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From Resistance to Government

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When the radical Islamist group Hamas was elected to lead Palestine in 2006, the Western world was shocked. How had the majority of Palestinians come to support an extremist organization and how would the group’s new political power affect the larger Israel/Palestine conflict?

Italian journalist and historian Paola Caridi offers a clear-eyed account of how the conditions in this war-torn region led to the rise of Hamas and an unbiased look at the complex feelings that Palestinians have toward getting behind a government that supports violent resistance. By breaking from the sensationalist journalism surrounding the elections, Caridi is able to tell the story of a movement caught between the desire to resist its oppressor and the need to provide support for a refugee people. Caridi, informed by years of on-the-ground research and interviews with residents of Gaza and leaders of Hamas, covers the history of Gaza from its golden age as a port city to the formal birth and slow militarization of Hamas. This English-language translation brings the reader to present-day Palestine by offering a never-before-seen chapter on Operation Cast Lead, the shocking WikiLeaks disclosures, and the Cairo Revolution.

Hamas paints a picture, with intelligence, dexterity, and heart, of a people trapped in the most historic of political battles and reveals the strange complexities behind the controversy by explaining one of the key players in the search for peace and justice that runs through the central crisis of the Middle East today.

Publishers Weekly Review

Mar 19, 2012 – Beginning with a concise background of the history and politics of the region, Caridi—who has lived in the Middle East and Jerusalem since 2001—discusses the history of Hamas (founded in 1987), the proposed "two-state solution," and the enormous toll—both personal and political—of suicide attacks. Caridi also explores how Hamas won the election in 2006, why its victory "was annulled by the international community," and the generational changes since that have required the government to pay greater attention "to the reactions of the street," given the group's grassroots origins. Caridi zooms out to consider Palestine in the context of the global community, from its tempestuous relationship with Israel, to competing political factions, to its reputation in the eyes of other Arab nations and the U.S. Though the title may suggest the author believes the group has achieved legitimacy, Caridi never endorses the violence that has led many nations to label Hamas a terrorist organization; "Palestine is sabotaging its future and losing its best chance at statehood," she warns, because "both Hamas and Fatah have failed and continue to fail to solve the core issue of sharing power, institutions, and responsibility." With thorough endnotes, a detailed Dramatis Personae, and an updated chapter to address the political situation since the book's initial publication in Italian in 2009, Caridi's English-language debut is timely and informative. Maps.
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Middle East
  • Published: Mar 20, 2012
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 416 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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