In this unique study, the authors go deep into the world of the Palestinian group Hamas, in an effort to understand what motivates the young men of the movement to lay down their lives in suicidal act of murder. Oliver and Steinberg have conducted hundreds of interviews in Gaza and the West Bank, and gathered an immense archive of primary sources. These materials reveal the elaborated world-view of the movement and the means by which the call to martyrdom is successfully propagated. The authors focus on the case of a single boy, Hamza Abu-Surur. Commanded to carry out "a martyrdom action" against a crowded Israeli civilian bus, Abu-Surur records his last words and testament on videotape, to be sold on the street after his death as a monument to his sacrifice and an example to emulate. With the aid of ready-made scripts Abu-Surur has rehearsed and choreographed his own death many times. Oliver and Steinberg find echos of these scripts of martyrdom and defiance as far back as the Ottoman period, centuries rather than decades ago. But while many aspects of Hamas are culture specific, they say, the impulses upon which it draws are more universal; for those who see themselves as powerless, they argue, the taking control of death hold out a seductive promise of personal and collective empowerment.
Book excellent , a little d/j wear.