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Confession from a Jericho Jail

Langfur, Stephen

2 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0802114822 / ISBN 13: 9780802114822
Published by Grove Weidenfeld, New York, 1992
Condition: very good, very good
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About this Item

25 cm, 259, map, DJ slightly soiled. Ten years after emigrating to Israel from America, Langfur refused to servewhen his army reserve unit was called up to guard Jewish settlements on the West Bank. This is his prison diary--the journal of a "conditional" objector. Bookseller Inventory # 23711

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Confession from a Jericho Jail

Publisher: Grove Weidenfeld, New York

Publication Date: 1992

Book Condition: very good, very good

Edition: First Edition. First Printing.

About this title


In his prison diary, an Israeli man incarcerated for refusing to combat the intifada or serve as a soldier in the West Bank describes the Palestinians' plight, touching upon the suffering on both sides of the conflict.

From Kirkus Reviews:

An American briefly imprisoned in his adopted Israel--for refusing to serve in the army on the West Bank--ponders the moral and practical implications of Israel's increasingly violent occupation of the territories. In these notes, made between dishwashing and other duties in a jail where Arabs are kept in a cell without water, Langfur explores and explains his deeply felt decision to resist. The army was once like a sacred calling to him; but Israel's occupation intervened--an occupation, he says, by ``a supposedly democratic people with a strong ethical tradition, sitting on top of another.'' To Langfur, it's not the decades-long Palestinian submission that's normal, but the Intifada--the Palestinians' attempt ``to shake us off.'' The author warns his fellow prisoners that unless Israel settles the Palestinian issue, technology acquired by the Arab states will. ``Forty years of inattention to the Palestinians has made the Arabs hate us all the more....In killing their children we condemn our grandchildren.'' Into his narrative of prison life flow Langfur's wide-ranging and thorough meditations on biblical passages, orthodox rituals, philosophical questions (Langfur has a doctorate in Religion and Culture from Syracuse Univ.), and the very geography (he now works as a tour guide) that ignites the strife. Typically, Langfur remembers standing ``on the ruin of the temple'' in ``biblical Shechem'' (in Nablus and now too dangerous to visit), imagining ``the tribes on the slopes of the mountains, as ordained in Deuteronomy (27:11- 17)....`Cursed, the man...who moves his neighbor's boundary.' '' An intense and persuasive call for Israelis to confront their consciences--and for others to consider some of the spiritual questions imbedded in the politics. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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