Dear Yossi,

I hope all is well with you.

I have read the book “Letters to my Palestinian Neighbor” and found it immensely interesting in the beggining because it moved me, emotionally, and attracted me to continue reading more until the author started diving into the religious aspects of the conflict. 

At that point I was reminded of all those old painful stories and, to be honest, I don’t think that it is possible to solve our problems through religion. The key to solving these problems is through humanistic approach.

Religion is very private and it is hard to accept someone whose actions rely solely on his beliefs since the stories each one believes in might be perceived as mere legends and myths by others.I was hoping to read a book that focuses mainly on the present and collects human stories of both Israelis and Palestinians without getting into religion, because from my experience I find that religion divides us rather than unites us.

There are some beautiful personal stories in your book, such as the one about your friend Shimon, the Ethiopian Jew, which really touched my heart. The story of Shimon reminds me of the Yemenite Jews who tried so hard to hold on to their lands in Yemen but their condition only got worse after they had become victims of racism and humiliation, and this saddens me deeply.

I think that when we focus on the present and the current reality it is possible to find a common ground as a base for dialogue.

On one hand I find religion to be a source of division but on the other hand I know that there are non-religious or even Atheist people among Israelis, as well as among us and among Palestinians, and they’re still hostile towards each other, so I don’t think that this conflict is purely religiously-based .I would like to thank the author, Yossi Klein Halevi, for his precious efforts and I respect his views no matter how much we may disagree.

Sending my best wishes to you

Bint Sana’a from Yemen