In Our Orbit

In Our Orbit


“The original inspiration for The New Intifada,” explains Roane Carey in his foreword to this volume, “arose out of disgust at the mainstream media’s consistent misrepresentation of the basic facts of this uprising.” To “correct the balance,” Carey, The Nation‘s copy chief, assembled an impressive array of essays for this collection, which aims to illuminate the myriad failings of the Oslo Agreements, describe the struggles of the current peace movement, deconstruct the media coverage of the Middle East and reveal the experiences of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation before and during this new intifada.

Palestinians, Israelis, Americans and others (“voices rarely tolerated in the US media”) have contributed to this volume; some are well-known, like Edward Said, Noam Chomsky and Robert Fisk, while others are less so, though no less important. Harvard research associate Sara Roy writes about the Palestinian economy, which, compared with those of other states in the region, is weaker now than it was in 1967. Egyptian novelist Ahdaf Soueif shares a diary of her first visit to Israel, a place she never intended to go: “My life,” she writes, “like the life of every Egyptian of my generation, has been overcast by the shadow of Israel.” Photographs separate the sections of The New Intifada, and give a sense of the devastated landscape and people this book brings to light.

In an essay from 2000 reprinted here, Said asks, “Why is it that more Israelis do not realize–as some already have–that a policy of brutality against Arabs in a part of the world containing 300 million Arabs and 1.2 billion Muslims will not make the Jewish state more secure?” Despite the efforts of Carey, his contributors and others, a year and a half later, the question still stands.

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