11 of 37 people found the following review helpful
The classic banal story,
This review is from: The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East (Hardcover)While this make seem heartbreaking and original this is the same story that has already been told in almos every single book on this 'conflict'. It has the classic characters of the genre:
1) The Holocaust survivor
2) The jewish woman
3) the arab man
4) the refugee
In short it takes the classic stereotype that every arab is a refugee and every jew is a holocaust survivor who usurps the arabs land and forces him to seek justice and every jewish woman must have guilt and self hate. done, has been, read it all before. While presented in a new and fresh way about a town that has, to my knowledge, never ben examined before(the arabs of Lydda/Ramla) it is neither fresh or exciting. For all these people wanting an 'unbiased, personal view of the conflict' this will be a good read, a fresh new start. For anyone who has just gotten done seeing 'City of Oranges' ont the shelf the journalistic deivce of following family and house will not be so interesting, for anyone having read 'strangers in the house' they wont be so astonishd by the 'arab returning to his home after 1967'.
What happaned in places like Jaffa and Lydda is that wealthy Bourgrousie Arabs owned palacial estates, class and communal warfare caused them to flee, they ended up in places like Ramallah and their homes were resettled by immigrants who often crammed 10 families in a house that had been owned by one. Only in Palestine does 'justice' means turning over the houses of the proletariat to that of the upper classes, robbing the poor for the sake of the emir.
Seth J. Frantzman
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Initial post: Mar 20, 2007 7:13:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 20, 2007 7:14:28 PM PDT
As the daugther of a man who was forced to leave the family farm in Lydda in 1948 I must protest, this strange depiction of Arabs as some sort of ruling class who somehow (coincidentally) found themselves diplaced by class warfare in 1948, having nothing to do with Zionist occupation (portrayed by the reviewer as proletariat immigrants). My family didn't have running water or electricity nor did any of our neighbors pre 1948 - yet somehow we are cast in the role as upper class? Very odd. Doesn't even make sense given the fact that this so called Palestinian class warfare didn't seem to be a problem or even exist prior to the holocaust when persecuted Jews found themselves in need of a homeland. If you are going to make up history I would encourage you to at least make it sound like it might actually have occurred in the way you choose to portray it. A better choice however, would be to search for truth however painful that truth might be. That is the way of those who love peace and have respect for the human rights of all peoples not just their own.
Posted on Apr 15, 2009 9:12:56 PM PDT
Transplanted New Yorker says:
"What happaned in places like Jaffa and Lydda is that wealthy Bourgrousie Arabs owned palacial estates, class and communal warfare caused them to flee, they ended up in places like Ramallah and their homes were resettled by immigrants who often crammed 10 families in a house that had been owned by one."
Did you even read this book? This home was not a "palacial estate" and the family was not "wealthy." And you know as well as I do that "class and communal warfare" did not drive these people from their homes. How would you feel if someone depicted the Holocaust like that?
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