The Lemon Tree

The Lemon Tree

An Arab, A Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East

Book - 2006
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Baker & Taylor
Describes how a simple act of faith and the relationship between two families--one Israeli, one Palestinian--represent a personal microcosm of decades of Israeli-Palestinian history and symbolize the hope for peace in the Middle East.

McMillan Palgrave

The tale of a simple act of faith between two young people - one Israeli, one Palestinian - that symbolizes the hope for peace in the Middle East.

In 1967, not long after the Six-Day War, three young Arab men ventured into the town of Ramle, in what is now Jewish Israel. They were cousins, on a pilgrimage to see their childhood homes; their families had been driven out of Palestine nearly twenty years earlier. One cousin had a door slammed in his face, and another found his old house had been converted into a school. But the third, Bashir Al-Khairi, was met at the door by a young woman called Dalia, who invited them in.

This act of faith in the face of many years of animosity is the starting point for a true story of a remarkable relationship between two families, one Arab, one Jewish, amid the fraught modern history of the regio. In his childhood home, in the lemon tree his father planted in the backyard, Bashir sees dispossession and occupation; Dalia, who arrived as an infant in 1948 with her family from Bulgaria, sees hope for a people devastated by the Holocaust. As both are swept up in the fates of their people, and Bashir is jailed for his alleged part in a supermarket bombing, the friends do not speak for years. They finally reconcile and convert the house in Ramle into a day-care centre for Arab children of Israel, and a center for dialogue between Arabs and Jews. Now the dialogue they started seems more threatened than ever; the lemon tree died in 1998, and Bashir was jailed again, without charge.

The Lemon Tree grew out of a forty-three minute radio documentary that Sandy Tolan produced for Fresh Air. With this book, he pursues the story into the homes and histories of the two families at its center, and up to the present day. Their stories form a personal microcosm of the last seventy years of Israeli-Palestinian history. In a region that seems ever more divided, The Lemon Tree is a reminder of all that is at stake, and of all that is still possible.



Book News
The lemon tree referred to in the title of this work, which began as a radio report by the author for National Public Radio's Fresh Air, occupied the yard of a house once occupied by Bashir Khairi, a Palestinian whose family was driven out of the town of Ramla, now in Israel. Shortly after 1967, he visited his old house, then occupied by Dalia Eshkenazi, who had come to Israel as an infant whose family was escaping anti-Semitic persecution in Bulgaria. So began an unlikely, 40-year, often strained, friendship between a committed Palestinian nationalist and an ardent Jewish Zionist. The story of their friendship and the historical experiences of their respective families are set within the context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in an effort by the author to humanize both sides of the issue. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Blackwell North Amer
In the summer of 1967, not long after the Six Day War, three young Arab men ventured into the town of Ramla, in what is now Jewish Israel. They were cousins, on a pilgrimage to see their childhood homes; their families had been driven out of Palestine nearly twenty years earlier. One cousin had a door slammed in his face, and another found his old house had been converted into a school. But the third, Bashir, was met at the door by a young woman called Dalia, who invited him in.
This poignant encounter is the starting point for a true story of two families, one Arab, one Jewish, amid the fraught modern history of the region. In Bashir's childhood home, in the lemon tree his father planted in the backyard, he sees dispossession and occupation; Dalia, who arrived as an infant in 1948 with her family from Bulgaria, sees hope for a people devastated by the Holocaust. Both are swept up in the fates of their people, and their lives form a personal microcosm of more than half a century of Israeli-Palestinian history.

Baker
& Taylor

Describes how a simple act of faith and the relationship between two families--one Israeli, one Palestinian--represents a personal microcosm of decades of Israeli-Palestinian history and symbolizes the hope for peace in the Middle East.

Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury Pub., 2006
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9781582343433
1582343438
Branch Call Number: 956.9405 Tolan 2006
Characteristics: xiv, 362 pages : maps ; 25 cm

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chloecat
Oct 16, 2016

Interesting connection between the Jewish woman, and the Arab man. However, I finished the book with the feeling that the conflict there will never be settled, as the Arabs are insistent that they want their land back, and if not, it is not a negotiable situation. I was also overwhelmed at the number of times, so called supporters of the conflicts, we're playing both sides against the other.
I think this is an important book, giving a realistic overview of Middle East problems without favouring the position of either side. Highly recommend.

ser_library Jun 24, 2015

a moving and well written history of personal reconciliation

n
nsystems
Feb 02, 2015

A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist - Tolan writes in his introduction, “…precious little light had fallen on the human side of the story, the common ground between enemies, and genuine hopes for coexistence.”

He shines a lot of light in this book. Highest recommendation.

e
Englefield
Dec 04, 2012

Very informative. Appeared to be an unbiased, very factual (nothing has been created for this book, all thoroughly researched - nearly half the book related to references) book. I valued the information I received from reading it.

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