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Friendly Fire  By  cover art

Friendly Fire

By: Ami Ayalon,Anthony David - contributor,Dennis Ross
Narrated by: Rich Miller
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Publisher's Summary

In this deeply personal journey of discovery, Ami Ayalon seeks input and perspective from Palestinians and Israelis whose experiences differ from his own. As head of the Shin Bet security agency, he gained empathy for "the enemy" and learned that when Israel carries out anti-terrorist operations in a political context of hopelessness, the Palestinian public will support violence, because they have nothing to lose. 

Researching and writing Friendly Fire, he came to understand that his patriotic life had blinded him to the self-defeating nature of policies that have undermined Israel's civil society while heaping humiliation upon its Palestinian neighbors. "If Israel becomes an Orwellian dystopia," Ayalon writes, "it won't be thanks to a handful of theologians dragging us into the dark past. The secular majority will lead us there motivated by fear and propelled by silence." 

Ayalon is a realist, not an idealist, and many who consider themselves Zionists will regard as radical his conclusions about what Israel must do to achieve relative peace and security and to sustain itself as a Jewish homeland and a liberal democracy.

©2020 Ami Ayalon (P)2020 Steerforth

Critic Reviews

"[Ayalon’s] aims and accomplishments are . . . undeniably impressive . . . Hope finds a prominent presence in what so many think is a hopeless, endless conflict.” Kirkus Reviews 

"How can a staunch Zionist who was raised on one of Israel's earliest settlements and trained as a kill-or-be-killed elite commando spearhead a campaign for peace with his enemies? The answer, in Ami Ayalon's captivating narrative, is an eye-opener for Palestinians and Israelis alike." Sari Nusseibeh, author of Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life, former president of the Al-Quds University and former Palestinian National Authority representative in Jerusalem

"Ami Ayalon discusses how he came to see a two-state solution with the Palestinians as the best way to ensure Israel’s security, not just through analyzing numbers and statistics, but through a humanistic approach. He discusses...how his humanist paradigm not only allowed him to see how the Palestinians’ grievances and aspirations are intertwined with Israel’s security, but also how he still acknowledges and sympathizes with the narratives of those in Israel whom he may disagree with.” Jonah Naghi, in The Times of Israel

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Must read. A soldiers perspective is better than a politician.

In such a complex conflict, let’s listen more to soldiers than to politicians. The former know the cost of war. The latter just want to stay in power. Ami is brave and humaine.

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Getting in touch with reality

I have appreciated this book for uncovering a logical path from Zionism to reality. Infusing a stark logic to the need to let our humanity drive our politics rather than fear. Even if here and there there may be embellishments, I don’t find them distracting. I sense a guarded optimism for Israel future given that this utopian Prime minister Ami described, will be elected and supported to bring us back to our”promised land”. I am haunted though by the saying ( paraphrase) “ , who that controls the narrative of the present will control the future “,