An award-winning author explores the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a surprising lens: the animals trying to survive in occupied hotspots
In August of 2016, Israeli police officers arrested a Palestinian donkey in the Jordan Valley. The charge? Not having the correct paperwork.
It’s an image as sad (and strangely common) as it is symbolic: No creature great or small is free from the absurdities of the Occupied Territories.
Companions in Conflict is a surprising investigation into the deeply intertwined lives of the region’s human and animal populations: From camel beauty contests, to a herd of “illegal” Palestinian cows hunted down by Israeli soldiers; from a hyena in a wolf pack that becomes a symbol of Middle East peace, to the tragic story of the now-taxidermied inhabitants of the West Bank’s only zoo—who were frightened to death by Israeli explosive devices.
Drawing on three decades of living in the region, Penny Johnson’s insightful writing reveals what these and many other animals’ fates tell us about the current state of Israel and Palestine. What’s more, looking forward, she introduces a new generation of environmental activists to us, who represent the region’s best hope for conservation, collaboration, and justice for all creatures.