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Prejudices the two men began a dialogue that over than a decade grew into a remarkable friendship Now an award winning journalist Goldberg describes their relationship and their confrontations over religious cultural and pol. GREAT unfiltered perspective on how the Israel Palestine conflict is experienced and viewed by those involved Very intense If you re looking to find some hope about this conflict this is not the book But it is a great read and was a wonderful new view point diverging from the academic reading I ve done about this conflict in the past

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Prisoners A Muslim and a Jew Across the Middle East Divide

Itical differences; through these discussions he attempts to make sense of the conflicts in this embattled region revealing the truths that lie buried within the animosities of the Middle East From the Trade Paperback edition. First off the title is a bit misleading It should be renamed Jeff Goldberg and Jeff Goldberg across the Middle East Divide because it is far autobiographical than about a conversation or friendship of Muslim and Jew The title implies history and insights from the Muslim than we get which is next to nothing comparatively He tells how he was hated by Christians growing up who called Jews Christ killers He tells of being obsessed with reading about the Holocaust and listening to older relatives tell about it He was enchanted by Kahane and other militant terrorist types at one point and still can t fathom why Palestinians would want to do the euivalent He went to Zionist socialist summer camps and longed to live in Israel for about a decade before he fulfilled the dream Once there he tried a kibbutz and the army before becoming disenchanted and returning to America His time in the army at Ketziot prison during the first intifada is where the book takes place Rafi is the Muslim in the title and at that place they strike a tentative cautious tenuous almost friendship Jeff is extremely critical of Palestinians Islam and constantly suspects Rafi of mal intent notably when Rafi gives him a clock and some other things to take back to America for a friend at the University and Jeff breaks into a cold sweat at night and smashes the clock to be sure it isn t a bomb Jeff doesn t give us nearly the amount of history and insights on Rafi as he does himself I don t think Jeff did him justice compared to the treatment in the titleJeff talks about a Jewish soldier who hates Arabs but he justifies it in his mind because he got his arm blown off by a rocket He doesn t ever say the same of Palestinians their rage is unjustifiable no matter the circumstances He also shares some stated some my impression his feeling about Arabs they are dirty stupid guilty want to kill Jews all in prison are guilty etc He thinks Palestinians should try Gandhi and King s methods yet doesn t say anything about Israel s terrorist beginnings and if he thinks those are eually as appalling wrong criminal immoral etc He spent his childhood longing to be an Israeli Jew with a gun instead of a weak Diaspora Jew and still can t understand why Palestinians turn to violence to resist and survive It makes no sense He makes the assertion that Palestinians would have had a state had they tried Gandhi and King s methods This is ridiculous for two reasons First Israelis who say this seem to forget how their state was formed not by lessons from Gandhi they looked to Hitler Second Palestinian nonviolence was and is met with brute force military crackdowns and death if engaged in it I m sure the death toll would mount and prisons would again fill up with those guilty of such horrors as waving a flag praying painting a slogan etc and the US would give them money to put down the rebellion He tells the story of a Jewish settler friend whose son was killed by Arabs and says he s ready to give up that land for peace even though it would mean moving the gravesite He wants to find a Muslim who thinks that way and says he hasn t yet I m thinking it might have something to do with the amount of high level terrorists he has as contacts for his job He talks to these guys about religion and can t find a moderate Go figure He spent time at a Pakistani madrassa did award winning pieces on Hezbollah talked to Sheik Yassin and a ton of others He also goes to talk to ex prisoners not all of whom are uite as forgiving as Rafi about having started their lifetime prison careers for doing nothing but waving a flag or throwing a rock without being charged for even thatJeff says he s in search of a Muslim who wants peace than to hate or kill Jews but what he really wants is to find a Muslim to acknowledge Jewish suffering and 2000 year exile and triumphant return while ignoring the conseuences of said return al Nakba massacres unjust unnecessary imprisonments which ironically turned many from kids to revolutionaries and sometimes terrorist operatives occupation collective punishment that continue to todayJeff did not agree with punishing an individual for something he clearly did not do and took a stand in the prison on one occasion He also stops a friend from beating to death an Arab he d arrested This is admirable yet when it comes to admitting that Israel in fact freuently punishes those that have done nothing or dishes out punishments far in excess of the crime he cannot fathom itSo in short if you want to know about Jeff Goldberg specifically you should read this book if you want to know about Palestinians justice humanity international law the Middle East Islam Jewish Muslim relations or anything related to those topics you should choose almost anything elseInstead you should readBlaming the Victims Spurious Scholarship and the Palestinian uestion by Edward Said this is very comprehensive but reads like a textbook and isn t what I d call an easy read Informative thoughDrinking the Sea at Gaza by Amira Hass is enlighteningThe Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Illan PappeSharon and My Mother In Law by Suad Amiryone fiction title is Mornings In Jenin by Susan AbulhawaWhen the Birds Stopped Singing by Raja ShehadehCrossing Mandelbaum Gate by Kai BirdIt s Easier to Reach Heaven Than the End of the Street by Emma WilliamsJimmy Carter s Palestine Peace Not Apartheid is good and short It puts a lot of importance on his admin and US at the time of his presidency thoughThe Lemon Tree is a good one It is the story of a 1948 Palestinian refugee who eventually meets and talks to the family that moved into his house weeks after his family was forced from it A Season of Stones Living in a Palestinian Village by Helen Winternitz is goodGaza A Year in the Intifada A Personal Account from an Occupied Land by Gloria EmersonChildren of the Siege by Pauline CuttingDays of Honey Days of Onion The Story of a Palestinian Family in Israel by Michael GorkinBy Way of Deception The Making and Unmaking of a Mossad Officer by Victor Ostrovsky

Jeffrey Goldberg ¾ 3 summary

During the first Palestinian uprising in 1990 Jeffrey Goldberg – an American Jew – served as a guard at the largest prison camp in Israel One of his prisoners was Rafi a rising leader in the PLO Overcoming their fears and. Easily one of the best books I ve ever read Truth be told this book will probably teach you essential truths about the Israeli Palestinian conflict than most undergraduate courses on the subject Plus it reads like a novel and the writing is spellbindingly stellar Freelance journalist Jeffrey Goldberg tells his life story an American Jew who emigrates to Israel lives on a kibbutz joins the Israeli Army and serves as an MP in one of Israel s most notorious prisons during the First Intifada Goldberg catalogs his enchantment and disillusionment with the Zionist ideals of his youth and charts his lifelong attempt to understand both the Israeli and Palestinian mindset While cataloging the absurdities of ideological extremists on both sides and the obstacles they continue to lay on the path towards peace Goldberg weaves a tiny fragile but glimmering thread of hope throughout his tale not an easy task for any book about the Middle East and this subject particularlyThis is a must read for anyone even remotely interested in the Israeli Palestinian conflict


10 thoughts on “Prisoners A Muslim and a Jew Across the Middle East Divide

  1. says:

    The second book I've read this week by a white male writer who is an elouent prose stylist but whose basic outlook I disagreed with so completely it was almost uncomfortable reading I don't think we're supposed to feel sympathy with

  2. says:

    This is an impressive book Far better passionate and mature than From Beirut to Jerusalem At times it reads like

  3. says:

    Easily one of the best books I've ever read Truth be told this book will probably teach you essential truths about the Israeli Palestinian conflict than most undergraduate courses on the subject Plus it reads like a novel and the writing is spellbindingly stellar Freelance journalist Jeffrey Goldberg tells his life story an American Jew who emigrates to Israel lives on a kibbutz joins the Israeli Army and serves as an

  4. says:

    GREAT unfiltered perspective on how the Israel Palestine conflict is experienced and viewed by those involved Very intense If you're looking to find some hope about this conflict this is not the book But it is a g

  5. says:

    Love to know what Rafi's side of the story is

  6. says:

    A great book about an idealist journalist Goldberg who is in search of his Jewish roots and what happens to him in finding

  7. says:

    First off the title is a bit misleading It should be renamed Jeff Goldberg and Jeff Goldberg across the Middle East Divid

  8. says:

    Goldberg's examination of his own captivity becomes the frame for uestions about the nature of incarceration power and freedom He details the fear that made him dismantle a gift in a hotel room at 3 am doubts about whether he should carry gifts to Palestine and soaring hopes about the transformation of killers into civilians with no desire for violence But he also records the details that inflame a desire for vengeance on any side I wish I

  9. says:

    Not a huge fan I found myself agreeing with Rafi about certain things they argued about In general I was a little put off by Goldberg's lack of sociological imagination Small example I myself would never want to wear a niab or become a suicide

  10. says:

    Very Perspectivedetailed