My dear Nidal,
As time goes by, I think about you more and more. Summer is slowly dying, and the grapevine in the yard is turning rust-colored. Is your hair also filling with gray strands? Do you miss the scorching scent of the sea in the alleys of Acre? Thirty-three years have gone by since our first meeting. I wrote then that you were my mirror. And you said we were sisters. Daughters of Adam, human beings. Were we speaking the truth, or were we perhaps telling each other, and ourselves, what we wanted to believe?...
Avirama Golan`s fascinating essay discusses the troubled relations between the Jewish people and the Palestinian Arabs living in Israel, struggling over the same piece of land. This is also a personal essay written as an open letter to Golan`s Palestinian friend, Nidal. Nidal, whom Golan has not seen for many years, left Israel to study in the U.S. never to return to her country. However, 33 years ago the two women had a joint cause and fought together for co-existence, believing that a Palestinian state would soon be established alongside Israel. Golan writes out of present distress: the dream has faded and the chasm between the two peoples-political, social and cultural-has only deepened.
Golan emphasizes that establishing the State of Israel was a legitimate and moral act, but at the same time she understands the Palestinian Nakba - literally: catastrophe- and tries to unravel the narrative through the eyes of her friend. Golan refuses to despair and believes it is still possible to return to the path of sanity and hope, leading to a situation in which two democratic states will exist side by side. The broken stem of the vine, the symbol of co-existence between the two peoples, must be mended so that the vine can again blossom and bear fruit.
Partial English translation available.
This book is like a diary... It is also a struggle to reenact vanished moments, to find a lyrical answer to the conflict between Jews and Arabs. Avirama Golan decides on a wise, humane vision as the only possible path.
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In a tone of confidence and remembering, the great journalist Avirama Golan questions herself both deeply and freely, and tells us that the solution will have to come from inside the country.