An Eye OpenerPosted: 2016/11/05
By Dan Luiton
Review of the book: FROM THE NILE TO THE JORDAN by Prof. Ada Aharoni
As a Mexican-American attending a liberal school in a conservative state in the USA, I have always seen the creation of the State of Israel as a horror event for the Palestinians, due to Palestinian false propaganda, but after reading this book it changed my perspective over this controversial issue. I, like many other students, was influenced by Palestinian students’ organizations around my school campus that Israel is an evil state that commits crimes against Palestinians; not only commits them but also legalizes laws that violate human rights. However, being raised with a Christian background, I was taught that I should always be pro- Israel no matter what they do which made me be indifferent about the Arab- Israeli conflict.
However, after reading the great historical novel: From the Nile to the Jordan, by Prof. Ada Aharoni, it enabled me to see a different perspective of the Arab- Israeli Conflict. Now I see the necessity for the Jews from the Arab countries, who were were uprooted from Arab Countries, though they had been flourishing Jewish Communities for more than 2500 years – to create a State of their own. As I read the book I felt sorrow for the heroine Inbar , not being able to identify herself as an Egyptian and trying to figure out what she was. Even though Jews were in Egypt for more than two thousand years and much before the Arabs arrived in the seventh century, they were not considered Egyptians. The Egyptian government labelled them as “welcome guests” of Egypt, but not citizens. This made me wonder how people can live in a country where they were born, and yet are not considered citizens even if their family had been there for centuries!
In this special book, I also learnt about the anti-Semitism that Europe was facing through centuries, which led to the Holocaust, and to the murder of six million Jews. This sad history was reflected in the book through Raoul’s tragic story and the influence on his character. In my opinion, these reasons enabled Jews to urgently find the need to be reunited and establish their own State. Now I see that the creation of the legal State of Israel, by the United Nations in 1948, was not a whim, but it was a crucial need due to the tragic historical circumstances they had been facing in East and in the West.
Later, when Inbar explained the tragic events that led to the “Second Exodus of the Jews from Egypt”, it made me open my eyes that the Palestinians were not only the victims in the creation of the State, but also the Sephardi Jews. The Egyptian government took away the work permits of the Jews, and all their wealth, before they sent out of the country, making them start from zero once they immigrated. Some died of heartbreak or got killed during the process. Then, coming to Israel, although they suffered some discrimination from the Ashkenazi-Jews against Oriental Sephardi Jews,
they managed to adapt to the new country, Israel, and they contributed a great deal in the building and defense of the new country.
This book made me understand deeply the Arab – Israeli conflict, by showing me another view, and historical facts I did not know. Also, it promotes peace between Arabs and Israelis because when the Palestinians find out that the million Jews who were ousted from Arab countries had gone through the same tragic experience as they had, and that the Palestinians are certainly not the only victims of the Arab- Israeli Conflict. Inbar’s character and actions in the book, promotes the idea and goal of peace between Jews and Arabs, and it also made me fully understand the crucial necessity of the establishing of the State of Israel.
For all the reasons above, and so much more, I think it is an amazing historical novel. I warmly recommend it to understand better the Arab- Israeli Conflict, and to encourage peace between Israelis and Palestinians, like between Israel and Egypt, and Israel and Jordan. This excellent book is a treasure and a truly eye–opener!