Pulitzer Prize winner Geraldine Brooks to launch book on Israel’s 50-year occupation

May 14, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The New Israel Fund Australia is to launch K​ingdom of Olives and Ash,​ a collection of essays exploring the 50th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

Bassem Tamimi, Ayelet Waldman, Geraldine Brooks, Dave Eggers, Eva Menasse, Rachel Kushner and Nabi Saleh Credit: Active Stills

To create the book, co-editors Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon teamed up with Breaking the Silence – an Israeli NGO which uses the testimonies of Israel Defence Force soldiers to highlight what is being done in Israel’s name in the Occupied Palestinian territories.

A series of eminent Jewish, Israeli, Palestinian and international authors – including Colum McCann, Jacqueline Woodson, Colm Toibin, Geraldine Brooks and Mario Vargas Llosa – all contributed chapters.

Last year while she was in Israel to research her essay, Australian-born Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks ​told the ABC​ that “Israel remains a very open society — nobody is stopping us doing what we are doing here, which is exploring occupation in all its aspects and talking to whoever we want to talk to. People need stories and we are storytellers, so we will be able to bring this information in a slightly different way.”

Launch events will be held in Sydney on Wednesday, 6 June and Melbourne on Thursday, 7 June. In Sydney, Geraldine Brooks, Israeli award-winning author Assaf Gavron and Breaking the Silence executive director Avner Gvaryahu will discuss their contributions to the book, as well as the current political reality in Israel. In Melbourne, the event will feature Gavron and Gvaryahu. Both events will include Q&A with the audience and book signing by the authors. Tickets are available from www.nif.org.au/kingdom.

“Being a Zionist in Australia means understanding and grappling with complicated issues in Israel,” said NIF Australia executive director Liam Getreu. “We may find talking about the occupation uncomfortable, but we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to its impact. ‘Kingdom of Olives and Ash’, with its cast of incredible contributors, offers an opportunity to read narratives that take us beyond the news headlines.”

“This book is a unique opportunity for the authors to shine a light for their readers on what occupation means for those living under it, but also those enforcing it,” said Avner Gvaryahu, executive director of Breaking the Silence. “The human cost of the Occupation is high and we hope that this book will contribute to shifting political realities on the ground and hasten the end of the Occupation.”


6 Responses to “Pulitzer Prize winner Geraldine Brooks to launch book on Israel’s 50-year occupation”
  1. Leon Poddebsky says:

    To call it “an occupation” is an obscenity and an egregious affront to decency, history and law.

    Those who use that terminology, Jews and non-Jews, should be (but are not) ashamed of themselves.

    • Robert James Wilson says:

      Leon doesn’t say why he believes that “To call it “an occupation” is an obscenity and an egregious affront to decency, history and law.”
      We are interested Leon so please don’t hold back.

  2. Morri Young says:

    I look forward to the sequel.. Occupation in Australia… 250 years of living on other peoples’ country.

    • Robert James Wilson says:

      Well said Morri.
      Australia probably has more to answer for than does Israel.

  3. Bella Ceruza says:


    Maybe if NIF would devote as much time to teaching our friendly Arab neighbours to recognize the State of Israel and to seek peace than to destroy both physical and emotional barriers, the NIF could be using their time constructively.

    However it seems their ‘New Israel’ is based on political correctness led by highly successful Arab PR.

    One might have thought that the ‘New Israelis’ had learned from the ‘land for peace’ initiative that turned Gaza into a rocket launcher where viability of a productive environment (including greenhouses donated by American Jews) was purposely destroyed in order to undermine peace – and where the folk who suffer most from this are the unfortunate Arab population. But then why would their corrupt, self-serving Arab leaders or the misguided bleeding hearts of the ‘New Israel’ Fund care about them?

    • Robert James Wilson says:

      It is not “highly successful Arab PR” that has stirred the NIF, but an affronted sense of justice derived from Moses’ writings. Writings honoured by Jews and Muslims alike. Words from Moses’ book Leviticus at 19:18. All such people including this atheist ask themselves the very simple question “How would we feel if these things were done to us?”

      Justice is simply ‘due treatment’ and it is offended on both sides so that injustice is felt and expressed by both sides.

      One day both sides will see the injustice on both sides and then we will have an awakening and a change, like under Mandela or as in Northern Ireland or like what may be happening now in Korea.

      So it looks as if there is hope

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