9781844676019-punishment-of-gaza-reprint

The Punishment of Gaza

The story behind Israel’s assault on Gaza, by acclaimed Ha’aretz journalist.
Israel’s 2009 invasion of Gaza was an act of aggression that killed over a thousand Palestinians and devastated the infrastructure of an already impoverished enclave. The Punishment of Gaza shows how the ground was prepared for the assault and documents its continuing effects.

From 2005—the year of Gaza’s “liberation”—through to 2009, Levy tracks the development of Israel policy, which has abandoned the pretense of diplomacy in favor of raw military power, the ultimate aim of which is to deny Palestinians any chance of forming their own independent state. Punished by Israel and the Quartet of international powers for the democratic election of Hamas, Gaza has been transformed into the world’s largest open-air prison. From Gazan families struggling to cope with the random violence of Israel’s blockade and its “targeted” assassinations, to the machinations of legal experts and the continued connivance of the international community, every aspect of this ongoing tragedy is eloquently recorded and forensically analyzed. Levy’s powerful journalism shows how the brutality at the heart of Israel’s occupation of Palestine has found its most complete expression to date in the collective punishment of Gaza's residents.

Reviews

  • “There are more terrible atrocities in the world than what is being done to the caged prisoners of Gaza, but it is not easy to think of a more cruel and cowardly exhibition of human savagery, fully supported by the US, with Europe trailing politely behind. Gideon Levy’s passionate and revealing account is an eloquent, even desperate, call to bring this shocking tragedy to an end, as can easily be done.”
  • “Levy has a way with words that leads him to some brilliant indictments of Israel.”
  • “Levy has made it his exclusive mission ... to document the grim and brutal facts of the occupation, to tell the stories he knows Israelis do not want to hear ... To this shiny nation—democratic, prosperous, confident in its righteousness—Levy holds up Gaza like a mirror.”
  • “Gideon Levy is among a small group of Israeli journalists giving a face and a voice to Palestinians in the world's most intractable conflict.”
  • “Levy ... deals with the politically and emotionally charged subject of the hardships of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza, and their conflicts with the Israeli military and Jewish settlers.”
  • “The story of Gideon Levy—and the attempt to deride, suppress or deny his words—is the story of Israel distilled. If he loses, Israel itself is lost.”
  • “An Israeli dedicated to saving his country's honour.”

Blog

  • Explaining the Israel-Palestine Conflict

    Key facets of the Israel-Palestine conflict have been thrust back into a wider public limelight, due to the news that actress Scarlett Johansson has left her role as an Oxfam ambassador. The split comes after criticism over her decision to promote Sodastream, the drinks company which operates out of a factory in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Oxfam opposes all trade with groups based in Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories, creating a confict which has caused a serious rift between the humanitarian group and its celebrity supporter.

    "Scarlett Johansson has respectfully decided to end her ambassador role with Oxfam after eight years," said a statement this week. "She and Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. She is very proud of her accomplishments and fundraising efforts during her tenure with Oxfam."

    Vijay Prashad
    has written in the Guardian that Johansson's involvement with Sodastream brings much-needed scrutiny to illegal settlement activity and wider Western support for Israel. Once again we see that his is an issue that is not going to go away any time soon.

    These are Verso's key books on the Israel-Palestine conflict, from explanations to considered outcomes – what others should we include?

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  • 64 years of occupation and resistance: a reading list

    The Nakba, or "day of catastrophe," remains the central issue of struggle for the Palestinian people. Commemorated each May 15th, the Nakba began in May 1948 when the State of Israel was founded on Palestinian lands, leading to the forcible expulsion of 75% of the indigenous population. Today, over 5 million Palestinian refugees remain in refugee camps in countries around the world, unable to return to their land and homes. They are the oldest and largest refugee population in the world.

    With the announcement, just one day before the Nakba, that Israel has settled with hundreds of Palestinian political prisoners on hunger strike, we reflect on 64 years of Israeli occupationand Palestinian resistancewith a survey of Verso's responses to this struggle.

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  • Gideon Levy on Israeli dissidents, and a podcast of his interview with Johann Hari

    Gideon Levy writes in Ha'aretz on the role of Israeli dissidents and his recent appearance at Jewish Book Week 2011: 

    About two weeks ago, I was invited to the Jewish Book Week in London, following the publication in English of my book "The Punishment of Gaza." The Jewish establishment in Britain threatened to boycott the event, the organizers considered hiring security guards, and roughly 500 people, mainly middle-of-the-road Jews, filled the hall, asked questions and mainly, in their modest way, expressed great sympathy. I spoke, as I always do, against the occupation, the injustices and the damage it does to Israel and to the Palestinians, against the attacks on Israeli democracy as I have written in the hundreds of articles that have been published in Haaretz in Hebrew and in English, and as I did at the London School of Economics and Trinity University in Dublin.

    As on previous occasions, a "spy" from the Israeli Embassy was sent to Trinity - this one, an Israeli student who was asked to write down what I said and convey it to the embassy. The embassy quickly dispatched a report to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, and the Foreign Ministry quickly leaked it to a well-known newspaper, which published only my harshest statements, without context - and there you have it: the indictment of a dissident.

    Visit Ha'aretz to read the full article. The Yedioth Ahronoth article on Gideon Levy's talks can be read here. When Gideon Levy visited London last year, the Israeli Embassy emailed British Jews telling them about the event then, when they were criticised in the Jerusalem Post, said it was to inform "Jewish activists...about an anti-Israel event". 

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