Bar­ri­er: The Seam of the Israeli-Pales­tin­ian Conflict

Isabel Ker­sh­n­er
  • Review
By – May 11, 2012
Israeli jour­nal­ist Ker­sh­n­er pro­vides detailed descrip­tions of her meet­ings with Israelis and Pales­tini­ans from both sides of the bar­ri­er Israel is con­struct­ing to sep­a­rate the West Bank from Israel. She met with Israelis who ini­ti­at­ed the con­struc­tion of the bar­ri­er in order to pre­vent the infil­tra­tion of Pales­tin­ian sui­cide bombers to Israeli pop­u­la­tion cen­ters as well as with Israeli oppo­nents of the bar­ri­er of Pales­tin­ian lead­ers. Kershner’s main con­tri­bu­tion is her in-depth descrip­tion of the life and views of Israelis and Pales­tini­ans liv­ing adja­cent to the bar­ri­er in rur­al and urban areas and its impact on their dai­ly life. The author’s com­pas­sion­ate por­tray­al of both sides makes this a unique con­tri­bu­tion to under­stand­ing the dilem­ma Israel and its het­ero­ge­neous pop­u­la­tion is fac­ing as well as the impact of the bar­ri­er on life on both sides. Pho­tographs enliv­en the descrip­tion, but the absence of a map is gross­ly felt.
Rachel Simon, a librar­i­an at Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty, does research on Jews in the mod­ern Mid­dle East and North Africa, with spe­cial ref­er­ence to Libya, Ottoman Empire, women, and education.

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