Below is an excerpt from the book Exile, written by James North Patterson; it is a work of fiction. The words spoken by the prime minister of Israel, Amos Ben-Aron, are a figment of the writer’s imagination.

PrayerIsraeli flag

“There are Jews,” Ben-Aron continued, “consumed by the tragedies of three thousand years that they cannot see the suffering of Palestinians. There are Palestinians so blinded by the suffering of sixty years ago [referring to the slaughter at Sabra and Shatila, in Lebanon, and the horror of refugee camps] that they cannot acknowledge the suffering of Jews.

Today Palestinians call the date of Israel’s founding, “the day of catastrophe,” marking it with a moment of silence with which we, on our Day of Remembrance, recall the victims of the Holocaust. Today Palestinians chafe under the occupation by Israeli soldiers, while Israelis fear death at the hands of Palestinian suicide-bombers.

“Enough!” Standing straighter, Ben-Aron surveyed the audience. “To the Palestinian people I say know your history. You, like we, have been displaced and dispossessed. Your history is our history. Yet you the victims and we the victims, have been pitted against each other in one of history’s cruelest ironies.”

“Enough!” Ben-Aron repeated. “It is time to build a future for our children. Our history must not be their destiny; their destiny cannot be still more deaths/”

About this entry