Descriptive summary

This book is an intimate journey grappling with the complicated historical legacy of Israel and Palestine and my relationship to these issues as a Jewish American physician, grounded by the traumas of the Holocaust and my family’s passionate love of Israel.

I begin by sharing the voices of three Jewish women, two born in the Diaspora and one in pre-1948 Palestine. The remaining chapters of this book examine the complexity of Jewish Israeli attitudes, both Ashkenazic and Sephardic, and then delve into the lives of a number of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza. Working with a health and human rights project, collaborating with Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and the Palestinian Medical Relief Society, I bring to life the voices of people mutually entwined in trauma and conflict, and explore individual examples of resilience and resistance.

The personal and political consequences of crossing lines raises troubling questions regarding US policy and the mainstream Jewish community’s insistence on standing, unquestioning, behind Israeli policy.

Through first-hand narratives, I invite the reader to engage in a different kind of conversation about Israel and Palestine, rooted in Jewish humanism, grounded in empathy and forgiveness, and coupled with an appreciation of the urgent need for political action.