HISTORY

In Jerusalem: Three Generations of an Israeli Family and a Palestinian Family

Beacon. Sept. 2019. 272p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780807029688. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780807029961. HIST
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Harris (Sch. of the Arts, Columbia Univ.; Tilting at Mills) examines the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the lives and families of two Jerusalem women, one Palestinian and one Israeli. Niveen Abuleil, a speech pathologist, is from a family that left the Palestinian village of Lifta as refugees during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, reestablishing themselves in Jerusalem. The family of Ruth HaCohen, a professor of music, came to Jerusalem as stateless Jewish refugees from Germany before World War II. The two families do not know each other, and their stories unfold in separate chapters. The author’s travels between Israel and the West Bank with her driver, Fuad, are interspersed throughout, adding more background to the complexities of life in the area.
VERDICT The combination of historical research and conversations with these women and their families creates a distinctive account that shows the ongoing effects of the conflict on generations. Readers interested in seeing beyond stereotypes and political posturing will appreciate.

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