Ageel, Ghada, ed. Apartheid in Palestine: Hard Laws and Harder Experiences. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2016. xiv + 268 pages. Paperback, $59.95.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a complex political conundrum which leaves observers little or no room to objectively discuss the situation without blaming one party. An attempt to objectively provide any analysis on the conflict is considered subjective as there are two schools of thought: the right of Israel to exist as a state versus how Palestinians "were driven from their homes in 1948" (p. 4). Yet, as editor and political science professor Ghada Ageel (herself a childhood victim of cruel treatment in the Gaza strip) contends, no matter how thorough an analysis may be, the fact is that Palestinians are confined to an open-air prison guided by the Israeli military. In addition, despite the depiction of Palestinians as terrorists in literature, since 1948 Israelis have killed more Palestinians than vice versa and the trend is not changing
This three-part book presents different views through the lenses of many: academicians, politicians, activists, Israelis, and most importantly, the indigenous Palestinians. Parts One and Two of Apartheid in Palestine: Hard Laws and Harder Experiences reflect the hardship conditions under which Palestinians have lived since 1948, and continue to live under the Israeli occupation which has "crippled [Palestinians] by the constraints of segregation, the chains of occupation, and many discriminatory measures including... the wall of apartheid" (p.18). However, Part Three of the book presents both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian situation through a more objective lens, including analyses by academics and experts.
In Part One, "Indigenous Voices," the book conspicuously portrays Israel not only as the occupier but as the oppressor. The hard laws and policies toward the Palestinians make the defenceless, oppressed people live in perpetual fear. While it could be argued that the emotional accounts captured in the book allowed Palestinians to tell their stories in their own words, it is possible that some of these stories have been exaggerated. However, these stories do conform to what other oppressed people such as the American Indians of North America, the indigenous people of Brazil, and enslaved Africans have told in the literature. (1)
Part Two of the book, "Activist Views," collectively trumpets the Palestinian story for international attention...