- Recent Publications
The Drone Eats with Me, by Atef Abu Saif. Boston: Beacon Press, 2016. 268 pages. $16.00. The Drone Eats with Me recounts the heart-wrenching, autobiographical tale of journalist Atef Abu Saif and his survival of the 2014 war in Gaza. Chronicling each day of the seemingly interminable conflict, Abu Saif intersperses stories of daily life in Gaza with grisly accounts of whole families dying under strikes from the omnipresent Israeli F-16 jets and drones. The innocent questions of Abu Saif’s children — Will we die? Will there be a truce? How long could it possibly last? When will we run out of water and food? — underscore the sober reality of the conflict that left 2,100 Palestinians dead. However, through the stories of death and loss and destruction, Abu Saif reestablishes the dignity of those who lost their lives. With each new strike and each family destroyed, Abu Saif lists the names of each individual. Once nameless, faceless numbers of war casualties regain some of the dignity they held in life as he remembers their names, their families, and their dreams. (ST)
The Angel: The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel, by Uri Bar-Joseph. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2016. 368 pages. $28.99. In The Angel, Haifa University historian Uri Bar-Joseph uncovers the story of Ashraf Marwan, the Egyptian presidential aide who began spying for Israel in 1969. As the son-in-law of President Gamal ‘Abd al-Nasser, as well as an advisor to President Anwar al-Sadat, Marwan was a great source of secret information on the Egyptian government. Bar-Joseph not only provides a thorough history of how the exchange of information was possible, but he also analyzes Marwan’s character, giving insight on the possible motivations Marwan had to betray his country. Using recently opened archives and significant interviews, Bar-Joseph is able to tell parts of Marwan’s story that have never been shared before, including the identity of his killer. Ultimately, Bar-Joseph uses this book to debunk the Egyptian hypothesis that Marwan was a double agent providing Egypt with intelligence on Israel and instead to show that he was solely an influential spy for the Mossad. (ZL)
Gaza as Metaphor, edited by Helga Tawil-Souri and Dina Matar. New York: Hurst, 2016. 267 pages. $24.95; £16.99. Editors Helga Tawil-Souri, associate professor at New York University, and Dina Matar, senior lecturer at the School of Oriental and [End Page 693] African Studies in London, compiled 21 essays for their book, Gaza as Metaphor. Split into four sections, the book presents a vivid and raw analysis of today’s Gaza Strip as a crowded urban prison. True to its title, Gaza as Metaphor presents the 50 days of constant Israeli bombardment in the summer of 2014 as a metaphor for greater Palestinian suffering and a microcosm of third-world identities. This compilation of scholarly and narrative fiction essays reveals Gaza as a land of colonialism and discrimination, but ultimately one of hope. The contributors, a majority of whom are Palestinian, attempt to preserve the identities, dreams, and struggles of the people of Gaza in the face of border closings and bombings. The authors, with their backgrounds in psychology, development, and history, expose the effects of Israel’s so-called Operation Protective Edge and urge the general reader to grapple with the complexity of life within the Strip’s 140 square miles of arid terrain. (ST)
Whether to Kill: The Cognitive Maps of Violent and Nonviolent Individuals, by Stephanie Dorn-schneider. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016. 328 pages. $79.95. Building on the study of political violence, Stephanie Dornschneider attempts to determine why some individuals will use violence against the state while others will turn to forms of nonviolent resistance. Dornschneider focuses her research on Egypt, interviewing members of groups that used violence until recently like al-Gama‘a al-Islamiyya and Egyptian Islamic Jihad, as well as individuals who are part of the nonviolent Muslim Brotherhood. In order to ensure that Islam and poor economic conditions are not affecting the behaviors of Egyptians, she...