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Letters from Tel Mond Prison: An Israeli Settler Defends His Act of Terror

Rapaport, Era, ed. by William B. Helmreich

5 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0684831805 / ISBN 13: 9780684831800
Published by The Free Press, New York, 1996
Condition: very good, good
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

280, illus., DJ creased at rear flap, DJ slightly worn and soiled, small tear in front DJ. Introduction by William B. Helmreich. In poignant and revelatory letters written to his friends from Israel's Tel Mond prison, the author describes his painful transformation from a West Bank settler who initially attempts friendly coexistence with his Arab neighbors to one who finally believed the only solution available was to plant a bomb under the car of a PLO official. This is a riveting portrait of a rational man driven to an act of violent desperation. Bookseller Inventory # 45207

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Letters from Tel Mond Prison: An Israeli ...

Publisher: The Free Press, New York

Publication Date: 1996

Book Condition: very good, good

Edition: First Edition. First Printing.

About this title


Poignant letters written home while in an Israeli prison reveal the story of a man born in Brooklyn who ended up a mayor on the West Bank, and who, after attempting coexistence with his Arab neighbors, participated in the bombing of a PLO official's car.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A first-person introduction to the mindset of the ``Jewish underground'' from a member who was involved in the notorious 1980 car bombing that blew off the legs of Nablus mayor Bassam Shaka. Why would an Orthodox Jew from America, a social worker and father of six children, engage in such an act? In part, Rapaport saw it as an act of reprisal for the murder of six Jewish students in Hebron by a PLO sniper--Shaka was a member of the PLO's National Guidance Committee--and enraged frustration at the Israeli government's perceived failure to act firmly against Palestinian terrorists in ``YOSH'' (the Hebrew acronym for Judaea and Samaria, or the West Bank). Rapaport also fervently believes that Jews' right to settle in YOSH is absolute, that violence is justified by historical claims to the land, and that history is rooted in God's promise of Israel to Abraham as recorded in Genesis. It never seems to occur to him that the Palestinians might have their own personal and historical claims to the West Bank. Very few of the letters printed here, which span the years from 1975 to 1996, really attempt to defend Rapaport's violent vigilantism. Most deal with the author's commitment to settlement (``We are acting in the name of and for an entire people'') and great love of his wife, children, and parents. Concerning the attack on Shaka, he apparently feels no ideological or moral qualms. In the last letter here, he even expresses ``understanding'' of (although he does not favor) the actions of Baruch Goldstein, the murderer of over 30 Palestinians in Hebron in 1994, and Yigal Amir, the assassin of Yitzhak Rabin. Though it initially crackles with ideological fervor, his prose ultimately becomes numbing, with a one- dimensional self-righteousness. One wonders why Helmreich (Sociology and Judaic Studies/City College of New York), who contributes a balanced introduction, chose so many of these letters, when a work half as long would have adequately presented Rapaport's constricted worldview. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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