Dear Yossi,

I am a young Egyptian man who’s been passionate to learn about the nature of the conflict between Israel and Egypt from an early age, especially since I was born years after the conflict and wasn’t there to witness its events. Luckily, by the time I was born, the leaders of both sides had already reached an agreement and made peace between our nations.

The dispute that I have witnessed is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I have read a lot about Arab and Palestinian viewpoints towards Israel but I remained unsatisfied because in order to be fair one needs to know the other side’s story and analyze it. We must be objective, and consequently, I have searched widely for books in which Jews themselves expressed their viewpoint about the conflict until I came across Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor. In this amazing book, the author presents both sides of the story with full objectivity, transparency and fairness. This reminded me of a verse in The Holy Quran that says : “O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is closer to righteousness. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do “(Al-Maida – 8).

The verse clearly states that we should not let hatred and antipathy prevent us from being fair and just toward others. We should not treat anyone badly and deny their right to exist. The author was immensely fair when presenting each side’ views, even detailing the similarities between Islam and Judaism and explaining how valuable Hebron and Jerusalem are to both Muslims and Jews. I was impressed by his description of how Jews reunited to end their exile and establish a country; a right, I believe, they possess.

The author proposed peaceful solutions to resolving the conflict but he not once spoke of the successful peace agreement between Egypt and Israel. It is imperative for Palestinian leaders to learn from it and take the Egyptian president Sadat as an exemplary figure in terms of solving the conflict and making peace. The Palestinians should put themselves in Jews’ position in order to understand and recognize the Jews’ right to exist and have their own independent sovereign state.

I loved Yossi’s open invitation to host his neighbors in his festive tent during the holiday of Sukkot . I wish I were invited so that I could help him write a new book about the old conflict that was solved by peace. I hope I could help fulfill the peaceful vision of this book for the dear Palestinian people for whom I wish a happy future as I do for the for the Israeli people.

I could go on and on, but to make it short, I would love to thank the great author Yossi so much for his great work that made me love the Jewish nation and the state of Israel.

Peace

Mustafa from Egypt