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Attempting to break the agonizing impasse between Israelis and Palestinians, the Israeli commentator and award-winning author of Like Dreamers directly addresses his Palestinian neighbors in this taut and provocative book, empathizing with Palestinian suffering and longing for reconciliation as he explores how the conflict looks through Israeli eyes.
I call you "neighbor" because I don’t know your name, or anything personal about you. Given our circumstances, "neighbor" might be too casual a word to describe our relationship. We are intruders into each other’s dream, violators of each other’s sense of home, incarnations of each other’s worst historical nightmares. Neighbors?
Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor is one Israeli’s powerful attempt to reach beyond the Wall that separates Israelis and Palestinians and into the hearts of "the enemy." In a series of letters, Yossi Klein Halevi explains what motivated him to leave his native New York in his twenties and move to Israel to participate in the drama of the renewal of a Jewish homeland, which he is now desperate to see succeed as a morally responsible, democratic state in the Middle East.
This is the first attempt by an Israeli author to directly address his Palestinian neighbors and describe how the conflict appears through Israeli eyes. Halevi endeavors to untangle the ideological and emotional knot that has defined the conflict for nearly a century. In lyrical, evocative language, he unravels the complex strands of faith, anger, pride and anguish he feels as a Jew living in Israel, using history and personal experience as his guide.
Halevi’s letters speak not only to his anonymous Palestinian neighbor, but to all concerned global citizens, helping us understand the painful choices confronting Israelis and Palestinians that will ultimately determine the fate of the region.
Yossi Klein Halevi is an American-born journalist who has lived in Jerusalem since 1982. He is a senior fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and the author of At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden: A Jew's Search for God with Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land and Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation. He and his wife, Sarah, have three children.