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From Julia Drury in Massachusetts

 Dear Miko,
… I write to say I have finished reading the book, and I have so much respect and gratitude for you, I must tell you!!I am most impressed by the way you wrote the book itself non-violently, each chapter leading the reader gently, gradually, slowly forward, not ever hitting them over the head by putting the last seven pages at the beginning. I have Jewish friends to whom I loaned a book “Letters from Palestine” only to have them never return or even mention it. Several months later, when I asked for the book back, they went to their bookshelf, searched a while, pulled it out and gave it to me without saying a word. I’m quite sure they never read any of it — they just hoped to prevent me from loaning it to anyone else by permanently shelving it! The beauty of your book is that people will be drawn into it by its progression; you gain their respect and slowly, carefully, hopefully start to change their minds.I knew zero about Karate before reading The General’s Son, and that too, ties in beautifully. Karate joins with the whole non-violent but forceful premise of the book. It is just beautiful.

My sister in law is Palestinian, married to my brother and living in the same Massachusetts town as me, and so the situation in Palestine is always on my mind — always. Just a few days ago I got into a discussion about it with a Jewish friend on the sidewalk. I was tired, and very quickly I was crying and raging and completely at odds with her. I was about halfway through the book at that point. Now, having finished it, I look to you as an example for me — your book as a sort of teacher for keeping a calm, compassionate center, able to be articulate, not raging or frantic or frightened when attempting to talk with people who have no idea what I am talking about and who definitely do not agree with me. I am still a long way from being able to be calm in these situations… so I am handing people books and video recommendations instead, which speak better than I can!

I too believe the only solution (that must happen sometime) is one state where Jews and Arabs are equal citizens. The state, the structure, the roads, hospitals, military, are all already there, and it is just a matter (albeit not simple!) of extending citizenship and equal rights and protections to everyone who lives there. This is the only thing that gives me hope, the thought that voices like yours will eventually start to be heard. All the liberal pro-peace people who still believe in two states — I ask them, do you really think Israel would ever allow an Arab “state” in Palestine to have an independent military equal to their own? That one question makes very clear, instantly, that any talk of “two states” is absurd. A Palestinian state would at best be an enlarged Gaza.

Anyway, I am in awe of you. Absolute awe. I do wish that Just World books had used more pages and made the print not so microscopic! I would like to see this book become widely distributed, and the microscopic print I think is a real drawback to that. But — all books have to start somewhere, and I deeply hope that The General’s Son will spread far and wide to a large audience. It should.

So, thank you — you have deep integrity and strength (by integrity I do not mean the popular definition of honesty; rather I mean “being in one piece”, centered, owning one’s own core. That too is where the karate fits perfectly, front and center, into the meaning of the whole book. If I were not [living in New England] … I would come to California and walk into your karate school! 🙂

A great book. I admire you —
Julia Drury

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