This is Yossi’s reply to Shaadi from Palestine. To read Shaadi’s full response check this link


Dear Shaadi,

Thank you for your thoughtful comments, for the careful attention with which you read my book and for your open heart. I was deeply touched, encouraged and saddened, by your letter. Getting any communication from Gaza is so rare for an Israeli, and is itself reason enough for celebration.

I reciprocate your words and sentiment: Thank you for your profoundly moral approach to our conflict, your ability to hear both sides and accommodate our two peoples in your vision for the future.

I appreciate your decision to cut ties with religion, but as you well know, religion remains the most potent force in our region. And so without addressing the religious roots of our conflict, I don’t believe we can begin to heal it.

As for two states versus one state: Do you really believe that, after a hundred years of bitter conflict, our two peoples can live together peacefully in a single state? It seems to me a recipe for endless war. I look at other countries that have been torn apart from within – the former Yugoslavia, Syria, Iraq – and fear that our situation could be even worse. For that reason, and for other reasons as well, I believe in a two-state solution.

You ask about the status of Mt. Zion, and also about the exact whereabouts of the ancient Jewish Temple. Zionism takes its name from “Zion,” which refers to the whole land, but is also the name of one of the mountains on which Jerusalem is built. As for the Temple, archeologists and historians agree that it stood on the spot where Aqsa now stands. In a pamphlet that the Waqf distributed in the 1920s to visitors of the Haram el Sharif, it is stated clearly that this is the site of the Temple of Solomon. Unfortunately the conflict has caused the issue to be politicized and distorted.

Please tell me something about yourself. What kind of work do you do? What is your family situation?

I hope that the time will come when we can visit each other’s homes. I look immensely forward to that day.

Meanwhile – keep well. Thank you for your friendship –

Warm regards,