This is not a response to Susan Abulhawa’s exacting review but a sales pitch by Cohen-Corasanti for her disinformative book, and for herself, and it does not erase the fundamental thrust of her novel, that collaboration with a brutal enemy and betrayal of one’s oppressed people pays off.
She trivialises the real and daily Palestinian suffering by shining a romantic light on collaboration and the normalisation of the Israeli occupation while condemning to darkness with the label of ‘terrorist’, the heroic and desperate Palestinian resistance, represented by Ichmad’s brother, Abbas, against Israel’s state sponsored terrorism.
For all her self-proclaimed sensitivity to Palestinians and their suffering under Israel’s war crimes and crimes against humanity, Cohen -Corasanti just doesn’t get it as conspicuously substantiated by this one nonchalant repugnant phrase about the death of her Jewish heroine
– “killed Rachel Corrie style.”
Style? – the horrific crushing to death of a caring, brave idealistic young woman by a Caterpillar D9R Israeli military bulldozer driver!
Seems Cohen-Coasanti lived 7 years too long in Israel having picked up the Israeli habit of theft -in her case from the Palestinian narrative. The Wedding in Galilee was sexed up, including the nontraditional sword/veil scene, by Michel Kleifi, Not Marcel Khelifi??? She uses his film to refute Abulhawa but can’t even get his name right.
Furthermore, were she genuine about her concern for Palestinian oppression, she would have known better than to mention 5 times the Hebrew University which is integral to the Israeli military and arms industry. Michael Federmann, Chairman of Elbit Systems ( largest privately owned armament maker) is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors of Hebrew University. Elbit is “one of two main providers of the electronic detection fence” in the West Bank, deemed to violate international law by the International Court of Justice. All Israeli military colleges and training facilities are under the academic auspices and responsibility of the Hebrew University.
And “In terms of BW [biological warfare] research, development, and deployment, Israel maintains reticence and ambiguity about its activities and capabilities. several other institutions, including Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, and Technion also publish select agent research.”(James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies)
I agree with Abulhawa that “wounds are a sacred place for a people with unredeemed history and injustice” and must not be defiled by the hidden agenda of the oppressor’s hasbara.