Socialist Worker

Voices from the West Bank

by Jonathan Maunder
Issue No. 2254

Riham from Tulkarm, Palestine

Riham from Tulkarm, Palestine

This book is a fantastic achievement.

It is the outcome of six years of solidarity visits to Palestine, during which the authors interviewed nearly 300 young people living in the West Bank.

More than 60 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank are under 20 years old.

This book, expertly compiled and written, gives them the space to speak for themselves.

The authors provide a political and historical context to complement the voices—with photographs, maps and statistics.

What emerges is a comprehensive picture of the reality of life for young people struggling to survive under Israeli occupation.

The interviews bring to the fore the daily personal injustices which characterise Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians.

These are the voices which are so often unheard.

Young men taken in the night and imprisoned without being charged or given a fair trial.

Workers suffering intolerable conditions in Israel’s West Bank factories.

Women subjected to degrading treatment by soldiers at the checkpoints.

But what also comes through is the astonishing level of solidarity and resistance which the Palestinians have developed in the face of such injustice.

This ranges from a strong sense of “looking out for each other” in everyday life, to brave acts of collective and political resistance.

The book doesn’t duck divisions that exist within Palestinian society.

Issues of class, women’s oppression and the role of religion are explored, and a range of perspectives presented.

The authors were in Palestine as the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt began.

These events form a bright spark of hope at the end of the book which will be a great tool for all those in trade unions, universities and local groups campaigning in solidarity with Palestine.

Voices from the West Bank
By Chris Jones and Michael Lavalette,
Bookmarks, £8.99

Special price: You can buy pre-launch copies of the book for £8 from Bookmarks, the socialist bookshop. Phone 020 7637 1848 or go to

Book launch: The book will be launched in Manchester on Tuesday 7 June, 6.30pm at Friends Meeting House, Mount St, M2 5NS. Its London launch will be at the Marxism 2011 festival, 30 June to 4 July. Go to

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Article information

Tue 31 May 2011, 18:33 BST
Issue No. 2254
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