How does reading The Lemon Tree alter perception of the Israel-Palestine conflict?
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The original question had to be edited. I think that Tolan's work is powerful because it seeks to bring the human narrative into an issue that has become "easier" to digest through political jargon. The Israeli- Palestinian conflict has become so politicized by so many people that we often lose sight of the people whose lives are impacted by it. In immersing it into the world of politics, it becomes easier to forget how millions of people's lives are impacted within it.
The Lemon Tree does a great job of bringing out these realities. The work does not lay blame at one group's feet in an arbitrary and scapegoating manner because this reflects the political reality that exists today. Instead, the work explores how historical reality and the failure of those in the position of political power to foresee the conflict converged to create the issue that exists today. The perception that is altered is the reality to "find blame." There might not be anything redemptive in seeking to find blame. Like both Dalla and Bashir, the way to find hope out of this issue is to better understand the people. It is from here where there can be a sense of optimism and progress in an issue that has become so clouded by political reality. This becomes where I think the work does the most in altering the perception of the conflict.
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