The Lemon Tree Book Review Sample
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The book of The Lemon Tree gives a tale of a simple act of faith that takes place between two young people. The characters are an Israeli, and a Palestinian and they symbolize hope for peace in the Middle East. Just after a six-day war, some three Arab men get to venture in Ramle town that is presently the Jewish Israel. One of the three cousins was Bashir Al Khairi,and he had a poignant encounter with a young woman (Rosenfeld & Collins, 41). It is this encounter that marked the starting point of a true story of a relationship that is remarkable. The relationship was between two families with one family being Arab and the other Jewish. This paper has an aim of exclusively exploring the book of The Lemon Tree and answering questions concerning the book. Further, it will relate the lives of Bashir and Dalia with the larger society of Palestine and Israel.
The lives of Bashir and Dalia form a personal microcosm that had more than a half century in the Palestinian history. Trust between Bashir and Dalia grew into a four-decade dialogue, and it is this dialog that represents hope for peace that has existed in the Middle East (Ira, 72). The author has thus accomplished telling his story indirectly by symbolizing characters, and this reminds readers of what has been happening in the region. The author has accomplished his purpose because after reading the story, one is in a position to relate the characters to real life world and especially what has been going on in the Middle East. Besides, the author has achieved his purpose by matching the characters perfectly such that each reality is attached to a symbol.
Identity of the lands of both Bashir and Dalia are important and has significance in history. With the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the two lands of these two characters represent these two nations in the book of The Lemon Tree. Bashir’s family is mentioned to have been displaced and kicked out of their family home of Ramla. Dalia’s family further takes up the residence and later welcomes Bashir and his cousins in the home of Bashir. Mentioning the lands of both Bashir and Dalia recounts the war that took place in 1948. This war led to independence of Israel and later the displacement of several Palestinians. Just as Bashir and his family were displaced, they represent the displaced Palestinians, and Dalia’s family represents the Israelites. In the larger Israelite -Palestinian wars, there is a story of displacement whereby Bashir and his family are displaced. The displacement of Palestinians by Israelites marked the war that has existed between Israel and Palestine (Wagler, 60). Besides, the war started during the European invasion for colonies and Israel was successful to be colonized and further to displace the Palestinians thus this was the genesis of the conflict that has existed between the two nations.
Goals and sub-surface interest of Bashir and Dalia in the story of The Lemon Tree are to get back together and bring peace. In the story, Dalia welcomes Bashir and his cousins even if her family had displaced them and gave them a good treat. These two people are enemies even if they are not aware because Dalia is a displacement of Bashir and Dalia now owns what belongs to Bashir. It is bitter to be displaced, and this normally brings enmity but the two (Dalia and Bashir) still get together. To get closer, Bashir even welcomes Dalia to his home later and both express love. Israel in the wider view has had foreign policy that wants peace and security. If Israel perceives to be weak, peace can be attained, and this is evidenced in the story. Dalia represents Israel, and she perceives to be weak and welcomes the strangers despite displacing them. Palestinian problem is flexible and often reveals several interpretations that are simultaneous (Sue et al, 911). A trend that is humanitarian focuses on Palestinians who were displaced by Arabs and their plight should be alleviated. Problems of Palestinians should also be resolved by economic means. An interpretation of quasi-humanitarian and quasi-political explains that Palestinians are not only refugees in the sense of humanitarian. On the other hand, they have no home politically, and justice requires them to be provided with a home within the same portion of land that was once called Palestine. A third interpretation is political and rejectionist, and it states that the Palestine land exclusively belongs to people who call them Palestinians. Land of the Palestinians should thus be restored back to them, and it should be upon them to decide whether they can coexist with the Israelites or be alone.
Israel has tried to address the conflict between it and the Palestine nation and has a desire to contribute to a just and fair solution to this problem. For the ongoing conflict, the problems are not clearly the lack of homes for Palestinians. Other hidden agendas are behind the conflicts that have existed for so long. As per the lemon tree story, Dalia and Bashir loved themselves and trusted each other, and this marked the urge to bring peace between the two nations (Palestine and Israel). Later the trust of the two gets destroyed when a bomb explodes in Jerusalem and Bashir was convicted. The trust is not entire just as between Israel and Palestine. However, much Israel tries to bring peace between it and the people it displaced, Israel still feels that there is more beyond the displacement. Israel places its trust but distrusts Palestine at times because it feels that giving back Palestine its land may not solve the problem. The story further identifies that after the release of Bashir Dalia still had to get in touch with him. This tells how the conflict between Israel and Palestine has been on and off. When solutions come, they start working but end up shattered on the way, and this is why wars between the two nations have lasted for long. No nation knows what should be done, and they get to understand each other at some point and also fight at some other point. The ultimate goal for both Bashir and Dalia was to get together, and that is why they came back together even after the trust was lost by Bashir’s imprisonment.
According to the story of The Lemon Tree, both Palestinians and Israelites demonstrate both integrative and distributive power. The wars that have occurred between the two can be ranked as both positive and negative,but, all in all, the two nations continue to coexist. Power is distributed, and both the nations still enjoy the use of power even if one is displaced and does not belong to its roots (Roffey, 51). The two nations can still share responsibilities and resources like electricity. Israel though manipulates the power of Palestine and wants to dominate like it is superior. This gives a reality of power that even if it is equal then one side will still want to be better that the other. In the lemon tree, the R.I.C.E power currencies that Bashir and Dalia have are sterling and dinars. Palestinians and Israelites have the currency of New Israeli Shekel even though Palestine has had histories with its currencies ranging from changes from sterling pounds to general pounds. Palestine pound had been introduced with an equal value of the Pound Sterling. Today both the countries of Palestine and Israel are known to share the R.I.C.E currency of the New Israeli Shekel.
In the Lemon Tree, balance and imbalance of power affect behaviors and outcomes of conflict. The lemon tree has families that live with phantom images together with counterparts they had never met. Bashir and Dalia come together to balance them together but are people who are different. By trying to balance power through friendship, the story is harmonized, and there are no conflicts despite the fact that Bashir’s family was displaced. In real life, the imbalance of power is at its peak and Israel makes itself superior as compared to Palestine. It is even evidenced that Israel at a point blocked Palestine from electricity power (James & Sandra, 191). Also, there have been struggles because of issues of currency because Palestine uses Israeli currency. The imbalance of power has thus caused conflicts even though Israel tries to solve the differences. Conflicts styles that appear between Dalia and Bashir are negotiating issues. Bashir and Dalia lose trust but later get together after negotiating their differences. Among the Palestinian and Israelites, they normally negotiate after conflicting. The negotiations have though not been successful and more negotiations are still taking place.
The hostility between Bashir and Dalia has overcome their hostility through understanding and love. The love they had for each other enhanced friendship despite the challenges and hostilities between the two nations. The friendship between Bashir and Dalia made them come together, and this changed their view that even hostile parties can as well be friends (Sandra et al, 67). Bashir and Dalia were from unfriendly nations and their friendship overcame the differences that made them have another world view that even rivals can be friends. Forgiveness between Palestine and Israel can come about by Palestine getting back their homeland. According to the story of Bashir and Dalia, it can be related that land grabbing and displacement is what makes people get into the conflict. Bringing back the refugees of Palestine back must be a responsibility that should ensure innocent people get back what belongs to them. However much there are complaints that there never existed people like Palestinians, there was a Palestine state, and they were displaced just like the story tells displacement of Bashir and his family.
In concluding, the potential for peace between the Israelites and Palestinians according the book of “The Lemon Tree” is by use of understanding. Just as Bashir and Dalia had some struggles between them including political differences, they still maintained their relationship. It is thus good to understand each other despite the arising and existing conflicts, and this would bring peace. Israel and Palestine should understand their differences and accept them then bring peace (Collins, 234). After reading the lemon tree, I feel that large-scale conflict should involve finding the causes and solving the issues that caused it. Individuals caught in the conflict should although not express the conflict of their nation or community but embrace togetherness because individual peace could transform into a large-scale peace.
Collins, Sandra D, and James S. O'Rourke. Managing Conflict and Workplace Relationships. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning, 2009. Print.
Roffey, Sue. Positive Relationships: Evidence-Based Practice across the World. Dordrecht: Springer, 2012. Internet resource.
Wagler, Ira. Growing Up Amish: A Memoir. Carol Stream, Ill: Tyndale House Publishers, 2011. Internet resource.
Rosenfeld, Ida, and Ilil Arbel. The Lemon Tree. New York: Universe, 2005. Print.
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