Titel: A Season in Bethlehem: Unholy War in a Sacred Place
Autor/en: Joshua Hammer
Juni 2004 - kartoniert - 304 Seiten
"Newsweek'"s Jerusalem bureau chief Joshua Hammer arrived in the West Bank in October 2000 -- just after Ariel Sharon made his inflammatory visit to the Haram al-Sharif, otherwise known as the Temple Mount. Sharon's trip ignited the worst violence the Middle East had seen in decades. Overnight, the peace process gave way to an ever-worsening cycle of attack, revenge, and retaliation, destabilizing the entire region, killing thousands, and culminating in Israel's reoccupation of Palestinian towns in 2002."A Season in Bethlehem" is the story of one West Bank town's two-year disintegration, as witnessed by a reporter who was there from the beginning. Woven together from Hammer's own firsthand reportage plus hundreds of interviews, it follows a dozen characters whose lives collided on the streets of this biblical city. They include a Bedouin tribesman who rose to become the commander of Bethlehem's most feared and brutal gang of gunmen; the beleaguered governor, an opponent of the al-Aqsa intifada, who believed he had a mandate to stop the violence, only to discover that Yasser Arafat was undermining him; a Christian businesman who watched helplessly as his community was squeezed between Muslim militants and the Israeli army; an eighteen-year-old female honors student turned suicide bomber; and an Israeli reservist, son of a leader of the Peace Now movement, who wrestled with his left-wing convictions as he rode to battle through the predawn streets.The narrative reaches a climax with a moment-by-moment recreation of the epochal drama that drew many of these characters together: the thirty-nine-day siege of the Church of the Nativity. A clear-eyed chronicle of deepening chaos andviolence, in which Hammer lets the opposing sides speak for themselves, "A Season in Bethlehem" is both a timely and timeless look at how longstanding religious and political tensions finally boiled over in a place of profound resonance: the birthplace of Jesus.
Amy Wilentz author of "Martyr's Crossing" "A Season in Bethlehem" examines this fascinating, historic city in microcosm, and uses it to explain why the situation in the Middle East is so explosive. Hammer's detailed portraits of all the actors and his incredible ability to create atmosphere bring the whole place to life. His moment-by-moment narration of the siege of the Church of the Nativity is riveting. You can't believe Hammer was so near all this, observing firsthand the terrible tension, the dangerous standoff. A brave book.