Robert Fisk, The Independent
Under the Cover of War “helps to balance documentation and diaries by one side with verbal recollection on the other. The book does not spare the Arabs—least of all the Arab atrocities or the Iraqi volunteers who turned up to fight for Palestine but didn't even know their geography—yet the suffering of those who fled is all too evident.”
“Here for example, is Abu Mohamed from the village of Saqiya, east of Tel Aviv describing what happened on 25 April, 1948: 'Jews entered the village and started shooting women, men, and old people. They arrested girls, and we still don't know what happened to them. They came from the settlement that was near the village. They used Bren guns. Then armoured vehicles entered the centre of the village. Fourteen were killed that day. Two women could not run so they were killed in the village. The villagers ran together in the direction of al-Lid (Lod, the site of Ben Gurion airport in Israel today). After that, families started to leave separately. We left everything in the village. We thought it would be a short trip and we would come back.'”
In her first effort, researcher and writer Esber takes readers on a dramatic inquest of modern Israel’s beginnings and the Arab conflict over Palestine. Reviewing historical accounts, Esber reveals that after WWII many of Europe's expelled Jews sought to regain their roots in Palestine. This meant the expulsion of the Palestinian Arab community who lived there; with the tacit approval of the United Nations, Palestinians were cruelly evicted from their homes and lives, subject to demonization and, according to Esber, a campaign of ethnic cleansing. Esber’s account abounds with first hand accounts from Arab victims recounting the terror they faced at the hands of Zionist forces. This gripping historical account illuminates the plight of Palestinians following the War, too long overshadowed in the media and historical record by the atrocity of the Holocaust; placing them back to back, Esber demonstrates a tragic domino effect, in which victims become aggressors and survival becomes a matter of fighting back. B&w photos.