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Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel's War Against the Palestinians [Paperback]

Noam Chomsky , Ilan Pappe

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Book Description

Nov. 9 2010
"Chomsky is a global phenomenon . . . he may be the most widely read American voice on foreign policy on the planet."- The New York Times Book Review

"Ilan Pappe is Israel's bravest, most principled, most incisive historian."-John Pilger

Described by a UN fact-finding mission as "a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate, and terrorize a civilian population," Israel's Operation Cast Lead thrust the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip into the center of the debate about the Israel/Palestine conflict.

In Gaza in Crisis, Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappe, two of the issue's most insightful and prominent critical voices, survey the fallout from Israel's conduct in Gaza and place it into the context of Israel's longstanding occupation of Palestine.

Noam Chomsky is one of the world's foremost social critics, and one of its most prolific. He is author of Failed States and Hegemony or Survival, both New York Times bestsellers. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts, and is institute professor emeritus in the MIT Department of Linguistics and Philosophy.

Ilan Pappe is professor of history at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, where he is also co-director of the Exeter Center for Ethno-Political Studies, director of the Palestine Studies Centre, and a longtime political activist. He is the author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Haymarket Books; Original edition (Nov. 9 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608460975
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608460977
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 13.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #104,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Noam Chomsky is widely regarded to be one of the foremost critics of US foreign policy in the world. He has published numerous groundbreaking books, articles, and essays on global politics, history, and linguistics. Among his recent books are the bestsellers Hegemony or Survival, recommended by Hugo Chavez in the United Nations, and Failed States. He is Institute Professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ilan Pappe´ is professor of history at the University of Exeter in the UK, where he is also co-director of the Exeter Center for Ethno-Political Studies, and director of the Palestine Studies Centre. He is author of the bestselling The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Oneworld), A History of Modern Palestine (Cambridge), The Israel/Palestine Question (Routledge), and is a long time political activist.

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Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
51 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine studies of Israel's war on the Palestinians Nov. 29 2010
By William Podmore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a brilliant collection of essays and interviews by Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappé, the well-known Israeli historian. Edited by Frank Barat, it comprises eight pieces: The fate of Palestine: an interview with Noam Chomsky; two essays by Ilan Pappé: Clusters of history: US involvement in the Palestine question, and State of denial: the Nakbah in Israeli history and today; `Exterminate all the brutes': Gaza 2009, by Chomsky; Blueprint for a one-state movement: a troubled history, by Pappé; The ghettoisation of Palestine: a dialogue with the two authors; The killing fields of Gaza 2004-2009, by Pappé; and A Middle East peace that could happen (but won't), by Chomsky.

In June 2008, Israel and Hamas signed a ceasefire agreement, which Israel broke when it sent forces into Gaza on 4 November, and again when it launched its full-scale invasion on 27 December. Israeli forces used US-made white phosphorus shells against civilians, a war crime. In January 2009, the President of the UN General Assembly called Israel's attack on Gaza genocide. Israel still imposes its vicious blockade of Gaza: an ongoing war crime.

Israel could defend itself better by ending its criminal actions in occupied territories and accepting the two-state solution urged by the vast majority of the world (and vetoed at the UN by the USA ever since 1976). The Arab League, Hamas, Iran, Hezbollah, the Palestinian National Council all back the two-state solution (i.e., recognising Israel's right to exist). Only the USA, Israel and a few Pacific island US dependencies oppose it.

In December 2008, the US state opposed UN resolutions calling for `the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination' (it was passed by 173 votes to 5) and for the `universal freedom of travel and vital importance of family reunification' (probably because Israel bans entry to Palestinians from occupied territories who wish to join their Israeli spouses). The USA also voted against regulating the arms trade, against the right to development, and against the right to food. The USA alone opposed this last resolution, an appalling vote in view of the huge global food crisis.

The authors show how the US state sabotages diplomacy and opposes democracy and how the EU always backs the USA.
25 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars highly informative, well researched, analysis of the israel/palestine conflict Dec 10 2010
By Z. Cohen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This work presents an enlightening combination of two of the most principled, informed, and perceptive voices on the Israel/Palestine conlict: Israeli historian Ilan Pappe and US linguist, dissident, and socal critic Noam Chomsky.

Gaza in Crisis contains a series of relatively short but dense and informative essays and interviews by one or both authors. I find their insights to be highly complementary, as Chomsky generally speaks of the conflict after 1967, while Pappe has conducted extensive research into the events leading up to the 1948 war, relying on the declassified Israeli military archives as well as Palestinian witness accounts.

This book is informative both to people relatively unfamiliar with the conflict and those with more knowledge. While sketching out a broad outline of major events between 1948 and the december 2008 Israel attack on Gaza, there are a few more focused essays presenting material I had no yet encountered in the author's other work. In particular, Pappe has an essay investigating 5 major trends in US politics and society that he identifies as most influential on US Israeli policy, which I found highly thought provoking. In general the authors document the profound government of Israel's profound disregard for human rights and its constant pursuit of expansion over security. The brutal conditions and murderous military attacks to which thousands of innocent people in the occupied territories have been subjected to for decades is discussed at length.

Other essays deal with Nakba denialism, analysis of the one/binational and two state solutions, and the evolution of Israeli policy and brutality in Gaza.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking to better understand this complex issue.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have book for any concerned person Aug. 15 2014
By MAHMOOD AHMAD - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very informative view on the contemporary rhetoric on the Palestinian-Israeli review by two senior visionaries.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars Aug. 22 2014
By Laurence Veale - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good read from one of the leading if not the leading commentator of the Middle East
10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The book has promise but is "new" Chomsky dominated Aug. 19 2011
By Christopher M. Whitman Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Some of you may be reading this and thinking what is the problem with that? "New" Chomsky is not as great and detailed an author as old Chomsky. The citations and research are still there, but the wording seems lazier. It may be me but that is my opinion. Pappe seems to follow Chomsky's lead in the writing instead of dominating readers like he usually does. Here is a long review I wrote months ago...
I completed this book yesterday so I figured I would give a review to people who like to read books about the Middle East and Palestine in particular. It takes two prominent authors Ilan Pappe (author of A History of Modern Palestine, the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, etc) and Noam Chomsky (Hegemony or Survival, Manufacturing Consent, etc) to supposedly discuss the history and political situation of Gaza. I put supposedly because it seems the book is overall more about Palestine, US/Israeli policy, and possible ways to pressure the US and Israel than about Gaza itself. Two of the eight chapters deal specifically with Gaza, mostly from 2004-present day. One chapter deals with the issue of a one state solution, another with US involvement in the Palestine question, one referring to the place of the Nakbah in Israeli history, Middle East peace plan, a conversation with the two authors about various subjects, and an overall scene of the area through Chomsky's eyes.

Now at this point I must be honest, when it comes to Noam Chomsky, I treat him like Wall Street Journal readers treat a Milton Friedman. They may agree with his overall points perhaps 80-85% of the time, but the language he uses is just so repetitive and colloquial based that you would never want to cite him in any research. Noam Chomsky is not a political scientist or a historian, he is a Linguistics professor and innovator. So although his research may be amazing, his words (the first time you read them) shocking and charged, one would be hard pressed to see the man cited by anyone involving the Palestine question. As I know of he only has one book other than this one specifically about the Palestine issue entitled "The Fateful Triangle" from 1983, and a few articles here and there.

Now Ilan Pappe is another issue for he has been writing about the Palestine issue, almost exclusively from the mid 80s onwards. He is the author of around 10 books on the subject and is currently writing or putting out almost 8 more. He has written about the role of the British in 1948, the origins of the conflict, a history of the Husayni family, and about the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine in 1948. Sometimes like any author he comes off rather colloquial but nowhere to the extreme of a Chomsky.

As a person who has read every Pappe book and perhaps 27 or 28 Chomsky books it seems Pappe wanted to do more "Chomsky-speak" than his usual self. Usually in a Pappe book you see hundreds of citations with wide-ranging references and even to my disdain usual a good amount of his own. This book is more dialogue based, which the majority of Chomsky book are, which means less research and more recollection are the basis. This kind of book is full of repetition and not a lot of facts (if one is used to the subject) but can be a nice break from denser reads on Palestine.

I would not recommend this book to beginners or advanced readers on Palestine alike. For the beginner it will give the wrong impression on Palestine research and writing, in addition to assuming a decent basis in the subject. For advanced readers the book could be used as a break to ease the mind but will give little in terms of academic substance and should not be used for research in any way. I would recommend it to 4th year undergraduates in Middle East or 1st year Graduate students in Middle East who have a background, but not enough they could write over 100pgs on a subject.

Overall I would give the book a 6.5/10 because of my background, but I could see how others would rate it higher.

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