Saturday People, Sunday People: Israel through the Eyes of a Christian Sojourner

Encounter Books  2012


Israel has a powerful voice on its behalf in the person of Lela Gilbert, author of Saturday People, Sunday People. A Christian, and an Adjunct Fellow at the Hudson Institute, Mrs. Gilbert moved to Jerusalem, partly to fulfill her fundamentalist father's dream of returning to the Holy Land. 

The title is drawn from an Arab slogan, "First, The Saturday People; Then The Sunday People." The author regards it as a believable threat to her concept of Israel as an enduring holy site for Christians and Jews.

In this spirited memoir Mrs. Gilbert recounts her visits to homes all over the country, her participation in Jewish holiday celebrations and conversations about Israel's problems. Not all of it is pastime reading. Basically, the book represents an appeal for support for Jews and Christians against Moslem mistreatment.

A Fellow (researcher) at the conservative Hudson Institute, Mrs. Gilbert is the author of many religiously-oriented books for Protestants and Catholics. Actually, in California, her sons suggested that mom needed a change of pace and scenery. Not surprisingly, in Israel the Podhoretz family, well known for right-wing positions through Commentary Magazine, are among her close friends.
The second part of the book consists of material about the attempts of Moslems to expel Jews and "Crusaders" from their Near Eastern lands in the past. Mrs. Gilbert has a non-academic, rather disorderly approach. In this mixed bag the reader will find history, engaging personal life stories, reminiscences about seders, and denunciations of Moslem cruelty.

Mrs. Gilbert's huge right-wing Christian following will surely welcome this book. As to Jewish readers, its strong negative tone in regard to Moslems will probably discourage sales from groups and synagogues with a more hopeful accept-all-faiths philosophy. Acknowledgements, Contents, Epilogue, For Further Reading, Prologue.

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