GAZA by Gloria Emerson


: A Year in the Intifada: A Personal Account of the Palestinian Problem
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 A timely book by National Book Award-winner and former New York Times correspondent Emerson about a year she recently spent in the Gaza strip talking to a range of Palestinians, all affected to some degree by the intifada. In a preface, Emerson (Winners and Losers, 1978; Some American Men, 1985) notes that she is writing ``not in the hope of denigrating the Jewish state, only to illuminate, as so many other have done, why there is a revolution that will persist for years until the Palestinians have their nation.'' Accordingly, basing herself at the Marna House, a comfortable refuge for visiting foreigners, she talks to as many Palestinians as she can, an often dangerous business, for there are curfews, informers, and police surveillance to contend with. Emerson, surprised by the beauty of the area, also comes to understand the great love the Palestinians feel for the land itself, a love that impels so many of them to resist the Israelis and support the P.L.O. She talks to a doctor fired from a hospital merely because he was a member of the P.L.O.; a lawyer tortured and imprisoned four times in five years because of the legal aid he gave during the intifada; the parents of young children imprisoned because they three stones at Israeli soldiers; and ordinary men and women, fishermen and housewives, caught up in the uprising and summarily punished by Israeli authorities. She also meets the remarkable Yusra Barbari, who not only founded The Palestinian Women's Union, which helps working women and housewives, but fearlessly speaks out in military courts, in interviews, and at public meetings. An epilogue notes, without future speculation, the current Palestinian-Iraqi alliance. Emerson is too much the reporter to offer solutions or historical analyses, but her clear, humanistic accounting is sure to raise eyebrows and controversy.

Pub Date: May 2nd, 1991
ISBN: 0-87113-445-4
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1991