Ready to Die
To the Editor:
Thank you for Hillel Halkin’s thoughtful review of my book, At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden: A Jew’s Search for God with Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land [Books in Review, November 2001].
But on one point, at least, he should have read more attentively. Mr. Halkin faults me for not acknowledging that Islam’s fearlessness of death is responsible for the suicide bombings. In fact, in a passage about a sheikh who came to Jerusalem from Cairo seeking reconciliation with Israeli Jews, I wrote the following:
[The sheikh] came without an entourage, without protection, speaking in the name of God alone. Islam had a genius for fearlessness; the dark side was the suicide bombers. But here was another expression of Muslim contempt for death, a sheikh ready to die for peace with the Jews.
Yossi Klein Halevi
Hillel Halkin writes:
I am happy to acknowledge my oversight. I would be even happier, though, if Yossi Klein Halevi had devoted more than a single brief phrase to what has become, since the writing of his book, a major problem for the world.