Dear Yossi,

I am one of many Syrians living abroad, scattered around the globe. For nearly five
decades, the Assad regime has condemned us to austerity and oppression for the sake
of defending “Arab dignity” against the Israeli project. Since the regime and its
allies—not the Israelis—began displacing and killing many of us in 2011, the motivations
of the Axis of Resistance have become highly questionable.

If I wrote to you from Damascus or Beirut, I would be writing my own death sentence.
Contacting “the enemy” is strictly forbidden. But from Europe, I am free to judge for
myself who is a friend and who is not. I no longer perceive the Israelis as foes;
especially after reading Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor.

Your book is not merely a great read. It took me on a journey through Jewish history
and traditions, and it explained to me Israeli society. You introduced your people to
me. And despite a long-imposed estrangement between our sides, a feeling of longing
to learn about our cousins’ origin arose.

“How shall we ever reach a peace agreement?” I used to wonder and often despair. The
general Arab mood is maximalist, and people think and express themselves in
superlatives. When it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the solutions propose
the demise of one of the adversaries. A total victory or an honorable martyrdom. This
unrealistic approach does not help anyone. Israel is an established, democratic and
progressive country; it won’t vanish. Instead of supporting a vision of co-existence,
chauvinists challenge the Palestinians to hold onto a suspended status, one generation
after the other, which is unfair and unnecessary. Somehow, Palestine must coexist with
Israel, and vice versa. But how?

I found the answer in Letter number six: The Partition of Justice. The wisdom and
humility in this chapter commended days of deep reflection. The enemy of justice for
both sides is absolute justice for either side. This lesson could guide any disputants to
the other end of the tunnel. It will always glow in my mind.

Before and after reading your book, one’s mind does not remain the same. I
recommend it to everybody.

Thank you, Yossi, for reaching out to your neighbors. Thank you for being a serious
and true peacemaker.

Keep up the good work,

Rawan Osman