Yossi Klein Halevi
Reprint Edition 2019
New York Times bestseller
Now with a new Epilogue, containing letters of response from Palestinian readers.
“A profound and original book, the work of a gifted thinker.”–Daphne Merkin, The Wall Street Journal
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. We are 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 committed 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 untangles 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, pride, anger 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 Palestinian neighbor, but to all concerned global citizens, helping us understand the painful choices confronting Israelis and Palestinians that will ultimately help determine the fate of the region.
“A powerful, challenging, and deeply moving plea for human understanding across one of the most tragic divides in modern politics.”
“Beautifully written, with passion, generosity, and above all great heart, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor offers a model not only for Middle East peacemaking but for navigating divides in our own society.”
“When it came to Israel and Palestine, to Muslims and Jews, I had long come to feel that there couldn’t be much new under the sun. How happy I am to be proven so wrong. Halevi’s book is a gift and a challenge, a gorgeously composed, deeply personal accomplishment.”