This is Yossi’s reply to Ghada from Saudi Arabia. To read Ghada’s full response check this link 


Dear Ghada,

Thanks so much for your thoughtful and heartfelt letter. I was delighted to hear feedback from a reader in Saudi Arabia. Now that Israel and the Gulf states are drawing closer, perhaps our two countries will find a similar path, inshallah.

It’s deeply meaningful for me that you wrote me during Fajr –so much of this book was written at that same time, listening to the muezzin from the next hill. It is such a hopeful time, the day is spread before us, full of promise… and God feels especially close.

I so much appreciate the depth of your faith and the beauty of Islam, which I have witnessed on numerous occasions. If we can go more deeply into the essence of our faiths, we will find there the same God and the same basic message of what it means to live a good life.

I agree with you that respect is the foundation for transforming relationships. I was touched that you were moved by my conversation with my son about the need to respect people even in difficult military situations – perhaps especially then. So much of what has gone wrong between Israelis and Palestinians is a result of lack of respect – Israeli lack of respect for Palestinian dignity, Palestinian lack of respect for Jewish history and our shared connection to this land. I believe that respect is the place to begin our healing process.

As for how to make peace: My hope is that, the more Israel is accepted in the region, the more Israelis will lower their guard and begin to think of ways to reach out to the Palestinians. We are living with the consequences of many years of siege and war and fear; only by reassuring Israelis that peace really is possible will we be able to move forward.

Your letter gives me faith that that eventuality is drawing closer.

With blessings and warm regards,