Walking to Jerusalem: Blisters, hope and other facts on the ground

Walking to Jerusalem: Blisters, hope and other facts on the ground
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Published Date: November 2019
ISBN-13: ISBN9781473673717

'What's so impressive about Justin Butcher's book is the interweaving of his personal face-to-face experiences in Israel and Palestine against the backdrop of the social and political realities there. This book displays an empathy that is unusual in discussions of that tangled and tragic situation - the kind of empathy that will be essential in arriving at any decent solution to it.' BRIAN ENO

2017 marked three major anniversaries for the Palestinian people: the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, the fiftieth year of Israel’s military occupation of the Palestinian Territories, and the tenth year of the blockade of Gaza. To change the record after a century of injustice, a pilgrimage set out to walk from London to Jerusalem – in penance, solidarity, and hope. This was the inspiration of playwright, actor, and musician Justin Butcher, who worked with human rights charity Amos Trust to mount the Just Walk to Jerusalem. Calling for full equal rights for everyone who calls the Holy Land home, more than a hundred walkers took part. Nine walked the whole way.

This is their story: walking journals and travellers’ tales on paths of pilgrimage and conquest, from monasteries and mountain, passes to Bedouin camps and desert wadis across Europe and the Middle East. Down Roman roads and refugee routes, Justin Butcher traces the pull of Jerusalem on the European imagination – the many strands of legend, fable, and iconography radiating from the Holy Land and its three faiths.

Between these paths and themes of Balfour and Zionism, Weizmann and cordite, desert spirituality and Jerusalem Syndrome, he charts a chronicle of serendipity: happenstances hilarious, infuriating and occasionally numinous – or, as pilgrims might say, encounters with the Divine.

'This is a gripping and intelligent book that everybody should read.' PATRICK COCKBURN, Middle East correspondent, The Independent


Winners of the Palestine Book Awards

  • Places of Mind: A life of Edward Said
  • Except for Palestine: The limits of progressive politics
  • A history of Palestinian Islamic Jihad: Faith, awareness, and revolution in the middle east
  • Wondrous Journeys in Strange Lands
  • Against the Loveless World
  • The Hundred Years' War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917–2017
  • Life in a Country Album
  •  There Where You Are Not
  • The Parisan
  • Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine
  • Stone Men: The Palestinians who built Israel
  • Nabil Anani: Palestine, Land and People
  • Where the Bird Disappeared
  • In the Land of My Birth: A Palestinian Boyhood
  • Balfour in the Dock: J.M.N. Jeffries & the Case for the Prosecution
  • Brothers Apart: Palestinian citizens of Israel and the Arab world
  • The Great War and the Remaking of Palestine
  • On the Arab-Jew, Palestine, and other displacements
  • Gaza under Hamas: From Islamic Democracy to Islamist Governance
  • The Commander: Fawzi Al-Qawuqji and the fight for Arab Independence 1914-1948