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Friday, August 20, 2010

Good Arabs by Hillel Cohen

Hillell Cohen has written a fascinating follow up to his previous book "Army of Shadows". This book documents how Israel used collaborators with in Palestinian society in order to control the Palestinians living under their rule.Palestinian collaborators would spy on their neighbor's political activity, potential armed resistance and another families acceptance of cross border infiltrator. In return the collaborator might receive monetary rewards eased travel restrictions, the right to carry a weapon, or some benefit towards other family members.Israeli penetration into Palestinian society was deep. Often times Mayors, and other political leaders were supported by the Israeli government in order to make thePalestinians have an attitude that was more favorable to the state. This included setting up Arab parties that toed the Zionist line. Opposition in the form of Palestinian Nationalist parties was forbidden. The communist party was allowed because they were an Arab -Jewish party and supported Israel's right exist. But the communists did not have an easy time of it. Often times their rallies would be banned due to lack of permits. Leaders would get arrested or exiled from their communities.Collaborators also assisted the Israeli government in another way with regards to cross border infiltrators. It was Palestinians who would report them to the Israeli authorities in exchange for some reward. Infiltrator were usually Palestinian refugees just trying to return to their homes. Once the Israeli security apparatus caught them often times they would be deported to Jordan . Infiltrator were also smugglers and terrorists. Smugglers were caught with the help of collaborating Palestinians who often reported them and sometimes it was Palestinians who infiltrated the smuggling ring and lead the smugglers right to Israeli Law enforcement. The same tactic was also used with terrorist infiltrators.With thee use of collaborators the Israeli government was able to control the Palestinian people living in their border. It was not smooth though. Many Palestinian were angered over land expropriations and the loss of income it entailed. Many Palestinians were also angry with thee collaborators and sometimes this lead to verbal and physical altercation.A result of this collaboration forced the Palestinians to censure themselves with regards to Palestinian history and in their view the Nakba of 1948. This censorship often extended in to wedding songs, the Palestinian education infrastructure and conversation in the home .This book is one of the first books to use declassified documents to show the extent the Israeli authorities used collaborator to control their Palestinian inhabitants

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One blond hair blue eyed Calfornian who totally digs the Middle East.
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