January 5th, 2021

A response from Ghada from Saudi Arabia


I would like to thank Mr. Yossi for extending his invitation to Arabs to read his book and present their thoughts about it in response.

I had the honour to not only read the book but get to know him through it!

It just so happens that I began writing this comment at one of my preferred times to read books – during the silence of the time of AlFajr, the morning prayer.

The contents of this book reveal the author’s deep concern about his own people as well as his neighbors in which he endeavors to foster mutual understanding between them.

I likewise appreciated the writer’s eagerness to comprehend the other side of the conflict by listening to the Palestinian narrative and seeking to understand his neighbor’s way of life. Yossi stresses the virtues of showing respect to his neighbors and emphasizes the importance of not humiliating others; a message he imparted to his son before he started his military service. This, for me, was one of the most moving parts of the book.

The writer introduces himself as a religious Jew and divulges his own view of the conflict from a religious perspective that is influenced by the Jewish Bible. It is important for us in the Arab world to be exposed to such opinions for it helps us understand the emotional and religiously-grounded connection Jews have to the Holy Land.

Yossi’s informative overview of many interesting features of his religion should be considered an example for other followers of Judaism upon whom it is incumbent to explain their theological outlook and commandments to others.  

There is a Quranic verse (46:12 Surat Alahqaf) that reads: “And before it (the Quran) was the scripture of Moses as guidance and mercy from Allah. And this is a confirming Book in an Arabic tongue to warn those who have wronged and as good tidings to the doers of good.” That in my opinion explicitly states that we have to follow what was mentioned in the book of Moses. This verse clearly sets out the importance of following the Jewish Sharia/laws. 

Islam is not a monopolized doctrine that is controlled by a single group of people, but rather a way of worshiping the one and only God. Islam teaches people how to conduct their lives through good deeds and by committing themselves as servants of God on earth, as stated in the verse (surat albaqara 2:112): “None has any special claim upon reward from Allah. Whoever submits himself completely to the obedience of Allah and does good will find his reward with his Lord. No fear shall come upon them, nor shall they grieve”. 

Similarly, another verse (5:48) reads: And do not follow their errant views, forsaking the truth that has come unto thee. Unto every one of you have We appointed a [different] law and way of life”. 

When it comes to political matters, I support any just and realistic solution to the conflict. I believe that the Israelis have to recognize that any reasonable solution must bring dignity and justice to the Palestinians.

The writer explains the reasons for Jewish existence and outlines their longing for the Holy Land. Nonetheless, it occurs to me that if the Jewish pioneers who immigrated to Mandate Palestine in the 1940s would have foreseen the consequences of their return – namely, the expulsion of other people from their homes – they may very well have decided not to do so. It seems to me that this land was inaccurately presented to them as void of inhabitants and simply awaiting settlement, thus tempting them to return at this particular juncture of history. All this being said, I do not, in fact, blame the Jews for their longing to return; I cannot chastise them for seeking out better lives for themselves and for their children.

I believe that the time has come for Israelis to wake up to the necessity of conducting peace with the Palestinians and find a just solution to this conflict. The land is treasured by both peoples, but human life and dignity is much more valuable than the land. The Palestinians and Israelis are neighbours and both deserve a dignified life on this piece of land. 



Ghada from Saudi Arabia