THE NEW PALESTINIANS by John Wallach

THE NEW PALESTINIANS

The Emerging Generation of Leaders

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Extensive profiles of a dozen men and women who will probably play a role in any new Palestinian state, shedding light on how these leaders arrived at their divergent views on how to conduct the struggle for nationhood. Here, the husband-and-wife Wallachs (Still Small Voices, 1989) present a close look at most of the members of the Palestinian team currently negotiating with the Israelis. Except for Hanan Ashrawi, the Christian Arab whose TV appearances have made her an international celebrity, most are unknown in the West. These Palestinians all reside in Israel proper, including Jerusalem, as well as in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. What they have in common is their assertion of a Palestinian identity and the unpleasant experience of harassment and imprisonment by Israeli authorities--which has only strengthened their desire for escape from Israeli rule. Most of those profiled see the Intifada as a home-grown response, particularly by the young, to indignities. Where these leaders disagree strongly is in their perception of the relationship between a future Palestinian entity and Israel. The moderates, looking for guidance but not leadership from Yasser Arafat's wing of the PLO, are willing to accept temporary autonomy in civil matters under Israel on the way to nationhood. Others desire a federation with Israel, or perhaps with Jordan. Still others, the hard-liners, envision an Islamic Palestine, stretching from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and with the state of Israel extinguished. Feuding among the various factions, we learn, has sometimes led to the assassination of opponents. Most of those profiled here declare their support for a Palestinian state committed to democracy. Whether they will have the opportunity depends, it seems, on Israel; but how well they seize the opportunity will probably depend on their ability to reconcile the antagonists within their own house. An informative study.

Pub Date: Dec. 14th, 1992
ISBN: 1-55958-215-4
Page count: 250pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1992