- Used Books
- Staff Picks
- Gifts & Gift Cards
- Sell Books
- Stores & Events
- Let's Talk Books
Special Offers see all
More at Powell's
Recently Viewed clear list
This item may be
Check for Availability
Prisoners: A Muslim and a Jew across the Middle East Divideby Jeffrey Goldberg
Synopses & Reviews
They met in 1990 during the first Palestinian uprising—one was an American Jew who served as a prison guard in the largest prison in Israel, the other, his prisoner, Rafiq, a rising leader in the PLO. Despite their fears and prejudices, they began a dialogue there that grew into a remarkable friendship—and now a remarkable book. It is a book that confronts head-on the issues dividing the Middle East, but one that also shines a ray of hope on that dark, embattled region.
Jeffrey Goldberg, now an award-winning correspondent for The New Yorker, moved to Israel while still a college student. When he arrived, there was already a war in his heart—a war between the magnetic pull of tribe and the equally determined pull of the universalist ideal. He saw the conflict between the Jews and Arabs as the essence of tragedy, because tragedy is born not in the collision of right and wrong, but of right and right.
Soon, as a military policeman in the Israeli army, he was sent to the Ketziot military prison camp, a barbed-wire city of tents and machine gun towers buried deep in the Negev Desert. Ketziot held six thousand Arabs, the flower of the Intifada: its rock-throwers, knifemen, bomb-makers, and propagandists. He realized that this was an extraordinary opportunity to learn from them about themselves, especially because among the prisoners may have been the future leaders of Palestine.
Prisoners is an account of life in that harsh desert prison—mean, overcrowded, and violent — and of Goldberg's extraordinary dialogue with Rafiq, which continues to this day.
We hear their accusations, explanations, fears, prejudices, and aspirations. We see how their relationship deepened over the years as Goldberg returned to Washington, D.C., where Rafiq, quite coincidentally, had become a graduate student, and as the Middle East cycled through periods of soaring hope and ceaseless despair. And we see again and again how these two men—both of them loyal sons of their warring peoples—confront their religious, cultural, and political differences in ways that allowed them to finally acknowledge a true, if necessarily tenuous, friendship.
A riveting, deeply affecting book: spare, impassioned, energetic, and unstinting in its candor about the truths that lie buried within the animosities of the Middle East.
An award-winning correspondent for The New Yorker and an American Jew describes his move to Israel as a student, his work as a prison guard at Ketziot, and his extended dialogue with a prisoner named Rafiq, a PLO leader, explaining how the two very different men forged a unique friendship despite their religious, cultural, and political differences. 75,000 first printing.
During the first Palestinian uprising in 1990, Jeffrey Goldberg - an American Jew - served as a guard at the largest prison camp in Israel. One of his prisoners was Rafiq, a rising leader inthe PLO. Overcoming their fears and prejudices, the two men began a dialogue that, over more than a decade, grew into a remarkable friendship. Now an award-winning journalist, Goldberg describes their relationship andtheir confrontations over religious, cultural, and political differences; through these discussions, he attempts to make sense of the conflicts in this embattled region, revealing the truths that lie buried within theanimosities of the Middle East.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author
Jeffrey Goldberg is Washington correspondent for The New Yorker. He was for ten years a Middle East correspondent for The New Yorker and for The New York Times Magazine. A winner of the National Magazine Award for Reporting, he is also a former columnist for The Jerusalem Post and The Forward. He lives with his family in Washington, D.C. This is his first book.
Table of Contents
The thief of mercy — The mysterious child of lies — Our Lady of Lourdes — The hill of Jewish bones — God's golden shore — The blanket party — Desert eagle — Rafiq — The army of Muhammad — The giving famishes the craving — Let my people go — In the valleys of Jerusalem — The past is in the past — Peace without guns — Prisoner number 26505 — Refugees — You were the devil to me — You are most welcome here — Abraham was a Muslim — A kitbag question — A lesson for America — A happy man in Palestine — Good guys — Stop being Jewish — I want you to live.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Biography » General