By Israel Shamir
The essays collected in the this book were written during the years 2001-2002, in the old Palestinian port-town of Jaffa, on the shore of the Eastern Mediterranean, during the Second Intifada, or Intifada al-Aqsa, but they are not limited to events in Palestine. The war in the Holy Land is presented as the centre-stage of the world-wide struggle of ideas, against a backdrop of such momentous modern developments as the growing influence of American Jewry ("the Rise of the Jews"), the decline of the Left, the ascent of Globalisation, the first steps of the anti-Globalisation movement, and the outbreak of World War Three with America against the Third World. It is a daring attempt to tie together various political, theological, military and social threads, and to formulate fresh concepts that provide people with new tools for analysis and action. While seeking the Liberation of Palestine, the author pursues another, more broad goal as well: that of the Liberation of Public Discourse.
Israel Shamir is in love with the Holy Land. He has a passion for the land and its people; he believes the two are umbilically linked. For him there is only one viable solution to the conflict that has ravaged the region for so long and that is the one state solution. Shamir is a humanist and although he is scathing about Palestine's enemies - the Jewish elite - he takes pride in and writes lovingly about the courageous Jews, who resist Israeli crimes.
Flowers of Galilee is a collection of essays, so full of affection - such an elegy of love - that, reading it for the first time, I felt impelled to delay the turning of pages, preferring instead to linger over images - to savour the sentiments. Shamir does not pull any punches. He challenges conventional thinking, but he does so with honesty, affection and such thorough understanding and knowledge that his outspokenness is reasonable and rational. Flowers of Galilee is an eye opener - a learning experience. It is also enchanting. --Nick Pretzlick, Literary Critic
About the Author
Israel Shamir, a leading Russian Israeli writer, is a champion of the "One Man, One Vote, One State" solution seeking to unite Palestine & Israel in one democratic state. Shamir's work and that of his contributors speaks to the aspirations of both the Israelis and the Palestinians seeking an end to the bloodshed, true democracy and lasting peace. Read his complete biography here.
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