Co. Ltd
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1784534691


Review by Noor Ahmed

Hamas’s resounding electoral victory in the 2006 elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council came as a shock to many, especially with official polls predicting a Fatah victory. The elections were the first time in which both Fatah and Hamas fielded candidates, but the results were surprising to say the least.

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Israel and South Africa: The Many Faces of Apartheid

Israel and South Africa: The Many Faces of ApartheidEditor: Ilan Pappé
Paperback: 225 pages
Publisher: Zed Books Ltd
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1783605897

Review by Nahrain Al-Mousawi

This collection, asserts editor and renowned historian Ilan Pappé, doesn’t revolve around making a case that Israel operates as an apartheid state. Rather, it considers it as a starting point, explains striking manifestations of apartheid in Israel and fleshes out its use as a comparative model with apartheid South Africa. Basic legal and legislative comparisons between South African and Israeli apartheid, contributors explain, include nationality or race laws excluding non-Jews or non-whites from privileges of full citizenship; land and property laws making it illegal to own or lease land and homes, except in certain areas; identity cards based on strict racial or ethnic classification, limiting freedom of mobility, including the right to live, work, study and be buried where they wish; and, laws affecting mixed marriages.

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Bitter Almonds

Bitter Almonds

Author: Lilas Taha 
Hardback: 320 pages 
Publisher: Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing 
Published Date: 13 August 2015 
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-9927118005

Review by Nahrain Al-Mousawi

Lilas Taha‘s novel Bitter Almonds explores the meaning of family in the Palestinian diaspora; unconventional, unrelated and unbound by blood ties. The narrative centres on Omar Bakry, a Palestinian born in 1948 Jerusalem, in the midst of a town massacre. The neighbours take Omar, his sister Fatima, his ailing mother and the midwife with them as they flee. Orphaned, Omar and his sister become part of the neighbour’s family, led by Mustafa and Mama Subhia. Refugees in Damascus, Syria, this family of eight lives in a cramped two-bedroom apartment and survives on Mustafa’s meagre salary from a wool factory.

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Murder under the Bridge: A Palestine Mystery

Murder Under the Bridge: A Palestine Mystery

Author: Kate Raphael
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: She Writes PR
Published Date: 3 November 2015
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1631529603

Review By Jessica Purkiss

When Rania Bakara, Palestine’s only female police detective in the northern West Bank, discovers the body of a foreign woman in fields near her village, no one seems to want her to look too deeply into what’s happened. Instead of leaving it to the Israeli police department, which takes over the investigation, Bakara continues to dig for clues about who was responsible for the woman’s death. It is no easy task; not only does she have to work within the constraints of the Israeli occupation, but as a women she also suffers from the ingrained patriarchy and the “old boys’ network” of her professional superiors. As a wife and mother she must also accept her in-laws’ disapproval of her choice of occupation.

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