A remarkable insight into Middle East affairs and events through the eyes of an accomplished journalist with 40 years experience in the media.
Author Tuma Hazou attributes the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East to the 1917 Balfour Declaration committing Britain to create a ‘national home’ for Jews in Palestine, at the expense of the Muslim and Christian indigenous majority. The subsequent shambolic Jewish-Arab conflict culminated in establishing Israel in 1948 and the defeat by young Israel of six Arab armies.
Tuma Hazou highlights also the events leading to the 1967 June war, with pre-emptive strikes by Israel against Syria, Egypt and Jordan.
He relates the agonising loss of a colleague when fighting flares up in Jerusalem between the Israelis and the Jordanians.
On yet another fateful day, he goes through3 ‘dances with death’ during repeated Israeli air raids on Jordan in August 1968. His chilling eye-witness account of the harrowing raids is included in a United Nations Security Council record of the raids, cited in Addendum 2.
The book’s addendums add intriguing substance to Tuma Hazou’s narrative, such as his wife’s role in circumventing a Jordanian law preventing her Kiwi friend Christine from marrying a high-ranking officer who ends up, for only 10 days, as Jordan’s Prime Minister at the start of Jordan’s 1970 September civil war.
The author reviews what led to the civil war between King Hussein’s Jordanian army and the Palestinian guerrillas after a ‘leftist’ guerrilla faction hijacked a number of civilian planes, forcing them to land in the Jordanian desert before blowing them up. While covering that gruesome 8-day civil war, Tuma was incredibly spared being blown up when he drove over 4 anti-tank mines.
Relocating in 1967 to Amman, in Jordan, the author worked as a radio programmes producer and freelance journalist contributing Middle East coverage to UPI, BBC, NBC TV & Radio News and later as both cameraman and radio reporter with ABC TV & Radio News of New York. He also acted as media advisor to Prince Hassan of Jordan. In 1990 Tuma joined UNICEF as Director of Information for the Middle East and North Africa, working there until 1997 when he took early retirement and settled with his Kiwi wife in New Zealand.