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FRIENDLY FIRE

Ami Ayalon

Anthony David

Steerforth Press, 2020

A highly decorated Israeli military officer, leader, and former director of the internal security service, Shin Bet, sees the light on what his country must do to achieve a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

In this deeply personal journey of discovery, Ami Ayalon seeks input and perspective from Palestinians and Israelis whose experiences differ from his own. As head of the Shin Bet security agency, he gained empathy for ‘the enemy’ and learned that when Israel carries out anti-terrorist operations in a political context of hopelessness, the Palestinian public will support violence, because they have nothing to lose.

Researching and writing Friendly Fire, he came to understand that his patriotic life had blinded him to the self-defeating nature of policies that have undermined Israel’s civil society while heaping humiliation upon its Palestinian neighbours. ‘If Israel becomes an Orwellian dystopia,’ Ayalon writes, ‘it won’t be thanks to a handful of theologians dragging us into the dark past. The secular majority will lead us there motivated by fear and propelled by silence.’

Ayalon is a realist, not an idealist, and many who consider themselves Zionists will regard as radical his conclusions about what Israel must do to achieve relative peace and security and to sustain itself as a Jewish homeland and a liberal democracy.

Rights Sold to:

USA: Steerforth Press

Praise for Agi Mishol:

 “Agi Mishol is a sly, subversive, empathic Israeli poet…Her poems are quiet and deceptive, informal, crisp and clear. She is drawn to the enduring subjects of poetry, especially the alluring beauty of the natural world, and would speak in the language of wildflowers and trees, if she could. As a farmer, she often records the fauna and flora of the countryside and writes about daily life in a small Mediterranean country…There is a magic alchemy in many of Mishol’s poems. She courts the irrational and delves deep into the body. She turns away from the horrors of history, the cruelties we inflict upon each other, and seeks consolation in what Virginia Woolf called “Moments of Being,” which are luminous moments, instances out of time.”  - Edward Hirsh, author of Gabriel, judge for the 2019 Zbigniew Herbert International Literary Award

 

“…[Mishols writes] with a sly delicacy reminiscent of the Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska’s best work…It is no surprise that…Mishol assumes the persona of Scheherazade, another gifted storyteller who survives by her imagination.” - The New York Times Book Review