This is the second, revised, printing of This is the Life. The first was all my own work. In this volume I include a poem by Rachel Corrie, an ISM report, and writings by Lora Gordon, who arrived in Rafah shortly before I returned to
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While traveling in Palestine/Israel from January 22 through
This is a work of creative nonfiction. It is not a political treatise or a comprehensive history of the region. This is an attempt to tell truth, celebrate the people, and do justice to humanity. All quotes are the words of the real people they are attributed to, reproduced as accurately as possible. All drawings except ‘Gas Mask Shopping,’ ‘Sha’hiid—Sacrifice?” and “Hero: This is the Real Work” are portraits of people I actually met. All facts and statistics cited are accurate to the best of my knowledge.
Central to these writings is the project of seeking to understand and act in solidarity with people in the occupied Palestinian territories; most of it was literally written from the perspective of someone on the ground in
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A hopelessly inadequate sketch of regional history: Palestinian Arabs, Jews, Bedouin, and Druze are all, if you trace history back two thousand years, native to Palestine/Israel. Jews lived there for centuries and centuries, then several hundred years ago scattered around Eurasia and North Africa, then accompanied European colonial conquest into the rest of the world. This was the Diaspora. Some remained in
However, Palestinian Arabs lived for centuries and centuries in
repressed with intense military violence. The second intifada, which began in 2000, is much bloodier. New settlements, which are Zionist outposts built in the occupied territories on land stolen from local Palestinians, have been built gradually and constantly since the 1970s.
History is a tangled web; for details you must do your own research. My primary concerns herein are spiritual learning, human rights, direct action, and the present day reality on the ground, in people’s daily lives. This is the Life.
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