Item description for INTIFADA: Palestine and Israel - The Long Day of Rage by David Pratt...
Armed with stones, Kalashnikovs, and the scarcely believable martyrdom of the suicide bomber, a generation of Palestinians has confronted one of the most lethal armies in the Middle East in a battle that has stunned and horrified the world. For almost two decades the Intifada has been the byword for Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation. But, for all its familiar usage in the media, many people remain unclear as to what the Intifada really is, or how it began. Just what fuels the anger? Who are the key players in this deadly clash and where, during these dangerous days in the Middle East, does the resistance go from here? Part reflection, part reportage, in The Long Day Of Rage award-winning foreign correspondent and film-maker David Pratt, takes the reader on a journey across the frontlines of the Palestinian uprising. From the War of the Stones in the 1980s, to the eruption of the al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000, and the ultimate rise of Hamas, this is an eyewitness tour through the Islamic hotbeds, beleaguered refugee camps, and bomb-makers' dens of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Above all, it is a gripping and graphic account of a people's struggle to shake off oppression as viewed from the ground zero of besieged Ramallah and the ruins of a shell-shattered Jenin.About the author:David Pratt has been a foreign correspondent and photojournalist specialising in the Middle East, Arab and Islamic world for more than twenty years. He has worked for Reuters, the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), and is a regular contributor to the BBC on conflict and foreign affairs issues. During an adventurous career, Pratt has covered wars across the Middle East and Africa, including Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Congo, Sudan and Somalia, and has twice been a finalist in the Amnesty International Media Awards for his reporting on human rights issues. In Afghanistan in 1989 he had the dubious pleasure of having tea and a chat with Osama bin Laden during a lull in fighting around the city of Jalalabad.David Pratt is currently the Foreign Editor of the Sunday Herald. REVIEWS "I met Pratt when I was in Baghdad... I was impressed. This is a journalist who goes out on the front lines and risks his life to bring us back the news. "Nothing is neutral in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," wrote Pratt. "If there is one thing as a journalist I've learned during the almost 20 years of covering this story, it's the impossibility of ducking the political flack and sometimes downright vitriol that inevitably comes the way of anyone writing about this emotive issue." But Pratt really tries to get beyond the vitriol in this book -- and he succeeds."Jane Stillwater OPEDNEWS.com,06/2007"With heart-stopping accuracy and literary GENIUS, Pratt makes his readers think and feel as if they too were there during every single moment of every bloody event. Amazing.... Buy this book. Read it and weep. And then work in whatever way you can to stop the escalation of violence and war. "By Jane Stillwater http://jpstillwater.blogspot.com "This is eyewitness reporting at its best-clear,well-observed, fair. Read it, and you'll understand why most of what you read about Israel and the Palestinians is nonsense." -CHARLES GLASS, former ABC News Chief Mideast Correspondent, and authorof The Tribes Triumphant and The Northern Front"This book will be an eye-opener for many readers, Americans in particular. Written by a correspondent on the scene in the Mideast the past 20 years, it unveils a longstanding lapse in the Western concept of justice. Here we learn intimate details of a gallant people who have withstood both foreign occupation and domestic desperation, yet whose aspirations to national dignity will doubtless never be quelled." -STEPHEN TANNER, author of Afghanistan: A Military History from Alexander the Great to the Fall of the Taliban"David Pratt, an experienced journalist covering the Middle East, Afghanistan, the Balkans, and other war zones, skillfully combines his own experience reporting on the second Intifada...with background on Israeli independence in 1948, the first intifada ..., and the disappointing negotiations of the 1990s. His picture of the brutal human rights abuses carried out by the Israeli army and occupation includes the disintegration of Palestinian economic and social organization and the political irresponsibility of their leaders. .... A(n) essential portrayal of the ongoing human tragedy." Library Journal, 10/2007" ...drawn from 20 years of covering the Israel-Palestine conflict from both sides of the "Green Line,"... largely described from the perspective of his on-the-ground reportorial eye, but necessary political background is included."Book News Inc., 11/2007
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 6.25" Height: 9" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Feb 1, 2007
Publisher Casemate / Flashpoint
ISBN 1932033637 ISBN13 9781932033632
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More About David Pratt
David Pratt is a member of the Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors and is a Professional Quantity Surveyor. He is currently the team Leader of the Civil Engineering Technology Department of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.
Reviews - What do customers think about INTIFADA: Palestine and Israel - The Long Day of Rage?
Stones against fighter planes Jan 10, 2008
David Pratt's excellent new book is getting mixed - and misleading - reviews on this site.com. One reviewer claims that the book "pretends to be impartial and balanced", ignoring the author's comment on the first page of his Foreword that the book makes "no pretense towards impartiality . . . because the weight of evidence which as a reporter I have come across over considerable time, convinces me that the State of Israel has a case to answer for in its appalling treatment of the Palestinian people."
That's an important point: It's hard to find moral, or any other, equivalency between civilians battling for survival under an illegal occupation and the armed forces that are enforcing that occupation. It's equally hard to ignore the "great injustice [that] continues to be perpetrated against the Palestinian people," as they wilt under an unequal struggle both in arms - stones against fighter planes - and in propaganda, where any critic of the occupation seems to be automatically branded as anti-Semitic.
However, while his writing speaks mainly of the injustice against the people of Palestine, Pratt doesn't ignore the suffering of innocent Israeli victims of suicide bombings and other acts of revenge. Pratt's elegant journalism paints a searing picture of the seemingly endless misery that has been visited upon the inhabitants of both sides of this conflict over too many decades; his eye-witness account of the events giving readers a much clearer understanding of the intense personal agony that we in the West see as fleeting, edited, moments at the end of a TV newscast.
Perhaps his critics should read Pratt's book, rather than raise selective and misleading claims about "fundamental problems" with his attention to detail. For example, one critic says: "Pratt states the intifada broke out in 1987 'following a 35-year Israeli military occupation'(pg 21), but Israel had only gained control of the Palestinian territories in 1967 - which would make it 20 years."
What is meant - and made obvious - in the book is that the Israeli military occupation of Palestine as a whole had been running for more than 35 years before the start of the first intifada in 1987. That point is made clear a few pages earlier (page 18) when Pratt talks about the war of 1948 that began the occupation of their land. He then makes clear on page 22 that it was 27 years since the 1967 war.
Another note in the same review states: "Most infuriating is the description of a 2001 suicide bombing in Netanya as 'the first time ever that the ticking bombs had struck outside the occupied territories and inside the borders of the Jewish state itself.'(pg. 109). This is a gross misstatement as Pratt fails to mention the suicide bombing campaigns of the nineties, which struck in places like Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Ramat Gan, Afula, Hadera, and Tiberias. If he gets such basic facts wrong, how can we trust anything else he writes?"
The reviewer conveniently fails to mention that on the same page 109, just after Pratt describes the Netanya bombing as a "tipping point", he writes: "Certainly Ahmad Ayam wasn't the first ever Palestinian suicide bomber in the annals of the al-Aqsa intifada." He then gives an earlier example of one such bombing.
Ignore the critics, read the book for yourselves and you'll have a much clearer understanding of the problems of Palestine and, hopefully, more sympathy for the people of an occupied nation.
Fact checkers are always important. Dec 29, 2007
I bought this book knowing that is was going to be a slam on Israelis so I was prepared for it to make my blood boil to an extent. However, to suggest that the first homicide bombing did not take place until 2001 is just irresponsible for both author and editor to publish.
All in all I found it an easy read but I took it with a grain of salt factually. If you already have a bias against Israel this will only reinforce your views. For anyone else, I would call it a nice trip down fantasyland.
An antidote to the usual blinkered reporting Jul 29, 2007
I feel fortunate to have stumbled upon this book via the Frontline Club's website. It's certainly unlikely I would ever have heard about it in the American press. Any book that dares to convey a bit of human sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians seems to be strangled at birth, lest it arouse the inexhaustible ire of the various pro-Israel lobbies. And that's a shame, especially in the case of Pratt's book, which is an excellent, highly readable first-person account of his years reporting the Intifada. I came away with a clearer understanding of the dynamics within the Palestinian factions than I have ever gotten in years of listening to US media blather.
Pratt is very honest about his feelings for the Palestinians, but he also writes moving accounts of suicide bombings carried out against Israelis. His sympathies are with the victims on both sides. He reports the unwarranted violence of Israeli soldiers and the devastating effects of Israeli policies as he observed them. If what he has to report does not flatter the Israeli government, that is not his fault.
Pratt has written a very fine book here, a book worth reading and talking about with anyone interested in the issue--which ought to include just about everybody, given the present wildly unstable situation in the region.
Blind: Watching the Israel-Palestine eye-for-an-eye tragedy unfold Jul 17, 2007
I am reading David Pratt's new book Intifada: The Long Day of Rage. Believe it or not, Pratt was THERE -- on the scene, on the spot -- for almost every single incident, battle, retribution, escalation and attack that the Israelis staged against the Palestinians during both the First Intifada and the Second Intifada. And Pratt was also there during almost ever single incident, battle, retribution, escalation and attack that the Palestinians staged against the Israelis as well.
With heart-stopping accuracy and literary GENIUS, Pratt makes his readers think and feel as if they too were there during every single moment of every bloody event. Amazing.
And after I finished the book, what did I learn? That's a no-brainer. That the crazy and irresponsible eye-for-an-eye escalation of this conflict has led -- tragically, needlessly, unnecessarily -- to the terrible end wherein both sides are now blind. Do you hear me? Morally, financially, personally and physically. Blind. What a waste.
Buy this book. Read it and weep. And then work in whatever way you can to stop the escalation of violence and war. Why? Because Israelis and Palestinians have clearly demonstrated for all the world to see -- and Pratt has recorded it -- what happens when violence, revenge and retribution guides one's policies. Everyone loses. There are no winners in this terrible game -- only survivors with no vision.
PS: Pratt just e-mailed me, stating that his book has just been given a terrible review on this site.com and asking for help from readers to give this amazingly wonderful and accurate (and riveting!) book some well-deserved thumbs up.
Biased, poorly written, and sloppily edited Jul 14, 2007
I can't really complain about the bias of the book, it comes with the territory, but the fact that the book pretends to be impartial and balanced is somewhat annoying. It is much better to admit your views and prejudices outright than to feign innocence and mislead people into thinking there is only one way to view the situation.
However, being a critical reader, this is not even the main objection I have to the book. there are far more fundamental problems here. Forget the controversial stuff, let's talk about simple math:
Pratt states the intifada broke out in 1987 following "a 35-year Israeli military occupation"(pg 21), but Israel had only gained control of the Palestinian territories in 1967 - which would make it 20 years.
Pratt discusses a pamphlet put out by the Israeli government just before the start of the intifada (again, 1987), "Marking 27 years since the 1967 war"(pg. 22). 1967 plus 27 equals 1994, not 1987.
Most infuriating is the description of a 2001 suicide bombing in Netanya as "the first time ever that the ticking bombs had struck outside the occupied territories and inside the borders of the Jewish state itself."(pg. 109). This is a gross misstatement as Pratt fails to mention the suicide bombing campaigns of the nineties, which struck in places like Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Ramat Gan, Afula, Hadera, and Tiberias. If he gets such basic facts wrong, how can we trust anything else he writes?
I don't know if these mistakes are the result of an inherent bias or faulty research. I would guess it's the latter, since there are many other indications that this book does not adhere to the strictest of publishing guidelines. Aside from multiple typos and the gaudy cover, Pratt's writing style is a clear indication that the editor was either asleep at his post, or non-existent. For most of the book Pratt sticks to a strict journalistic reportage, which is slightly dull, but at least manages to convey the facts (or those he chooses to include, anyway). In other places, however, Pratt slips into a vague almost-purple prose, which is administered with a heavy hand at moments that should, by his logic, have an emotional effect on us. The result is an uneven and heavy book by turns didactic and melodramatic. Skip this one, Read Joe Sacco's Palestine instead. Though it only deals with the first intifada, it presents a much more interesting and clear picture.