by Paola Caridi - £15.99 Seven Stories Press (2012)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781609803827 | ISBN 10: 1609803825
The Palestinian elections of 2006 changed modern Middle East history — as well as changing the perception of the Israel/Palestine conflict around the world. How, Westerners asked, could a secular people elect a radical Islamist group, one that openly advocated violence against the Israeli government and its people, to lead them? How could ordinary Palestinians support the violent resistance their newly-elected government had dedicated itself to? How could a "failure of democracy" on this level be explained?
Italian journalist Paola Caridi's Hamas: From Resistance to Government addresses the question, breaking with the tradition of sensationalist journalism about the elections to instead tell the story of a movement, caught between the desire to resist its oppressor and the need to provide support for a refugee people, suddenly thrust into the role of the sole effective government of a war-torn region. Caridi, informed by years of on-the-ground research and interviews from the residents of Gaza themselves, covers the history of Gaza from its "golden age" as a port city in the fifth century A.D. through the formal birth and slow militarization of Hamas, continuing through Operation Cast Lead, the shocking Wikileaks disclosures, and the Cairo Revolution into the present day. In so doing, Caridi's Hamas performs, with intelligence, dexterity, and heart, the central function of history: to look at a people's actions through that people's eyes, to reveal the strange complexities behind the controversy, and to explain one of the key players in the search for the road to peace and justice that runs through the central crisis of the Middle East today.
(Price & availability last checked: July 2019)