Nir Baram’s first Nonfiction book, which describes his one-year journey in the West bank and East Jerusalem will be published in Hebrew this February by Am Oved publishing house, and then later that month in Germany by Hanser Verlag: (“Im Land der Verzweiflung”). Baram began his journey a couple of months before the war in Gaza (summer 2014) and finished it in the end of 2015 after the new wave of violence erupts. Some of the chapters were published in Haaretz newspaper.
Baram meets a variety of people over the course of this journey: Palestinian-Israeli citizens trapped behind the Separation Wall in Jerusalem, a real no man’s land where neighborhoods have no municipal rule; children living in Kibbutz Nirim who experienced the war in Gaza, the rockets raining down on their homes; young Palestinians, the close friends of the Palestinian boy who was murdered by Jews. He experiences things like being held-up at occupation checkpoints with Palestinian laborers; meeting ex-prisoners from Hamas who have started a Hebrew language school in Ramallah, and ex-prisoners from Fatah who spent years detained in Israeli jails and who are now promoting a new peace initiative. He gets into a secluded settlers’ stronghold in the West Bank, and near Nablus he comes across two Palestinian boys tied up by the side of the road after allegedly trying to stab Israeli soldiers, only to find that the truth is something entirely different.
As the reportage is being written, both major and minor events take place throughout region: riots in the Temple Mount, the abduction of three Jewish boys, the murder of an Arab boy in Jerusalem, the war in Gaza, the building of a new Palestinian city, elections in Israel, a new wave of violence. Baram returns time and again to Jerusalem, the city where he was born and raised, discovering a huge, sprawling city that stretches to include places he’d never even heard of as a boy; a city where a hushed civil war is in full swing.