Yossi Klein Halevi’s Palestinian Neighbor Writes Back

A new video mini-series captures the author’s conversation with an Al-Quds university professor who took his students to Auschwitz

By Liel Leibovitz|June 17, 2019 10:51 AM


Last year, Yossi Klein Halevi published Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor [1], a gorgeous and daring attempt at explaining the core convictions—spiritual, emotional, historical—of Israeli Jews. He was neither apologetic nor triumphalist, a balance that very few souls can strike these days, and he ended the book with a heartfelt call for his Palestinian neighbors to respond in kind and share their stories and worldviews, not in order to launch some zero sum game of competing narratives but rather to try and spark a real dialogue, the sort that leads to empathy and, maybe one day, something akin to resolution.

To Klein Halevi’s delight, the letters came pouring in, and an extensive selection of them is printed in the book’s recently released paperback edition [2]. One letter in particular stood out: Its author was Mohammed Dajani Daoudi, an Al-Quds university professor and former hardliner who, five years ago, took a delegation of Palestinian students to visit Auschwitz. To capture their exchange, author and producer Peter Savodnik put together a three-part mini-series. No matter where you stand on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, that such a conversation is even possible ought to make you pause and reconsider.

Episode I:

Episode II:

Episode III:

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