…”Conflicts and Contradictions” by Meron Benvinisti. Actually, I had finished it once before, a year ago, after my brother-in-law Gordie, who has taught about Israel/Palestine at Amherst for decades, called it the best book written on the subject. When Gordie said this again recently, I planned to buy the book, but Moe’s didn’t have a copy. Then I noticed it on my “Recently Read” shelf and realized that, not only had I read it, but I didn’t remember a word.
To remedy the situation, I read it again. When I had read it before, I had been reading a number of books about Israel/Palestine. The others had been “history” books about decades or wars, studded with facts to which my brain could easily attach. But Benvenisti’s book is more a personal essay. To distill it to its essence — or perhaps less than its essence — he seems to be saying that the problem is that you have these two groups of people sharing the same patch of land, each believing equally they are entitled to it because their god gave it to them.
I am not counting on either of these gods — or anybody else’s for that matter — to straighten this out.