Dear Yossi,

I have never read such a wonderful book about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It took me only a few days to finish reading it in Arabic (over 100 A4-pages). I needed to pause and think after reading each paragraph because each and every paragraph taught me about history, Judaism and sequence of events that I had never read about before.

The book drew my attention to so many topics and raised my curiosity to the point that I googled them in order to get the full picture. I couldn’t just read without probing deep regarding lots of topics mentioned in the book.

I was amazed by the way the author explained the conflict from a pragmatic perspective, for the sake of reaching out to the other. Each side has his own narrative but while reading the book I could see the similarities and the differences clearly. I believe that we must acknowledge the differences between both sides in so many aspects: the cultural, the social, the religious and the way people on both sides perceive the conflict.

The book demonstrated to me the real paradox of this conflict:The day you celebrate is the day the other side mourns; Your independence day is their Nakba’s memorial-day. I could feel a lot of the complexities embedded in this conflict by reading this book. Reading the book made me understand how sympathy can transcend a person’s identity. The author presents a genuine approach in reaching out to the other and seeking love and peace.

I don’t think that reading this book will be easy for Palestinians nor will it be easy for Israelis. There are so many differences between them but this doesn’t mean that there is nothing in common. Acknowledging the differences and similarities is the real starting point for reconciliation.

I believe that finding the solution requires us to understand that both sides want to resolve this conflict. Both sides want a peaceful, dignified and secure life.

My personal experience for the past 10 years in the field of coexistence and interfaith-dialogue, while being involved in several international organizations, taught me a lot about this conflict. But my visits to the Middle East in 2014 and 2018 made me understand the complexities even more. I was bashed by the Palestinian side because of my work in the field of interfaith. I was also bashed by the Israeli side for understanding the Palestinian narrative. I was subjected to anti-Semitism coming from Arab youngsters in Jerusalem when they saw me walking with my religious/Orthodox Jewish friend after midnight, thinking I was Jewish.

And last but not least, we must understand that Israel’s security is tightly connected with the stability of the Palestinians’ lives. I don’t think there will be security for Israel nor peace for all if there is no independent Palestinian state. The Palestinians must get their freedom and dignity and this is strongly connected with establishing a Palestinian State.

 

Thank you,

Abdelillah from Morocco