Jakub Szántó (b. 1977) is a journalist and television reporter. He holds a Doctorate in Modern History from Charles University in Prague. He has covered many international crises for television, focusing primarily on the Middle East and Africa. Szántó is the holder of the Open Society Fund Prague’s Journalism Award (2014) and the Ferdinand Peroutka Award for journalism (2017). Drawing from over two decades of reporting, crowned by five years as a permanent correspondent in the Middle East, the author offers in his two books, Behind the Curtain of War and From Isratine with Love, an unorthodox view of the Israelite and Palestinian peoples– their lifestyle, culture, and history.
CZECHIA’S HIGHEST LITERARY HONOUR – READERS’ CHOICE (2019)
October 2020, 305 pages
Available material: English sample
High-octane outlook on Israel and Palestine through ancient and modern history
Jakub Szántó’s core ambition is to present the fatefully entwined region of Israel and Palestine – the Isratine – as a place bubbling with ordinary life rather than purely a site of conflict. Szántó makes no secret of his love for both its peoples. Focused on individual stories of history-makers and their impacts on various groups, he uncovers an abundance of personal motivations and questions regarding individual identity. Szántó offers historical background on today’s state of affaires, while his main goal remains to disrupt the often-schematic perceptions and black-and-white visions of the restless region.
Speedy driving with hot female rally drivers through narrow Palestinian streets. Scuba diving amongst a swarm of hungry sharks along Israeli coast. Clenched-teeth storytelling by two old veterans who fought on opposing sides of the first Arab-Israeli war.
The TV reporter’s language is once again full of lively, sarcastic, and self-ironic humor. The book is accompanied by a wealth of Szántó’s photographs from his coverage of the Middle East, as well as explanatory maps.
“This book decidedly does not intend to paint the Palestinians as victims, or Israel as a country full of suffering: optimism has an advantage here, albeit a small one. (…) From Isratine With Love is a popularizing book about the Israelis and Palestinians, in which Szántó weaves together ancient and modern history, as well as on-ground reporting and personal stories.”