Beacon Press: Victory For Us Is to See You Suffer
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Victory For Us Is to See You Suffer

In the West Bank with the Palestinians and the Israelis

Author: Philip C. Winslow

A rare, firsthand account of life in the West Bank by a UN relief worker and journalist

During the second Palestinian intifada, Philip C. Winslow worked in the West Bank with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), driving up to 600 miles a week between almost every Palestinian town, village, and refugee camp and every Israeli checkpoint in the occupied territory. He returned just before the onset of the 2006 war between Israel and Hizbollah in Lebanon.

In this important new book Winslow captures the human aspects of the conflict during the years of suicide bombings and Israeli reprisals in the West Bank-the daily struggles, desperation, and anger of Palestinian farmers and teachers, the hostility of extremist settlers, the complex range of responses from Israeli soldiers, officials, and peace activists, and even the breathtaking beauty of nature in this embattled place. On this small patch of land, broken up by hundreds of heavily guarded roadblocks, nervous young Israeli soldiers who believe they are fighting terrorists tightly control the movement of Palestinians trying to make a life on their own land. A group of Israeli women, seeking to protect the rights of those same Palestinians and protest the decades of occupation, keeps a watchful eye on the checkpoints run by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The Israeli soldiers are often fierce in their treatment of Palestinians, as revealed in an army video described here in detail, but some have exhibited extraordinary courage in defying the culture of cruelty and even their superior officers in order to act humanely. Former soldiers who oppose the occupation spoke candidly to Winslow about what they and their units did during their service.

Working with UNRWA, Winslow negotiated the delivery of humanitarian aid through military barriers, often finding himself the target of anger from both Palestinians and Israelis. He returned to the West Bank as a journalist, in the wake of the Hamas victory in Palestinian parliamentary elections, to interview people on both sides of the checkpoints and look at the decades-long destructive cycle through their eyes. From these unique multiple perspectives Winslow offers an uncensored view of the realities on the ground that have made a just political solution and enduring peace so difficult.
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“Wise, modest, fair, and alert to the nuances of human interaction, Winslow is a gentle guide to an ungentle landscape. But the picture he etches of the effects of Israeli control over the West Bank is devastating. Americans who care about forging a lasting peace in the Middle East should read this book, because this is the disastrous occupation that our tax dollars are paying for.” —Adam Hochschild, author of Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves

“Amid the mistrust and violence and gloom, [Winslow] finds people on both sides seeking to ease the conflict, and occasional acts of charity and kindness.” —Globe & Mail, December 22, 2007

Praise forSowing the Dragon’s Teeth:
“From innocent victims to brave souls who risk their lives . . . Winslow gives the statistics a painfully human face.” —Washington Post Book World


Review: Library Journal - October 15, 2007
“Winslow's sensitivity and strong writing make this an important volume for libraries.”
Review: Publishers Weekly, Starred Review - August 18, 2007
“Foreign correspondent Winslow (Sowing the Dragon's Teeth ) depicts the universal cost of Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands in excruciatingly human terms in a memoir detailing 30 months spent on the West Bank with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Describing the fear, humiliation and violence routinely faced by people on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Winslow balances the Palestinian struggle to maneuver through an ever-growing web of walls, checkpoints and Israeli military operations in the West Bank, with close attention to Israel's legitimate defense needs and the fear created by Palestinian terrorism. The multilayered narrative demonstrates unusual compassion for the human side of the conflict, sympathizing with both the Palestinian citizens and the Israeli soldiers in the clear understanding that the latter, too, are dehumanized by the violence that surrounds them. Using resonant descriptions of the occupation's daily routines, the account searches for moments of human kindness that can bridge the chasm created by civil discord, admirably achieving the author's goal to paint ‘pictures of what armed conflict does to humanity.’”
  • Listen to Philip Winslow's interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air (November 19, 2007).
  • Listen to Philip Winslow's interview with Lisa Mullins on PRI's The World.

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Victory For Us Is to See You Suffer

ISBN: 978-080706906-6
Publication Date: 10/1/2007
Pages: 240
Size:5.5 x 8.5
Price:  $24.95
Format: Cloth
Availability: In stock.
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