Extreme Rambling: Walking Israels Separation Barrier - For Fun.

Good fences make good neighbours, but what about bad ones The Israeli barrier is probably the most iconic divider of land since the Berlin Wall It has been declared illegal under international law and its impact on life in the West Bank has been enormous.Mark Thomas as only he could decided the only way to really get to grips with this huge divide was to use the bar Good fences make good neighbours, but what about bad ones The Israeli barrier is probably the most iconic divider of land since the Berlin Wall It has been declared illegal under international law and its impact on life in the West Bank has been enormous.Mark Thomas as only he could decided the only way to really get to grips with this huge divide was to use the barrier as a route map, to walk the wall , covering the entire distance with little in his armoury than Kendal Mint Cake and a box of blister plasters.In the course of his ramble he was tear gassed, stoned, sunburned, rained on and hailed on and even lost the wall a couple of times But thankfully he was also welcomed and looked after by Israelis and Palestinians from farmers and soldiers to smugglers and zookeepers and finally earned a unique insight of the real Middle East in all its entrenched and yet life affirming glory And all without hardly ever getting arrested
Extreme Rambling Walking Israels Separation Barrier For Fun Good fences make good neighbours but what about bad ones The Israeli barrier is probably the most iconic divider of land since the Berlin Wall It has been declared illegal under international law and

  • Title: Extreme Rambling: Walking Israels Separation Barrier - For Fun.
  • Author: Mark Thomas
  • ISBN: 9780091927806
  • Page: 269
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Extreme Rambling: Walking Israels Separation Barrier - For Fun.”

    1. I spotted this book at an old bookshop in West Jerusalem after promising myself not to buy any more books this year. On the cover is the Israeli flag, the Palestinian flag, "Walking Israel's Barrier. For Fun" it says. There's a picture of a kid on a donkey, there's a tank, a young girl. What is this supposed to be? I wonder if this 'Mark Thomas' is an Israeli, or if he's a random foreigner who has no idea where he's going. On the back-cover it says "Good fences make good neighbours, but what abo [...]

    2. Is the Security Barrier really a security device to protect Israel against suicide bombings, or a poor attempt at land grabbing, one that in fact perpetuates hate and could well cause the very thing it hopes to prevent? Mark Thomas presents both sides of the story as he rambles down the length of the Barrier with cameraman Phil Stebbing and characters from both sides of the divide, although he never tries to hide his pro-Palestinian leanings, or his contempt of the militant pro-Wall supporters. [...]

    3. I don't know comedian Mark Thomas' work all that well but I harboured a suspicion that his work was more polemic than funny - more shouting than careful discussion.However, I really enjoyed this book - it was light-hearted and heavy-hearted. It could not avoid being the latter but Thomas usefully keeps a tight rein on the understandable rage. The result is a 'more light than heat' book which examines the issues, the landscape and the people affected by the building of the fence/wall/barricade in [...]

    4. Mark Thomas' books are always thought-provoking. He has you crying with laughter at one minute - usually telling a story against himself - and then horrified the next. I've read all his books, and they just keep on getting better.This is the account of his rambling holiday - the length of the Barrier that Israel is erecting around the West Bank. He meets people on both sides of the Barrier, good ones and crazy ones, sad ones and angry ones. He tries very hard to be fair to both sides, and I felt [...]

    5. I have to ask myself: why did I pick this book to read? Is it because I had visited these countries and wanted to hear it from someone else's perspective?So far with this book, I can see the funny side to some situations and at other times the heart breaking despair at what is happening to a whole nation of people, by another group of people namely the Israel government, its policy makers, and its military. I am feeling so depressed and angry at reading story after story of the inhuman treatment [...]

    6. I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I like Mark Thomas, and enjoy his live stand-up, but this risked being like "Round Ireland With A Fridge" with added suicide bombers. But that goes to show just how little I know, or knew.Any book about Israel, The West Bank and the illegal barrier that separates them can't fail to deal with some fairly hefty issues, and Mark Thomas sets out with the objective of seeing both sides of the wall. But his objectiveness disappears about the time of his fir [...]

    7. An extremely enjoyable book, the seriousness of the subject leavened by Mark Thomas' humour and inherent understanding of the foolishness of what he is trying to undertake, which in turn mirrors the surreality/foolishness of Israel's attempt to turn the fantasy of a border into a concrete and barbed wire reality.The only element that I would have liked some clarification on was why two Israelis that he met, one an officer of the Border Police, the other a mayor of one of the towns Thomas passed [...]

    8. I had seen this book a number of times at the library and not borrowed it. Why? It is so obviously something I'd love to read A few chapters in I realised the reason. Good old fashioned green-eyed jealousy. This is exactly the sort of adventure that a more awesome version of myself would love to plan and do. Of course I'd first need to get some more balls, more get up and go and more extroversion. Then I'd be set. This is all incredibly well done. Mark and his cameraman Phil walk the wall on bot [...]

    9. I liked the books Mark Thomas writes he tries to educate you through the medium of humour. How will I highlight the problems in Israel I will ramble, because I'm British, beside the wall being built mix up the acedotes about the people I mean with some fact and figures and he does it very well. The book highlight life on both side of the Wall that is going up to separate Israel and Palestine, I don't feel he trying to make you take sides but is really highlighting the human suffering that is goi [...]

    10. One of the reviews says: "Horrifying and hilarious" and I couldn't agree more. Very well written and very witty (to be expected from him though). Quite an eye opener as I'm guilty of not really knowing anything that's been going on between Israel and Palestine but I now don't want anything that has been grown in Israel (I know this is only showing part of the story happening over there but still!)Very interesting read and I heartily recommend it

    11. Crayzy idea to walk the separation barrier for fun. And it is fun in a weird tragic way. And well written. The author even visits 'my' village, Jayyus, in the Qalqilya district and gets a brilliant quote from Mayor Abu Taher: ”The problem here is that in Palestine the children are soldiers, and in Israel the soldiers are children”. West Bank revisited in tears and laughter. Motivation for a real re-visit in May is steadily rising!

    12. As funny as Thomas' writing style can be, this was a hard read to get through simply because of the subject matter - the Israel / Palestine situation - which can at times get suffocatingly sad to think about. Thats not to say I wouldn't recommend this book which I would in a heartbeat as a frequently hilarious, always eye opening look at something most people would gladly turn away from and ignore.

    13. A fascinating insight into the current problems in Israel. While, as one might expect, pro-Palestinian, one can't ignore the irony of a country that has a national holiday for 'Holocaust Day' yet carries on much as the Nazi's did in Warsaw and other ghettos. Some laughs to be had, a great style which is page-turning, though one sometimes has to gasp for air. And that is only because there is only so much injustice one can read in one day.

    14. I went to see the tour of this book a few years ago (2011?) and learnt a lot and also laughed a lot. With the Palestinian/Israeli conflict in the headlines I thought I'd educate myself a little more. A fascinating and often funny book about a ramble that shows the lunacy of religion being used to justify anything. The persecuted still feel persecuted and therefore persecute others. I'd recommend reading it.

    15. This book should be essential reading for everyone who is confused about the situation between Israel and Palestine or even for people who think they know what is going on. I found it very informative but also very entertaining. I like a good ramble so his walking comments were amusing but the political agenda was an eye opener for me. Well recommended

    16. Hilarious in all the right places, while still highlighting the many atrocities of the Arab-Israeli conflict.This is the type of book you read if you're unsure about the conflict and want to find out more, or if you already know some bits, but want some witty viewpoints thrown at you. Honestly read it!

    17. I love this so far. It's like one of Dave Gorman's "stupid boy projects," but important, and somewhat disturbing.

    18. It's not all that funny, although it did raise a chuckle now and then. It certainly brings home the disgusting treatment of the Palestinians by the Israelis, and is well worth a read.

    19. The premise of Mark Thomas's book is that he takes the very British pastime of Rambling and applies it to walking the length of the divide between Israel and Palestine. The divide , sometimes wall and sometimes razor wire fence covers the green line border set up in the 1948 political divide but then strays into the land created by Jewish 'settlements' in The West Bank which have repeatedly been declared illegal by International law. The 'wall' created about ten years ago had its aim to provide [...]

    20. In a way, this reminds me of what Eddie Izzard set out to do: to run 43 marathons in 51 days. They are both stand-up comedians. And they both did something most people would not dare or wouldn't even think possible or at least strongly advice against trying to do.Mark Thomas and Eddie Izzard both seem to have something that makes them go. Could it be that humour creates a filter, of self-irony, that does not allow you to take yourself too seriously and that is, paradoxically what, makes you stri [...]

    21. I've become a big fan of Mark Thomas over the last 6 months or so, having missed much of his earlier work the first time around. I discovered this book from an interview he did on radio earlier this year and felt it would make a great read for a number of reasons: he's a good comedian, I like his moral-political perspective, I enjoy walking the countryside, the idea to ramble the Barrier Wall in Israel is inspired, and I knew his take on the situation and the people would make compelling reading [...]

    22. Interesting read. A plucky nation, surrounded by enemies on all sides, in response to a horrific wave of suicide bomb attacks, builds a separation barrier. MT details the repercussions of these events, in an entertaining & fairly one-sided way. It's upsetting that he takes the suicide attacks so lightly, allows the menorah to be casually considered a fascist symbol and suggests that all Israelis are to blame for the current situation (he must have been re-reading that other old piece of writ [...]

    23. I think I was expecting more from this book, it definitely would have benefitted from more detailed maps and photos for each section of the walk, and it's not that they weren't allowed to take photos because Phil was filming most of the time. I like Mark Thomas on the radio with his People's Manifesto show but I didn't like his style of writing and he was very irritating the way he didn't wanted to talk to people on sections of the walk because he wanted to 'ramble' although even he says in his [...]

    24. What this book succeeds in doing is to highlight the plight of the Palestinian people.Mark Thomas sets out to walk all the way round the Israel barrier around the West Bank. In doing so he hears stories of the effect it has had on the lives of those whose land is being stolen.The book illustrates that the fight between a few Palestinian's trying to hang onto the land they live and work on and the Israel military state is an uneven one.However, some times it does come across as one-sided. There a [...]

    25. I chose this as my book club offering as it's an issue I'm passionate about and remembered mark Thomas, from my more radical uni days He didn't disapoint. It was an interesting and thought provoking read. He clearly tries to keep open minded and report the facts as they are and how they are experiencedby both sides. Why not a 5? Well, there was a severe lack of photos for me What happened to all of Phils flicks? I'd also have liked the publishers could've stretched to better maps. But generally, [...]

    26. I bought this book after the show of Mark’s walk around the Israeli Barrier. The show was highly entertaining and spiced with Mark’s wit and sense of outrage, all of this transferred well to the book.In the book Mark could expand on the themes and ideas that he brought to the show and go more in-depth with his examples and verbal ramblings.An important show and book, people should read this to get a personal feel of what is happening in Apartheid Israel and how they are treating the Palestin [...]

    27. It's great to see someone who is pro-Palestine visit the barrier and see both sides. Although incredibly biased in support for the Palestinian people, Mark manages to convey the side of the general population of Israel and the Israelis who also do not support the barrier. He meets with Israelis who are also against the wall and manages to convey their stories of insane logic while also understanding why they have such logic even though it is completely illogical.

    28. It's difficult to take such a difficult subject and actually make it an entertaining read, but this is what Mark Thomas has done. And even better, the humour didn't belittle the subject matter or grate on me as a reader. It may not be as unbiased as it was intended to be (and Thomas does try to address this at the end) but it's a very human look at a situation that all of us are aware of but few really get interested in.

    29. Superb. Highlights the reasoning behind the wall, and some of the absurdities that have resulted from it (a Palestinian, who, because the wall has crossed the green line, is arrested for illegially entering Israel when he enters his living room. Different rooms end up on different sides of the wall!!!)

    30. Incredibly topical and fascinating book. I read this mostly in one sitting, jumping onto the internet for occasional fact checks or google earth pictures. I loved this book, but it has left me feeling disturbed and uncomfortable in my middle class Australian life. This is an indication of its power. Very good read, highly recommended.

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