An American Feminist in Palestine

The Intifada Years

Sherna Berger Gluck
Book Cover

PB: $27.95
EAN: 978-1-56639-191-7
Publication: Jul 94

HC: $78.50
EAN: 978-1-56639-190-0
Publication: Jul 94

248 pages
6 x 9
5 figs., 5 maps

A personal journey forces the author to confront her Jewish identity and Western feminism

Read an excerpt from Part I (pdf).


In December 1987, with the outbreak of the intifada, American TV beamed dramatic pictures of Palestinian children and older women taking to the streets of Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem to confront Israeli soldiers. News stories also reported how a small band of Israeli women dressed in black were taking to the streets in West Jerusalem to challenge their government's policy. Moved by these images and emboldened by the example of the Israelis, Sherna Gluck broke a silence she, like so many Jewish Americans, had kept for so long. Her trip to Occupied Palestine one year later began a journey that introduced her not only to the horrors of Israeli occupation, but to the creativity of the Palestinian resistance movement and its transformative potential, especially for women.

Highly sympathetic to the Palestinians, but with vigilantly critical observation, An American Feminist in Palestine recounts the author's experiences over the course of three years as she returned repeatedly to a number of villages and refugee camps. Weaving together anecdotes, interviews, and candid observations, she captures the vitality of the early days of the intifada and the problems that later began to plague the movement after the Gulf War.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The People

Part I: 1988 to 1990: A Time of Hope

December 25, 1988, to January 8, 1989
1. Arrival
2. The Rooted, the Uprooted, and the Transplanted
3. Nablus: Death and Destruction on the Mountain of Fire
4. The Gaza Strip: Where It All Began
5. Jerusalem: Pages from a Notebook, I
6. From Charity to Emancipation
7. Songs of Children

June 3, 1989, to June 16, 1989
8. Summer 1989
9. Jerusalem: Pages from a Notebook, II
10. The Building blocks
11. Kufr Nameh: Introduction to a Liberated Village
12. Issawiyeh: Winds of Change, I
13. Return to Gaza
14. Jerusalem: Pages from a Notebook, III
15. Inside the Green Line: From Apathy to Activism

December 27, 1989, to January 24, 1990
16. Winter 1990
17. The Politics of Hope
18. Jerusalem: Pages from a Notebook, IV
19. Inside the Green Line: Palestinians without Hope
20. Kufr Nameh: From Symbol to Concrete Reality
21. Jerusalem: Pages from a Notebook, V
22. A Time of Hope

Part II: The Post-Gulf War Era: A Time of Reflection

Summer 1991
23. Jerusalem: Pages from a Notebook, VI
24. The Jordan Valley: Land and Water
25. Kufr Nameh: Are the Flags Still Flying?
26. Issawiyeh: Winds of Change, II
27. "They're Swimming in Gaza"
28. Division and Disarray inside the Green Line
29. Is It Worth It?
30. Women and the Intifada: Two Steps Forward, One Step Backward
31. A Turning Point

Historical Chronology

About the Author(s)

Sherna Berger Gluck directs the Oral History Program and teaches in the Women's Studies Program at California State University, Long Beach. Her previously published books include Women's Words: The Feminist Practice of Oral History (with Daphne Patai).