Dear A. Atar,

First, thanks so much for your warm words about my book, and for taking the time to not only read but to respond. I deeply appreciate your focus on the psychological dimensions of the conflict. I agree with you that a crucial component of the Arab world’s hostility to Israel is the shame in repeatedly to losing wars to the supposedly inferior Jews, who were after all a helpless minority in the Arab world for centuries, and in some cases, like Iraq, millennia. The treatment of Jews in the Arab and Muslim worlds varied from place to place and time to time, but everywhere Jews were helpless and usually second class.

The truth is, I don’t know what to do about that. I fear that any attempt by Jews to bring this up publicly will only be seen in the Arab world as an attempt to score points — or worse, being patronizing —  and will be counter-productive. This is the kind of conversation that must happen within Arab societies, initiated by courageous people like you who, as you put it, desperately want to change the status quo.

My gratitude, and my prayers, are yours.

With friendship and respect

Yossi