Review of Tariq Shadid’s (@docjazzmusic) book ‘Understanding Palestine’

Monday, 27 February 2012 16:06

By Sadika Arabuser review on Amazon`Understanding Palestine’ is the kind of book you wish you had read years ago. It has all the right ingredients that make a great volume. It’s smart and sharp, opens your eyes to a new perspective, and challenges you to think. This is the kind of book that will get a prominent spot on your bookshelf or a permanent one on your bedside table. It is a definite must-read for every Palestine supporter.
The book consists of previously published articles by Tariq Shadid, written within the timeframe of almost one decade. For the convenience of the reader each chapter covers one year and is introduced by a timeline of events to refresh your memory.

The first chapter immediately grabbed my attention because of the way it was written and made me excited about reading the rest of the book. It is incredible how the author managed to make such complex subject matter so clear. Even the ones among you who are closely following the news will find eye-opening information in each article.

The way Shadid exposes the double standard in the Israel/Palestine conflict is brilliant and so is his use of analogies to strengthen his arguments. He does this by thoroughly analyzing the background of the events and examining the motives and strategies of the actors involved, challenging the one-sided news coverage these events are usually presented in.

A good example is his analysis on the role of the USA as an `independent broker’: a so-called mediator in the achievement of peace between Israel and Palestine. Shadid compares the process to a boxing match between a heavyweight champion and a lightweight. The heavyweight butchers his opponent using all kinds of illegal moves while the referee stands by doing nothing. The only time the referee takes action is when the lightweight tries to defend himself: he immediately calls out a foul and punishes the lightweight.

Now, an `independent broker’ who invests more in Israel than he does in any other country can hardly be called objective and neutral when he clearly holds the interest of one party higher than the other. So, instead of objectively guiding the negotiations to the achievement of peace, the situation for the Palestinians is gravely worsened due to the unremitting loyalty of the USA to Israeli interests. Western media supports this double standard by victimizing the oppressor and demonizing the real victims. Shadid exposes this `game’, and challenges you to think about what is said and what is done.

What I find fascinating is that even though `Understanding Palestine’ reflects on past events it remains timeless until Palestine is free. What makes this book especially interesting to me is that it is written from a Palestinian perspective. I felt that the Palestinian struggle against strong superpowers, with little to no means of defense, got clearly voiced. The book helps you to achieve a better understanding of what they’re up against. I got a whole new level of respect for the perseverance and determination that the Palestinians are famous for.

In conclusion, I have to say that I recommend `Understanding Palestine’ to anyone who wants to understand Palestine better. Reading it definitely made me understand it better. A lot better!


Buy ‘Understanding Palestine’ on Amazon by clicking here !

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