Jerusalem – A number of renowned writers launched on Sunday a book that highlights 50 years of Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.
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.
The proceeds of the book will be donated to non-government organizations that are facing a fierce crackdown by the Israeli government.
Chabon, winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for his novel “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay”, 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.
By using famous authors, including the winners of three Pulitzers and a Nobel, they were aiming to “sort of trick” people “into paying attention to the occupation by baiting the trap, in a way, with the work of a really amazing writer”.
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.
Author Dave Eggers, who visited Gaza in his chapter, details life in the Palestinian enclave and how residents try to survive in the territory often labeled the world’s largest prison.