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GUEST,freda Arab lawyer on the Holocaust (22) RE: Arab lawyer on the Holocaust 04 Jun 05


There is an interesting book which tells the history of the Israeli and Palestinian conflict through the eyes of two men - Tried by Fire by Bassam Abu-Sharif and Uzi Mahnaim, also published under the title The Best of Enemies

The web review comments:
Mahnaimi was an Israeli intelligence officer who recruited Arab agents; after his resignation from the Israeli Army in 1984, he became a left-wing journalist. Abu-Sharif helped mastermind terrorist spectaculars. Later, as Yasir Arafat's closest adviser (he has been mentioned as the PLO leader's possible successor), he supplied Mahnaimi with inside information about Arafat's growing willingness to renounce violence and recognize the state of Israel. This daring arrangement grew out of their mutual conviction that an historic compromise between Israelis and Palestinians was imperative. Both men were harshly denounced for their early stand on this thorniest of issues. As they explain in their eloquent double memoir, the 1993 handshake on the White House lawn between Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was the culmination of everything these two unlikely collaborators had been working toward since their first meeting, in 1988. These exceptional men movingly reveal in these pages how they shed ingrained patterns of thought and came to appreciate the viewpoint of the "other side."

This book is interesting because it shows two men, both of whom whose families and lives had suffered enormously, and both with hands dirty from the conflict. They connected with each other and despite everything worked to find a peaceful solution, becoming friends under impossible circumstances on the way.


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