Into Occupation: peace activism in Israel and Palestine, by Mhosin Kirinde
Publication date: not stated, 2012? | Kindle edition only from Amazon.
Description (from Amazon)
Into Occupation: Peace Activism in Palestine and Israel is a diarized account of the ten weeks that MBA student and business consultant Mohsin Kirinde spent with the renowned activist organisation, the International Solidarity Movement, in the Occupied Territories.
It recounts, in vivid and highly personalised detail, the everyday realities of life under occupation, and in active resistance to Israeli aggression. In doing so, the book aims at illuminating as best as possible the key opacities of the conflict. Far from being solely a blow-by-blow account of force and fear complemented by historical and factual analyses, it is the richly detailed story of extraordinary circumstances that have been normalised in the public mind.
The core of the book focuses on life as part of the resistance to the occupation. This covers a whole gamut of actions:
– Attending bi-weekly protests in places such as Bil’in, Ni’lin, Hebron and Iraq Burin, and the concomitant gross IDF violence.
– Witnessing and monitoring settler infractions in East Jerusalem and all over the Nablus region.
– Assisting in community projects, such as rebuilding Bedouin villages demolished by IDF bulldozers in the Jordan Valley, leading children’s summer camps in Silwan, and theatrical projects in Jenin.
– Dealing with the Israeli legal system to attempt to stop arbitrary imprisonment, torture and beatings of international peace activists and Palestinians.
While detailing Israeli actions against the Palestinians, these descriptions are regularly juxtaposed with time spent with Israelis – the people who were ultimately accountable for the crimes being witnessed. The book is punctuated by discussions with Israelis regarding the gross misdeeds their government had been committing in front of Kirinde’s very eyes, and often directly against him – including being shot at by Israeli soldiers; getting arrested and beaten by border police; and being chased through the streets of Hebron by a unit of soldiers and having to subsequently flee the city, disguised, under cover of darkness. Thus, the situation of the Palestinians is not depicted in isolation, but given regular commentary by the everyday civilians who are sustaining it.
The account is highly personal and unique. Kirinde did not go into the ISM with a history of activism; indeed his background was an inestimable distance removed from that of a typical activist. He graduated from Oxford in 2005, and was working for a management consulting firm in Paris. He was about to start his MBA at one of the world’s top business schools at the end of the summer. Regardless, having seen the horrors of Operation Cast Lead at the turn of 2009, he decided he could not stand on the sidelines any longer.
So, in addition to being an account of the realities of life under occupation, the book also details Kirinde’s own journey within the resistance to the occupation, as someone not cut from the activist cloth, but rather as someone from a fairly typical political standing, who simply could not stand to see the Palestinians continue to suffer, and did something about it.