Israeli journalist Kershner provides detailed descriptions of her meetings with Israelis and Palestinians from both sides of the barrier Israel is constructing to separate the West Bank from Israel. She met with Israelis who initiated the construction of the barrier in order to prevent the infiltration of Palestinian suicide bombers to Israeli population centers as well as with Israeli opponents of the barrier of Palestinian leaders. Kershner’s main contribution is her in-depth description of the life and views of Israelis and Palestinians living adjacent to the barrier in rural and urban areas and its impact on their daily life. The author’s compassionate portrayal of both sides makes this a unique contribution to understanding the dilemma Israel and its heterogeneous population is facing as well as the impact of the barrier on life on both sides. Photographs enliven the description, but the absence of a map is grossly felt.
Rachel Simon, a librarian at Princeton University, does research on Jews in the modern Middle East and North Africa, with special reference to Libya, Ottoman Empire, women, and education.