Photo Credit: Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Israeli flag flying in Zichron Yaakov, Israel

GOLD: I believe it is essential for Arabs and Jews to meet and know each other as human beings with so much in common.

She has been involved in various projects and programs, such as Heart to Heart, a camp in Canada at which Jewish and Israeli Palestinian children get to know each other, the Dafna Fund and Givat Haviva. These are programs are committed to “building a shared society” and promoting mutual responsibility, civic equality and cooperation. They are also jointly run by Arabs and Jews. Gold fervently believes our only hope is for the people to get to know one another as fellow human beings.

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When TJP mentioned that while it may be true that individual Palestinian Arabs and Jews can get along, the Arab leadership will not permit their people to be weaned from hatred. The Palestinian Arab leadership is the bar preventing any hopes of coexistence.

This triggered a strong response from Gold.

GOLD: I don’t think our leadership is so good. When things were going well, he had to add huge amounts of settlements. That was remarkably provocative and stupid. Bibi has been unflaggingly supportive of the settlement process.

TJP reminded Gold of the ten month moratorium on building which was supposed to bring Abbas to the negotiating table; she would have none of it.

GOLD:  Bibi has undermined Abbas from the beginning. He is not really committed to peace or he would have strengthened Abbas at the outset instead of weakening him right away.

But really? Gold says that during a war or extreme conflict, “solidarity is called for. As soon as we are safe,” this Canadian says about Israel, “we can talk about how to do something to make things better.”

Fields of Exile is an important book on several levels. It is worth your while to read it. And readers should consider whether there are aspects of the other lovers – those who are not like you, but who truly value something that is enormously important to you – which reveal something you need to know. You may learn something, even if it is only about them.

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