Dear Aboud,

I was deeply touched by your response to my book (so touched in fact that I sent it to my three children).

I so much appreciated your emphasis on the need for us to know each other — the simple basic elements that define our identities and culture. Jews and Arabs once lived in relative intimacy and still knew too little about each other; today, only in Israel do Muslims and Jews live together, and of course the conflict impacts deeply on our relationship.

Just as I believe it’s crucial for Arabs to understand the religious and cultural elements of Jewish identity,

I believe that Israelis need to understand the religious and cultural elements of Palestinian identity — and of course how each side has experienced our hundred-year war.

I pray for the healing of your broken country, pray that the misery will finally stop, even though there is no sign that that is happening. I am grateful that you have found safety. I look forward to being in touch and hopefully to meeting one day — in Toronto or Jerusalem.

Blessings

Yossi