David Harris-Gershon and his wife, Jamie, moved to Jerusalem full of hope. Then, mere days after Israel thwarted historic cease-fire negotiations among the Palestinians, a bomb ripped open Hebrew University’s cafeteria. Jamie’s body was sliced with shrapnel; the friends sitting next to her were killed.
When a doctor handed David some of the shrapnel removed from Jamie’s body, he could not accept that this piece of metal changed everything. But it had. The bombing sent David on a psychological journey that found himdigging through shadowy politics and traumatic histories, eventually leading him back to East Jerusalem and the Hamas terrorist and his family. Not out of revenge. Out of desperation.
Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, this fearless debut confronts the personal costs of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and our capacity for recovery and reconciliation.
In this courageous memoir, Harris-Gershon stares down the thorny Palestinian-Israeli crisis. The complex conflict becomes a deeply personal matter when his wife is seriously injured in a Jerusalem terrorist bombing. The author, a blogger for Tikkun magazine, takes us through the lives of his wife, Jamie, and Hamas bomber Mohammed Odeh in the hours before the explosion at the Hebrew University's cafeteria. He then describes the horrible aftermath of the explosion, Jamie's agonizing journey of healing, and the death of her friends. While Harris-Gershon's friends and family think he should be outraged, he clings to his Hebrew faith, seeking meaning from the ordeal, concluding that the terrible act was "the inevitable consequence of living in Israel." His assured narrative pace an excellent hybrid of moral confessional and reporter diary measures the emotional and spiritual impact of his wife's recovery and his decision to find Odeh's family in East Jerusalem. Harris-Gershon seeks solace in the terrorist's remorse upon his arrest. Full of unexpected surprises and insight, this book serves up a treasure of possible options of compromise, forgiveness, and political cooperation.