Jonathan Cook: the View from Nazareth -

A Doctor in Galilee: The Life and Struggle of a Palestinian in Israel

By Hatim Kanaaneh (Foreword by Jonathan Cook)
Pluto Press, July 2008


A Doctor in Galilee: The Life and Struggle of a Palestinian in IsraelHow to buy

In the UK: from Pluto Press or Amazon UK
In the US: from Palgrave Macmillan or Amazon US


A moving account of the plight of the Palestinians by one of them: a physician struggling to alleviate his people’s lot.
Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus

Hatim Kanaaneh sheds a unique light on the lives of the over one million Palestinians who hold Israeli citizenship in a beautifully readable and engrossing memoir of his years as a village doctor in the Galilee. His account of the rank racial discrimination, difficult social circumstances and pervasive poverty of most Palestinians in the Jewish state is leavened by Kanaaneh’s humour and his eye for striking detail. This is a truly touching book that is hard to put down.
Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University

Our libraries are full with historical and political analyses of the Palestine question, but we still have very few personal diaries and journals that help to humanize the complex reality of the torn land. This personal account is a unique and vital contribution to this genre. The book blends the personal with the political, the past with the present and the emotional commitment with the rational analysis. It is a fascinating first hand account from the perspective of a Palestinian who defeats the imposed partition of the land and the fragmentation of its people: he belongs to Palestine on both sides of the Green line and is both a native of the land and a refugee in it.
Ilan Pappe, Professor of History at Exeter University

Scarcely any personal narratives of the lives of Israel’s Arab minority exist. Kannaneh’s fascinating exposure of this little-known subject is written with passion and authority. Essential reading for students of the Israel/Palestine conflict.
Dr Ghada Karmi

Book reviews

Jim Miles, Palestine Chronicle

Raymond Deane, Electronic Intifada

Steve Andrew, The Morning Star

Sally Bland, The Jordan Times

Janet Walker, Al-Majdal magazine

Emma Williams, The Lancet


From the back cover

Hatim Kanaaneh is a Palestinian doctor who has struggled for over 35 years to bring medical care to Palestinians in Galilee, against a culture of anti-Arab discrimination. This is the story of how he fought for the human rights of his patients and overcame the Israeli authorities’ cruel indifference to their suffering.

Kanaaneh is a native of Galilee, born before the creation of Israel. He left to study medicine at Harvard, before returning to work as a public health physician with the intention of helping his own people. He discovered a shocking level of disease and malnutrition in his community and a shameful lack of support from the Israeli authorities. After doing all he could for his patients by working from inside the system, Kanaaneh set up The Galilee Society, an NGO working for equitable health, environmental and socio-economic conditions for Palestinian Arabs in Israel.

This is a brilliant memoir that shows how grass roots organisations can loosen the Zionist grip upon Palestinian lives.

About the author

Dr Hatim Kanaaneh completed his medical and public health degrees at Harvard in 1970. He then returned to Galilee where, in 1973, he became the Public Health Doctor of the sub-district of Acre. He is the founder of the Galilee Society (the Arab National Society for Health Research and Services).

Visit Hatim’s blog

Back to Top

You can also read my Blog HERE. To join discussions about my work, please visit my Facebook or Twitter page.