Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor (Hardcover)
New York Times bestseller
"A profound and original book, the work of a gifted thinker."--Daphne Merkin, The Wall Street Journal
Attempting to break the agonizing impasse between Israelis and Palestinians, the Israeli commentator and award-winning author of Like Dreamers directly addresses his Palestinian neighbors in this taut and provocative book, empathizing with Palestinian suffering and longing for reconciliation as he explores how the conflict looks through Israeli eyes.
Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor is one Israeli’s powerful attempt to reach beyond the wall that separates Israelis and Palestinians and into the hearts of "the enemy." In a series of letters, Yossi Klein Halevi explains what motivated him to leave his native New York in his twenties and move to Israel to participate in the drama of the renewal of a Jewish homeland, which he is committed to see succeed as a morally responsible, democratic state in the Middle East.
This is the first attempt by an Israeli author to directly address his Palestinian neighbors and describe how the conflict appears through Israeli eyes. Halevi untangles the ideological and emotional knot that has defined the conflict for nearly a century. In lyrical, evocative language, he unravels the complex strands of faith, pride, anger and anguish he feels as a Jew living in Israel, using history and personal experience as his guide.
Halevi’s letters speak not only to his Palestinian neighbor, but to all concerned global citizens, helping us understand the painful choices confronting Israelis and Palestinians that will ultimately help determine the fate of the region.
About the Author
Yossi Klein Halevi is an American-born journalist who has lived in Jerusalem since 1982. He is a senior fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and the author of At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden: A Jew's Search for God with Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land and Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation. He and his wife, Sarah, have three children.
“A clarion call, not to arms but to empathy…a profound and original book, the work of a gifted thinker…[an] urgent and heartfelt message.”
— Daphne Merkin, Wall Street Journal
“One of the best one-volume introductions to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.”
— Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic
“The tantalizing proposition of Halevi’s book, never belabored but always peeking from between the lines, is that faith might unite these two warring tribes whereas reason only fanned the flames of discord.”
— Tablet Magazine
“Powerful and eloquent.... Capturing the enduring Jewish love of the land of Israel and the magic as well as the dilemmas of Zionism, the letters are highly compelling. There is no one better suited to tell the story of Israel and the Jewish people than Halevi—and not just to Palestinians. An inspired reading of the Israeli soul, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor should be recommended to non-Jews and Jews alike.”
— Commentary Magazine
“Yossi Klein Halevi is a very brave man...Halevi’s new book, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor, builds on what he discovered in his earlier quest: that this spiritual common ground could lead to mutual acceptance. I hope the book reaches its intended audiences both in the Middle East and around the world.”
— The Globe and Mail
“Halevi’s book, a collection of letters addressed to his Palestinian counterparts, functions as a new attempt at discourse that starts on a grassroots level. His language is beautiful. So is the idea behind the book: radical, unceasing empathy for the other — combined with an unadulterated, unmitigated dedication to one’s own people and one’s own land.”
— Business Insider
“Refreshingly honest...In explaining Israel to the Palestinians, [Halevi] appeals to a certain ideal, a higher ambition, a sense of wonder and beauty.”
— The Forward
“Eloquent and important.”
— Jewish Boston
“Yossi Klein Halevi wants to extend an olive branch to his Palestinian neighbors, and does so, in his incredibly compelling and heartfelt book Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor.”
— Jerusalem Post
“By providing an honest, soulful and balanced recap of two emotional narratives, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor has given us a spiritual roadmap, if not to peace, then at least to hope.”
— Jewish Journal
“When it came to Israel and Palestine, to Muslims and Jews, I had long come to feel that there couldn’t be much new under the sun. How happy I am to be proven so wrong. Halevi’s book is a gift and a challenge, a gorgeously composed, deeply personal accomplishment animated by this simple gesture: I will share my convictions, because I wish for you to share yours. Then, and only then, can we find a durable peace. These letters overflow with faith, conveyed by Halevi’s sincerity and humility. You, like me, may find yourself disagreeing from time to time, and even strongly so. But you will never find yourself unmoved. There are, of course, always those who are willing to talk, if only we’d listen. What Halevi demonstrates is far more unusual: There are also those who are willing to listen, if only we’d talk.”
— Haroon Moghul, author of, How to Be a Muslim: An American Story
“A powerful, challenging, and deeply moving plea for human understanding across one of the most tragic divides in modern politics.”
— Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
“Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor conveys the urgency and poetry of the Israeli story in a way that is accessible to any reader. I hope everyone will read these beautiful letters—Palestinians and Jews and anyone else interested in understanding who the Jews are and why we returned home.”
— Natan Sharansky, Chairman of the Executive, Jewish Agency for Israel
“Personal and historical, tough-minded yet thoroughly open-hearted, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor is a beautiful, readable, remarkably insightful book. It does not propose to solve the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but it approaches it from the right direction, opening a door to a place of possibility where mutual understanding might – just might – begin.”
— International Fellowship of Christians and Jews
“A poetic and moving account…heartfelt, empathetic.”
— Publishers Weekly