Palestine Inside Out, By Saree Makdisi

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The Independent Culture

A literature professor in California, Saree Makdisi must work within a US media orthodoxy that denies to his mother's people the most basic claims to decency and dignity. The wonder is that he can argue the case for justice for Palestinians under occupation with such calm devotion to truth and reason - and (need one add?) a total respect for the rights of Jewish Israelis to live in peace and security as well.

This scrupulous, affecting record of existence under a stifling "regime of passes and permits" now has a timely coda on Gaza in the wake of the attacks of early 2009. A gifted witness and shrewd analyst, he comes across as no apologist for any sect or group. Still, he rightly notes that the Palestinians are now winning what one Gaza teacher calls "a war of values".

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