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Mar 29, 2007 at 09:24 PM

Fiction under occupation -
The gospel according to Monsieur le Wazzo

Sparrow Story, by David Rhodes
(Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, prbk; £9.99)
Reviewed by Jenny Lynn

Cover of Sparrow Story"Take a country languishing under a brutal military occupation, where bulldozers tear down homes, bored young soldiers shoot as soon as look at you, and children are shot dead for throwing stones. It’s this situation, only too familiar to anyone interested in the ongoing saga of Israel/Palestine, that is the setting for a powerful modern-day gospel story by David Rhodes. Narrated in the pacey present tense, echoing crime writers like Damon Runyon, the story fairly races along in a sequence of short, action-packed episodes. Unusually, the author has put the story-telling in the mouth of a sparrow with attitude, nicknamed ‘Monsieur le Wazzo’ by the first character we meet, a hard-drinking newspaper reporter called Johnny Palotski..."

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Women's Boat to Gaza Captured

Zaytouna-Oliva Women Deported
Details Emerge about the Capture

Messina, Italy:  All 13 of the women on the Women’s Boat to Gaza are currently in the process of deportation after being captured by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and detained in a prison at Ashdod. Wendy Goldsmith, a member of the land team working to secure the release of the women stated that, “the deportation was much quicker than in prior flotillas. While we had a great legal team assisting the women, we suspect that the reason for the quick release was because of all the negative media attention Israel has been receiving for its illegal interception.”

According to early reports from the women released, the Zaytouna-Oliva was surrounded by two warships along with four to five smaller naval boats. The IDF gave warning to the Zaytouna-Oliva to stop their course towards Gaza. When the warning was refused, at least 7 IDF members, both male and female, boarded the Zaytouna-Oliva and commandeered the sailboat. This happened in international waters.

In the course of their capture, the women persisted in telling the IDF that Israel’s interception of their boat was illegal and that they were being taken against their will to Israel. 

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