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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars36
4.3 out of 5 stars
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 31 October 2010
I have read many books about Palestine/ Israel and am frequently asked by friends for a book that would give them an introduction to this very complex conflict. It is a question I have always found difficult to answer with one book, so instead I end up sending a list of books from authors who usually are providing a perspective from one or the other side along with a few books from journalists who have covered the conflict to give historical sequence and perspective. I have always found that the best way to engage with a topic is through the people, but there really have been no books that present the humanity of both sides and the lemon tree succeeds at this. Sandy Tolan also did an incredible job juggling the terminology and historical references in a way that respects the different experiences that the two peoples have had with the same experience and/ or geographic location. Its a deeply moving and important book.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2010
Sandy Tolan reports a dialogue spanning forty years between a Jewish woman who had not fully appreciated the cost of the Jewish occupation of Palestinian territory, and a Palestinian man driven, like countless others, from his family home and land.
So many of the Jews, fleeing persecution and arriving at the land they believed God had promised them, defend their conquests ruthlessly, and are unable to understand the claim of the Palestinians to the land belonging to them,
which they will struggle to the bitter end to recover.
Palestinian violence erupts and improportionately armed counter repression ensues,
but communication between the main characters of this compelling narrative continues. It is an excellent account which is essential reading for anyone hoping to try to promote peace in the area, as well as for all those wishing to understand this sad and complex situation.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 28 October 2012
Without doubt, this is one of the best non-fiction books I have read about the Palestinian conflict. Sandy Tolan, a Jewish writer, writes with great understanding and passion about the Palestinian cause. By telling the story from Bashir's (the Arab man's) and Dalia's (The Jewish woman's) perspectives, Tolan gives us an intimate and very personal insight into a very complex and on-going conflict. A very informative book that forced me to look beyond what I have been reading in the media.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 9 June 2009
A very interesting account from two individuals perspective of the schism between Israel and Palestine. An excellent account of the history of the birth of Israel and the Palestinian rift. Excellent for its chronology of events in what can only be described as a very complex and fast moving period. Very useful for individuals who want to know about the origin of problems in the Middle East. Sorry, its my first review and I havent given the book justice, but it is a must to read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 26 February 2012
It describes a friendship between a Jewish woman and an Arab man.

It gives a lot of recent historical background about the conflicts and the past and present divisions between the communities. Reading this well written powerful book I feel sympathy for both sides. Some of this book is very upsetting.

If there is ever going to be peace in Palestine Jews and Arabs are going to have to see and understand the other sides issues and create circumstances that allows everyone to live in peace and to enjoy a decent, safe life.

This book could help this process.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 11 August 2013
I was in Israel for the first time in 2012. It was an amazing trip. I joined a Christian group for the 10 day tour and i saw all of the sites. Came back to Ireland with a much better appreciation of Israel. I told many people about my journey and then a friend recommended The Lemon Tree. Wow what a read and what a story. It helped me to get a much better appreciation of the conflict from both sides. We all know that there are always radicals on both sides. This book for the first time ever really gave me the empathy to view things from both sides. It is an amazing story and there are great people in the book who had to deal with many challenges in life. Once i started reading the book i did not want to put it down and then i didn't want it to end as it is just unreal. If you are looking for a book that is unbiased and gives in my opinion a fair reflection from both sides then this is the one. I hope they make a movie out of the book and i will recommend this book to my friends as it is a great read and takes you on a very challenging journey and roller coaster ride. This is one of those books that i will keep in what i call my gem book collection.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 23 October 2012
I throughly enjoyed this book. It was very informative and gave an unbiased account of the troubles within Israel and Palastine. The story of the two families involved showed both sides of the troubles and explained to an outsider the deep feeling that history has still not resolved.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 15 November 2009
An excellent book giving a detailed and balanced account of the tragic history and present condition in Israel/Palestine. It is beautifully written and and provides an understanding of the conflict in a stark and unsentimental way.
Generally it leaves little to be hopeful about, there do exist small pockets of reconciliation outside the political sphere but it leaves one despairing that so little has been done to correct the terrible injustices perpetrated over the years,and so few protests.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 4 January 2010
An absorbing and possibly accurate, piece of non-fiction narrative, that attempts to and succceeds in the most part, to unravel the conflict between Israel and Palastine. A book that informs,educates,tells a story and intices the reader to investigate the whole Middle East conflict in more depth. A fantastic novel for older teens and adults and I hope it is added to the National Curriculum instead of "Animal Farm". Much more current,relevant and purposeful with a view to highlight the need for PEACE.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 26 July 2009
a human story about the Palestine-Israel situation, with all of the complexity that human stories have. No good guys, no bad guys, just people on both sides trying to survive, provide for their families, and thrive. very well written.
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