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It's Easier to Reach Heaven Than the End of the Street: A Jerusalem Memoir

Overview

In August 2000 Emma Williams Arrived with her three small children in Jerusalem to join her husband and to work as a doctor. A month later, the second Palestinian intifada erupted. For the next three years, she was to witness an astonishing series of events in which hundreds of thousands, of lives, including her own, were turned upside down. Weaving personal stories ad conversations into the long political back-ground, Williams' powerful memoir brings to life the realities of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. ...

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It's Easier to Reach Heaven than the End of the Street: A Jerusalem Memoir

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Overview

In August 2000 Emma Williams Arrived with her three small children in Jerusalem to join her husband and to work as a doctor. A month later, the second Palestinian intifada erupted. For the next three years, she was to witness an astonishing series of events in which hundreds of thousands, of lives, including her own, were turned upside down. Weaving personal stories ad conversations into the long political back-ground, Williams' powerful memoir brings to life the realities of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Understanding in her judgment, yet unsparing in her honesty, Williams exposes the humanity, as well as the hypocrisy, at the heart of both sides' experiences. This unique account is a refreshing and illuminating read.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Williams's deeply moving memoir relates the three years her family spent in a Palestinian neighborhood in Jerusalem. Tragically, shortly after the family's arrival in 2000, the second intifada (uprising) erupted, and life in Israel and the occupied territories was shaken by suicide bombings, vicious reprisals, and constant fear. The personal experiences of the author's family are contrasted with the daily violence committed by both Palestinians and Israelis, both sides driven by a sense of victimhood and vulnerability. Williams laments that Israeli dominance and the devastation of the Palestinian economy and community can never provide security; she blames the U.S. media and government for not presenting an honest picture of or a responsible policy for the cruelty and futility of Israeli actions. She frames her memoir with a tourist's perspective on her family's explorations of the countryside, visits to historic sites, and friendships with interesting and compassionate Israelis, Palestinians, and expatriates. VERDICT A beautifully written report of the human costs of the ongoing struggle between two peoples unable to live in peace in the land they both love, focusing on the experiences of fear and suffering, violence and compassion. Highly recommended.—Elizabeth R. Hayford, emeritus, Associated Colls. of the Midwest, Evanston, IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566567893
  • Publisher: Interlink Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/2009
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 785,661
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword Brian Urquhart xi

Introduction: Just over the Hill xv

1 A Forest of Peace 1

2 "All Changed, Changed Utterly" 17

3 "The Only Real Option" 43

4 A Sense of Closure 63

5 It Can't Get Worse 87

6 The Head in the Yard 109

7 In Bethlehem? 125

8 "When We Are Destroyed" 155

9 Sumud and Corruption 181

10 Living with Corruption 201

11|"Only God" 219

12 For the Peace of the Settlements 241

13 Between the Alaska Mosque and the Columbia Checkpoint 257

14 Separation 273

15 Days 291

16 Two Zoos 311

17 Countdown 323

Epilogue 343

Notes 381

Glossary 405

Ackowledgments 411

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 8, 2010

    Highly recommended by The Nation magazine

    Emma Williams is a wife, mother of four young children, and medical doctor who wrote about living on the "seam" of East and West Jerusalem during the 2nd intifada. She manages to vividly describe traveling and working within the Occupied Palestinian territories while, at the same time, maintaining friendships with both Palestinians and Israelis. Her bravery, her lucidity, her empathy for the people victimized by this conflict makes for fascinating reading. Those that object to her descriptions of Israeli snipers targeting rock-throwing teenagers or the internal closures/checkpoints that affect the lives of ordinary Palestinians trying to attend school or reach their workplaces are refusing to accept a reality that is more readily reported in Israeli newspapers than in the United States.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2007

    A Missed Opportunity

    A Missed Opportunity When I read on the cover of Emma William¿s book, Its Easier to Reach Heaven than the End of the Street, that here was an author who knew both Palestians and Israelis and was able to give an objective account of the Middle East situation, I was delighted to think I had finally found an author who could give me real insights into the situation. I was extremely disappointed. Ms Williams had close friends amongst the Palestians and obviously has deep sympathy for their plight. She goes in to great detail about their sufferings and creates very sympathetic pictures. On the other hand, when mentioning Israeli tragedies, she tends to list them giving very few details about how horrific these tragedies are. Although she goes into great detail about the suffering caused to Palestians because ambulances are searched (without mentioning that ambulances were often used to smuggle in arms to terrorists) she does not give any details about the horrific murders of Israeli children and adults. Another book which only muddies the waters and does nothing to illuminate the situation. What a pity. A great opportunity lost.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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