This is a BuzzFlash book review of a new book written by a Palestinian academic, activist and now peace advocate. The a book is filled with remarkable insights into the Palestinian perspective :
Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life (Hardcover)
BuzzFlash.com’s Review (excerpt)
BuzzFlash readers are united in their opposition to the Iraq War and all things Bushevism, but they are split down the middle when it comes to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. After the Iraq War, the Israeli/Palestinian issue provokes the most emotion in BuzzFlash reader response.
BuzzFlash itself a few years back laid out its rather simple position on a tragically complex conflict: We support peace; We support a two-state solution. We support an end to Palestinian terrorism and we support an end to the concept of an Israeli military solution to the conflict, resulting in far too many unnecessary Palestinian deaths.
The majortiy of Israelis and Palestinians both want peace, but the leadership of the Palestinians is now dreadfully splintered for a number of reasons — and the Israeli government has largely been run under the legacy of the Likud hardline thinking for years.
As with the assassination of the two Kennedys and Martin Luther King in the ’60s here, the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin (by an Israeli) — a warrior who evolved into an apostle of peace — appeared to dampen the prospects of hope for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
The recent Israeli governments have been of one mind with the Neo-Cons in the Bush Administration and that is not good for the future of Israel, nor the future of the Palestinians.
Unless the Palestinians emerge with a government that is willing to risk peace, and the Israelis likewise, the mutual stereotypes, extremist passions, and military strategists who are running each side now will rule the day. This would mean only one outcome: the continuation of ongoing bloodshed.
To achieve peace, we disagree with readers who keep condemning one side or the other. Peace will come from accenting the common dreams of both parties to solving the ongoing conflict. Peace will come from finding common ground, not reinforcing stereotypes and yielding to the radical constituencies in either camp.
That is, in large part, the current perspective of Sari Nusseibeh — a Palestinian academic, activist and now peace advocate — who has written a book filled with remarkable insights into the Palestinian perspective: “Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life.”
Oxford and Harvard educated, Nusseibeh clearly understands all sides, while being an avid Palestinian nationalist who has evolved into advocating a two-state solution.
His nearly 550-page book is one from which one can learn much about the complexities of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through his personal lives and thoughts.
In the end, Nusseibeh has come to see that for the dream of peace to be achieved, both the Palestinians and the Israelis will have to give up some of their historical dreams.
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From Publishers Weekly:
Starred Review. Philosophy professor and political leader Nusseibeh, as the Oxford and Harvard-educated descendant of an ancient and influential Jerusalem family, draws on deep roots in his account of a dramatically displaced life. That’s one reason why, despite his relative privilege, his autobiography dovetails persuasively with the larger story of Palestinian dispossession and struggle in the 20th century. Nusseibeh, as a former PLO representative, also has the vantage of a political insider. Equally instructive are his differences from his fellow Palestinians, many of whom he encountered as his students in the classrooms and cafes at Birzeit University in the West Bank, and later as president of Al Quds University in Jerusalem. These interactions, among others, give shape to the story of this curious but reticent loner’s immersion into national politics, which is overshadowed by the memory of his father (a fiercely independent former Jordanian minister and governor of Jerusalem). In relating the Palestinian perspective on the expulsions, expropriations and deprivations during and after the wars of 1948, 1967 and beyond, Nusseibeh convincingly interweaves personal experience and tectonic historical shifts, while charting his own political evolution and eventual and resolute insistence on a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
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