A Month by the Sea: Encounters in Gaza by Avi Shlaim, Dervla Murphy

By Avi Shlaim, Dervla Murphy

Over the summer time of 2011, Dervla Murphy spent a month within the Gaza Strip. She met liberals and Islamists, Hamas and Fatah supporters, wealthy and negative. via pronounced conversations she creates a brilliant photograph of lifestyles during this coastal fragment of self-governing Palestine. Bombed and cut-off from basic touch with the remainder of the area, existence in Gaza is beset with structural, clinical and psychological illnesses, but it's also bursting with political engagement and underwritten through an excessive delight in kinfolk lifestyles. in the course of her month through the ocean, Dervla develops an acute eye for a way during which isolation has formed this society. many times she meets males who've again to the Strip as an act of presence. but the mosque is frequently their merely day-by-day job, as problems acquiring provides suggest few possibilities for artistic paintings. This acts as a recruiting sergeant for the Islamist Qassam brigades and a strain cooker for the construction of family tyrants. during this scenario, Dervla turns into a shameless supporter of women’s rights – performing as soreness aunt and feminist mentor by way of flip. The ironies of Western and Israeli attitudes to the Strip are ever current: so much particularly the championing of democracy but the refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of Hamas; and how during which violent makes an attempt to eliminate terrorism breathe existence into the very monster they aspire to wreck. then again, there's a nonetheless, small word of wish. For underlying the booklet is Dervla’s decision to attempt to appreciate how Arab Palestinians and Israeli Jews may possibly forge an answer and finally dwell in peace.

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The first was his personality. Although most contemporary observers believed that he was strong and decisive, this was a misreading of the man. As Marvin Zonis has shown, throughout his career he was more often vacillating and hesitant,23 and in the year before the revolution he was further weakened by the deaths of two of his very few confidants. Intelligence had characterized him correctly in the decade following the 1953 coup, but in the subsequent years his effort to appear in charge of himself as well as the country took hold, partly because of his unwillingness to brook any opposition.

Many classification markings, references to other documents, and names have been removed, as has some material provided by other governments or intelligence services. In a few cases, information from sensitive sources has been deleted. But everything important has been declassified. Because I wanted to make the report as complete as possible, I included large sections that quoted and summarized reports from the field and detailed what NFAC drew from them. In the interests of keeping this chapter to a manageable length I have deleted some of this material.

24 In retrospect, there were signs of the Shah’s illness, and field reporting contained scattered comments about his appearing unwell, but this was mainly in the context of his changing moods, and no diplomat or intelligence service even entertained the hypothesis that the Shah’s behavior was traceable [31] Why Intelligence Fails to an ailment. Had he been healthy, he might have acted decisively and been able to prevent or at least postpone the revolution. 25 In our discussion of “fundamental causes” of phenomena like wars and revolutions we often overlook human skill and frailty.

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