First off, it is worth stating the fact that the Arab-Israeli conflict during its more formative decades was in reality a conflict between the proponents of Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Arab nationalist ideology and the State of Israel; or, in other words, a nationalistic-brotherhood struggle against Israel. This is indisputable.

Not all Arabs and Muslims harbor the same antipathy and hatred towards Israel, but it is undeniable that Gamal Abdel Nasser and his ilk – the forerunners of the Muslim Brotherhood – were most hostile in this regard.

Ever since Nasser’s imposition of his short-lived protectorate in Yemen under the justification of establishing the Pan-Arabist “United Arab Republic”, we, in my country, have become hostile towards Israel. And ever since this occupation we have suffered the consequences of his unwarranted and unjustified aggression, just as Israel has suffered from its hostile neighbors. 

Such enmity is rooted in the distortion of religious texts or concepts (be it those treasured by your religion or by ours) as well as in the Israeli government’s policy of misleading its people. Likewise, Arabs and Muslims are misled into believing in the necessity of hostility between our peoples. These distortions are used as tools by those in charge to obtain yet greater positions of power and reap in the benefits. 

The Lord is one, religion is one, and the messengers and prophets have been sent solely to benefit humankind; not to cause conflicts between its constituent groups.

I read as much as I could from your valuable book on my small, smashed smartphone screen. Overall, I considered it an excellent read. A book’s value is worth its weight in gold. May God grant you success in doing what pleases Him, and in doing what is good for your country and all its residents, both Arabs and Jews.

It is time to forget the entity that is called Palestine. I believe that the Israeli government must take responsibility for all its inhabitants as well as its immigrants, just like any other civilized modern country. 

There is an evident politicization of discord in order to incite and fuel conflict. For example, take a look at the Syrian regime; it has been killing its own people for a great number of years now, whilst expressing hostility and animosity towards Israel as a pretext for internally repressing its opponents. During this time – indeed, for decades – the regime has not fired a single shot towards Israel. (I don’t say this as a means of inciting against you, but rather simply for the purpose of laying out the facts on the ground.)

On the other hand, I can similarly draw attention to the fact that the ruling Israeli political class has governed its citizenry on the basis of enmity with Syria even though Israel, too, hasn’t engaged in a single battle with the Syrian regime for decades. However, unlike the Syrian regime, they have never used this enmity as a justification to fight opponents of the government. 

The successive Israeli governments in recent years could have, in fact, attempted to eliminate the regime that has threatened Israel’s existence. Despite the fact that many such opportunities have arisen, your governments have decided not to take this course of action in order to avoid protracted war. 

I believe that the core of the conflict lies, not with the people, but rather with the politicization of causes and struggles. Politicians want to maintain enmities that allow them to control their people’s fate.

In the past we, in the Middle East, used to live together. Jews, Christians and Muslims coexisted and shared genuine bonds of friendship at times of joy and during periods of sadness; before we were subjected to the kind of oppressive dictatorship we see today in Syria, Turkey or Iran. 

I have already presented to Kushner and Trump – and indeed Arab audiences – ideas that could very well create a long-lasting rapprochement. I implore God to provide me with the required energy and support in order to contribute to bringing peace to the entire Middle East. 

I would like to take this opportunity to hear your thoughts on the claim (professed by some) that Judaism is not in fact a monotheistic religion but rather the implementation of religious practices by a people gone astray from  divine monotheistic faith. How would you respond to such a claim and to those who profess it? 

I would appreciate it if you could also explain to me why it is the case that all the followers of Moses are considered Jews even though, in reality, the notion of “Jews” references the descendants of Judah, just one of the tribes of Israel? Surely, logically speaking, not all of Moses’s descendants, peace be upon him, should be considered Jews, but rather only those from the Tribe of Judah.

Arabs and Jews are both Semites and can both be accurately described as the descendants of Abraham. In our prayers, we mention Abraham and his offspring: Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Joseph, Jesus and Muhammad – may peace be upon them and upon their descendants. 

In the Qur’an, Palestine was given by God to you, the Jews. Denying your right to this land contradicts the words of God. The problem remains, however, that nobody can dare speak such words of truth in the Arab world for fear of facing serious consequences.  

My contention that you possess the right to this land is grounded in the Qur’an, in surat Alma’ida verse 21, in which God clearly tells Moses, peace be upon him: my people! Enter the Holy Land which Allah has destined for you ˹to enter˺. And do not turn back or else you will become losers”.

It is, therefore, my obligation to recognize the natural right of Israeli-Jewish sovereignty over the entirety of Palestine. At the same time, we must demand that Israel grants all its indigenous people, both Arabs and Jews, equal rights as equal citizens.


My prayers and greetings are extended to you and your dear people.

Ezzudden from Yemen

October 2020