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Sleeping on a Wire: Conversations with Palestinians in Israel

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Israel describes itself as a Jewish state. What, then, is the status of the one-fifth of its citizens who are not Jewish? Are they Israelis, or are they Palestinians? Or are they a people without a country? How will a Palestinian state—if it is established—influence the sense of belonging and identity of Palestinian Israeli citizens? Based on conversations with Palestinian Israel describes itself as a Jewish state. What, then, is the status of the one-fifth of its citizens who are not Jewish? Are they Israelis, or are they Palestinians? Or are they a people without a country? How will a Palestinian state—if it is established—influence the sense of belonging and identity of Palestinian Israeli citizens? Based on conversations with Palestinians in Israel, Sleeping on a Wire, like The Yellow Wind, is essential reading for anyone trying to understand the Middle East today.


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Israel describes itself as a Jewish state. What, then, is the status of the one-fifth of its citizens who are not Jewish? Are they Israelis, or are they Palestinians? Or are they a people without a country? How will a Palestinian state—if it is established—influence the sense of belonging and identity of Palestinian Israeli citizens? Based on conversations with Palestinian Israel describes itself as a Jewish state. What, then, is the status of the one-fifth of its citizens who are not Jewish? Are they Israelis, or are they Palestinians? Or are they a people without a country? How will a Palestinian state—if it is established—influence the sense of belonging and identity of Palestinian Israeli citizens? Based on conversations with Palestinians in Israel, Sleeping on a Wire, like The Yellow Wind, is essential reading for anyone trying to understand the Middle East today.

30 review for Sleeping on a Wire: Conversations with Palestinians in Israel

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sue Lyle

    A series of interviews carried out in 1990-91 about the lives of Palestinians living in Israel. The 'so-called' Arab-Israelis. What I hadn't appreciated until recently is that you can be Jewish and Palestinian and Israeli. I really want to understand Israel and the conflict with Palestine and the Middle East and this book gave me some important insights. Written by a Jew it gives an insightful look at these people who are one fifth of Israel's population and presents them as full human beings in A series of interviews carried out in 1990-91 about the lives of Palestinians living in Israel. The 'so-called' Arab-Israelis. What I hadn't appreciated until recently is that you can be Jewish and Palestinian and Israeli. I really want to understand Israel and the conflict with Palestine and the Middle East and this book gave me some important insights. Written by a Jew it gives an insightful look at these people who are one fifth of Israel's population and presents them as full human beings in social, economic, historical and political contexts. I want to read my more recent books by this author and really appreciate this snapshot in time. Written before the apartheid wall was built I wonder what has happened to the people he interviewed today.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    Yes, it's a must-read work of journalism for anyone interested in the Middle East, but most remarkable is its style. He doesn't just transcribe interviews, which are fascinating on their own, but fuses historical, literary, and personal perspectives to analyze them as he goes along. Grossman can write. He's also disturbingly prescient: he's writing in the early '90s, when the peace process is still viable, yet accurately sketches the traps Israel is laying for itself, and how that will sabotage Yes, it's a must-read work of journalism for anyone interested in the Middle East, but most remarkable is its style. He doesn't just transcribe interviews, which are fascinating on their own, but fuses historical, literary, and personal perspectives to analyze them as he goes along. Grossman can write. He's also disturbingly prescient: he's writing in the early '90s, when the peace process is still viable, yet accurately sketches the traps Israel is laying for itself, and how that will sabotage its future.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Emanuel B

    Very compassionate and even-handed take on one of the most quintessential conflicts of our era. Prose is excellent. Would recommend.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lani

    Kind of disappointed that I didn't finish this one, but I found the text pretty dry. Without knowing enough about the conflict and the culture I felt a little bewildered as I read. I got hung up on a chapter that went back and forth about the pettiness within families with a border between them, and decided I just wasn't invested enough in the story the author wanted to tell.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    A must-read for anyone who is either from Palestine or Israel or interested in that conflict. It's not a political history, but as the subtitle suggest, a series of interviews with Palestinians in Israel. I will try to re-read it and flesh out my review later.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Schneider

    Daniel suggested.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Dense, deep, thought provoking and a little too long - which is how I feel about his fiction too. Grossman is unrelenting in the best possible way. A book to re-arrange your thinking.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Yossi Khebzou

    Al igual que en El Viento Amarillo, la sensibilidad de Grossman combinado con fuentes primarias nos hacen entender la complejidad sobre identidad de los palestinos que viven dentro de Israel.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lee Romer Kaplan

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ina Cawl

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alan

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alex Rif

  16. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin

  17. 5 out of 5

    Elias

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marc

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ted Feder

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Mould

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gery

  22. 4 out of 5

    Yigal Gafni

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alex Barnes

  24. 5 out of 5

    Vidisha

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ine

  26. 4 out of 5

    Madonna

  27. 4 out of 5

    jeremy

  28. 4 out of 5

    Muniba

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mahmoud

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mdimelow

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