Dear Yossi,

I started reading the book. It is quite passionate and uses interesting reasoning. However, to judge its value, one has to know the strategic purpose of writing and its targeted audience. It probably is not aimed at people like me who quite understand and are sympathetic to the plight of the Jewish people throughout history and across the world and are thus supportive of their need to create a country that brings Jews together in safety and unity.

 

I am not religious, so I do not support the Biblical evidence used to support that and consider it irrelevant. The mere fact the Jewish people have been persecuted over the centuries, across the World, makes me support their need for a national home that protects them. At the same time, one has to look at the other side of the coin, which is the Palestinians. Of course the plight of the Palestinians has been, at least in part, brought up by their political, Arab leaders and more recently religious fervour. However, one cannot escape the fact of their suffering and it does not help, it even inflames, their feeing of grievance to keep reminding them of that and keep saying that Israelis do not mean them harm, because they are suffering very badly from blockades and other security measures.

 

However, I come from Iraq, a country where people still appreciate the pivotal role played by its Jewish people since 586 BC and many feel sad and ashamed that those Jewish people left Iraq and long to them coming back. Also, the country has not been affected by the Arab-Israeli conflict like other countries. So, Iraqis are, in general, more sympathetic to the Jewish cause.

 

Also, the fact that many Palestinians supported DAESH and indeed constituted the biggest group of suicide bombers in Iraq, has increased the support for Israel amongst Iraqis, especially the young ones.

 

Even in the ongoing protests, Iraqis are holding banners, welcoming Iraqi Jews back to Iraq, if they choose to do so.

 

In addition, I have lived in the West most of my life. Hence, the book and its message find sympathetic ears with me and probably many Iraqis. However, it is aimed at “My neighbours”. Will its message hold much sway with those neighbours, I assume, is the main question the writer has on his mind. Unfortunately, this is a difficult question to answer, no matter what logical arguments are used. If people face daily suffering, combined with strong religious and political messages, even brainwashing, that the cause of that is across a Wall and barbed wire, friendly calling and logical dialogue might not hold much, which is very sad. What is the answer? If anyone knows, the Noble Prize for Peace and a prominent place in history awaits them!

 

Again, I want to clarify that although, in my opinion, the book is not aimed at me, as I quite understand and am sympathetic to the cause of Jewish people to create and live in their own state and that Israel, although a small country, has contributed much to science and medicine across the World, I am greatly appreciative of the author’s efforts in writing it and his wonderful work to bring Arabs and Israelis together. I just think that the road is long and bumpy. However, wonderful people like Yossi and his staff create hope that it can be negotiated.

I wish you all the best of luck

Ibn Dijlah from Iraq