07 February 2018
No ordinary people
My first thought on ending this wise and powerful book was that everyone with any role to play in the Israel-Palestine conflict should read it before the next war breaks out.
There have been three Gaza wars since 2006, when Hamas won the elections there – in 2008-09, 2012 and 2014. Donald Macintyre was Jerusalem bureau chief for The Independent in that time, and the first-hand knowledge he gained is second to none. Gaza helps the reader understand how the Palestinian territory has become “the world’s biggest prison”; helps to explain the factors that precipitated three wars he thinks were avoidable; depicts – vividly – what life is like for the two million people for whom Gaza is home; and, through dozens of evocative pen portraits of Gazans battling to live a decent life against overwhelming odds, captures something of the character of the people as a whole.
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