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Prisoners: A Muslim and a Jew Across the Middle East Divide

by Jeffrey Goldberg

Jeffrey Goldberg moved from Long Island to Israel while still a college student. In the middle of the first Palestinian uprising in 1990, the Israeli army sent him to serve as a prison guard at Ketziot, the largest jail in the Middle East. Realizing that among the prisoners were the future leaders of Palestine, and that this was a unique opportunity to learn from them about themselves, he began an extended dialogue with a prisoner named Rafiq. This is an account of life in that harsh desert prison and of that dialogue--the accusations, explanations, fears, prejudices and aspirations each man expressed--which continues to this day. Prisoners is a remarkable book: spare, impassioned, energetic, and unstinting in its candour about both the darkness and the hope buried within the animosities of the Middle East.

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