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Paperback The Lemon Tree : An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East Book

ISBN: 1596913436

ISBN13: 9781596913431

The Lemon Tree : An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East

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Book Overview

In 1967, Bashir Khairi, a twenty-five-year-old Palestinian, journeyed to Israel with the goal of seeing the beloved stone house with the lemon tree behind it that he and his family had fled nineteen years earlier. To his surprise, when he found the house he was greeted by Dalia Eshkenazi Landau, a nineteen-year-old Israeli college student, whose family left fled Europe for Israel following the Holocaust. On the stoop of their shared home, Dalia and...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East

This is a fascinating account of a house in al-Ramlah,Palestine that was built by an Arab family. Shortly after the Partition, in July of 1948,they were expelled by the Israeli army. In October of 1948 that same house was subsequently occupied by a Jewish family who,in turn, had been expelled by their government from Bulgaria. Many years later, the young Arab man went back to visit his former home and was welcomed by the young Jewish woman whose family had occupied it. The story of their friendship, amidst the trying political circumstances, humanizes the complexity of the current situation and sheds light on the Palestinians' passionate desire for a return to their homeland. Although this informative book is non-fiction, it reads like a novel.

Wonderful Writing and Impressive Research

I rarely read a non-fiction book that is a page-turner. This is the rare one. The Lemon Tree had me wanting to come home after work and pick up my reading where I had left off. This book manages to present the extremely complicated events of the last 60 years of the Palestenian/Israeli conflict in a narrative that informs while also being extremely moving. The Lemon Tree contains detailed information based on first hand research about Israeli policies towards Palestinians that are often glossed over for fear of offending. I hope that Sandy Tolan's impressive research insulates this important historical book from being viewed as a anti-Israeli work. By telling the history of the region through the eyes of 2 real individuals, one an Israeli survivor of the Holocaust and the other a Palestinian who lost his home and town to Israel, Tolan humanizes history in a way that gives one a sense of hope.

The Lemon Tree

In my 56 years, I've read several books that have changed my life--brought me greater understandings, taught me things I didn't know, mesmerized me so much that I took the books with me everywhere I went--even reading at stop lights! The Lemon Tree is right up there with The Haj, Hawaii, and Night. This history fills in all the gaps of my previous knowledge. So many people have questions about the Middle Eastern conflicts and all of those questions are answered in this book. My friends and I agree that we all SHOULD know more about the Middle East situation, but rarely do we want to sit down and study a history book. This book is full of facts, but it's a page turner!I could hardly put it down. My life was on hold. One day I was reading The Lemon Tree and I actually started crying. There were heart-stopping moments, too. Very exciting! A thriller! I want to meet the real people in the book so much. They are so brave, both Arabs and Israelis, Muslims and Jews. I love how Sandy Tolan showed Israel through different view points, e.g. al-Ramla through Arabic eyes and Ramla through Israeli eyes. It helped shift my thinking as I was reading. Everyone simply has to read this book, both sides, all sides!

Compassion, History, Documentation, Hope

Who has a heart large enough to contain compassion both for the longing for Zion, for sanctuary, for homeland, of the Jewish survivors who emigrated to the nascent Israel after WWII, and at the same time the longing for return, for justice, for homeland, of the Palestinians who were expelled from the homes they had occupied for generations to make room for what was to become Israel? Sandy Tolan, author of The Lemon Tree, has, and when you read this remarkable book your heart, too, will stretch until it is large enough to encompass the whole. If you don't know the history of Palestine and Israel, read this book. It is a true story, but it reads like a novel. It's a page-turner that tells "Everything you ever wanted to know about the history of Israel and Palestine, but were afraid to ask." If you know the history, but you find the subject difficult to discuss with others, read this book for back-up. Every event is documented in the extensive source notes. Arab accounts of what occurred around 1948 have long been available. Israeli Army reports of the same events were declassified only 50 years after the fact. Only since then have the disparate narratives begun to intertwine into one coherent story of what happened in 1948 and after. All of the historic phenomena are documented here from both Israeli and Palestinian sources. If you follow the news of the region, and therefore you despair, read this book. You'll discover that hope prevails -- in the care of those who sneak across borders to knock on doors, and those who, having considered and rejected more conventional responses to presumed enemies, instead answer, "Yes. Please come in."
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