The Irish travel writer’s account of living through Operation Cast Lead is a blueprint for a new way of thinking about the plight of the people of Gaza.
In a recent interview, the editor of the New York Review of Books, Robert Silvers, remembered a visit in 1969 to Golda Meir, then prime minister of Israel, in the company of the philosopher Isaiah Berlin. At this meeting Silvers made clear that he came from “a Zionist family” and expressed his admiration for the achievements of Israel. Then he said, “But I do keep asking myself about what happened to the Palestinians who lived here and the Palestinians who are now living under military occupation.” Meir replied, “I want to say that we are a moral people, as concerned about the Palestinian people as anybody else,” before turning to Berlin to ask him his opinion. Berlin said, “Military occupation. Seldom a good thing. Seldom works out. Shouldn’t go on and on.”