Raja Shehadeh, author of Strangers in the House and Palestinian Walks, spoke at the Edinburgh Book Festival at the launch of his new book A Rift in Time, in which he follows his great uncle’s flight from the Ottoman police during the First World War. Shehadeh was an extremely engaging speaker, not at all polarising but clearly very committed, and “politics” didn’t appear in the talk until the very end, in answer to a clumsy question about identifying and encouraging Jews who support Palestinian rights. Shehadeh’s answer was very simple: “I‘m not at all surprised that Jews support Palestinian rights; it seems completely natural to me”. How encouraging to encounter such positive expectations! I’m really looking forward to the book.
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