Jerusalem: A group of award-winning authors on Sunday launched a book highlighting Israel’s 50-year-long occupation of the Palestinian territories, raising money for an NGO hated by the Israeli government, AFP reported.
Featuring chapters penned by more than two dozen writers including Dave Eggers, Colm Toibin, and Geraldine Brooks, “Kingdom of Olives and Ash” was edited by American Jewish husband and wife duo Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman.
Chabon, winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for one of his novels, said the aim was to start a conversation about the impact of the occupation on both Israelis and Palestinians.
“We felt like we had to find some way of drawing people’s attention, at least some people’s attention, to this,” he told AFP ahead of the launch in Jerusalem Sunday evening.
Proceeds from the book will go to Breaking the Silence, an NGO that documents abuses by Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territories and publishes testimonies of soldiers, much to the chagrin of Israeli officials.
The book, which is published in English, French, Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish and Italian, takes the form of individual chapters by the authors, most of which center around their trips to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories in the past two years.
Chabon’s chapter touches heavily on the arbitrary nature of the occupation in the West Bank, with Palestinians often caught up in bureaucracy and subject to the whims of individual soldiers and commanders.
"The purpose was proving to the people you are conquering that they have absolutely no control over their fate or their destiny", he said.
Author Dave Eggers, who visited Gaza in his chapter, details life in the Palestinian enclave and how residents try to survive in the territory.
Two million Palestinians live in Gaza Strip, suffering by a decade-long Israeli blockade, with Egypt also sealing its border.