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Publisher's Summary

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 20s 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.

©2018 Yossi Klein Halevi (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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Israel 101 - but for Jews

The author wrote this for our neighbors “across the hill”. I don’t share his optimism as I do not think the Arabs will ever be reconciled to our return to our ancestral lands. It’d be nice, but I don’t think explaining our story will help. That’s the sort of method we take with convincing other Jews of our opinions, and in effect this “letter” is a missive that’s asking Arabs to be more like Jews in their empathy for “the other”. Rather, I believe where this book best blazes a trail is with those Jews in Israel and elsewhere who are ambivalent about the country, due to empathy for “the other”. I have not encountered a more accurate description of the conflict as Israeli Jews see it and feel it. To read this book will help in gaining the understanding for why so much effort has gone into making peace, and why it keeps failing. Most importantly, it offers an excellent sense for outsiders for why, after all the failures, Israelis find it difficult to throw their hands up in desperation. For those who see Israel in a bad light, read this book. If you’re honestly interested in learning about how this conflict appears on the ground to us, rather than pat political bromides designed to reinforce what you think you know about how we see it, you will be enriched by the time you finish. I doubt you or anybody will get more from it, but it can’t hurt, right?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Yossi Delivers

Written with thought and compassion.
The fact the author is also the narrator is a bonus.
Well worth it.

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I wish all the heads of State and all negotiators would read this!

I am a long time clinical psychologist who has worked with many profoundly warring couples.
Yossi Klein so deeply understands the basic principles upon which healing is based. He conveys this with admirable courage! This is a must read for all Citizens and their leaders in this troubled area. This is the only possible path to peace. Would that peacemakers would turn to this wise, insightful, and courageous writer and hear him well!!

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Letters to my Palestinian Neighbor

A most thoughtful book! A formidable step forward in understanding the deep seated issues between Arabs and Jews in Israel and in the Arab world . Well written, well read and very inspiring.

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Hope for peace?

If there is hope for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, this book has the formula. A moving tribute to the power of empathy.

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Excellent

Best book on Israeli Palestinian issue I have read. Balanced, compassionate, insightful. Carries both narratives with respect.
LK