Friend­ly Fire: How Israel Became Its Own Worst Ene­my and the Hope for Its Future

Ami Ayalon

  • From the Publisher
January 13, 2020

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 neigh­bors. 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.

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