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Good Evening. It is certainly my pleasure to be here to introduce our distinguished speaker. Upon his return after a stint as an embedded reporter with US troops invading Iraq noted journalist Ted Coppell explained to an audience, the difference between on the spot reporting, the real time witnessing and simple conveying of events to the complete journalistic process. Now I am paraphrasing Ted Coppell, I am paraphrasing. But he pointed out before that the fullness of journalism is achieved through the gathering of information from all sides, all angles, taking the time and expertise to process that and then objectively explain to us how it impacts our larger world. And this is the work of tonight's guest who carries in the complete sense of the title, Journalist, Mr. Sandy Tolan. The focus of his work including documentaries, articles and books has been on the issues involving the natural resources and the people of North, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Central Europe, South Asia and central to this evening's discussion, the Middle East. Mr. Tolan has written for dozens of world respected publications including The New York Times Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation and Audubon. His awards are nearly too numerous to list. But they do include a United Nations Gold Medal award, three Robert F Kennedy awards for covering the plight of the poor and the disadvantaged and three from the Overseas Press Club. And many of them went for the documentaries he has produced for NPR and PRI, his co founder of Homelands productions. One of those award winning documentaries, done for Fresh Air was the basis for the book Mr. Tolan will discuss with us, The Lemon Tree: An Arab, A Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East. And as the title indicates, it chronicles two individual lives and the parallel struggle of two peoples still locked in conflict today. It has been selected as Booklists Editors Choice in adult non fiction. He also authored Me & Hank: A Boy and His Hero, Twenty-five Years Later, two books tackling very weighty topics, race relations in America and the Israeli Palestinian relations in the Middle East. These are true stories, no fabricated happy endings since these and other such issues continue to unfold and impact all of us. And as the need for us to follow and understand these issues continues we can take heart that for now Mr. Tolan is also influencing the next generation of journalists as Director of the Project on International Reporting and UC Berekely's Graduate School of Journalism. So please welcome Journalist and author of The Lemon Tree: An Arab, A Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East, Mr. Sandy Tolan. Thank you, very much Jane and for such a generous introduction and I thank you all for coming out on tonight. I really appreciate it. And I am looking forward to talking to about my book and a little bit about the process of you know a lot of times people ask you know why is a piece of land of the size of New Jersey are the subject of so much press attention. I think we all probably have our own opinions about that. And there are many explanations for it but, I think one of the reasons that we need to be paying attention now just as much as ever even as as heartbreaking as the reality continues to be in the region is that its really as I think many people would agree that don't ordinarily agree on things that the centrality of the Israeli Palestinian conflict is so crucial to understanding the entire problem in the Middle East and resolving it is crucial to broader resolution in the region in my opinion. As Fouad Siniora said just the other day, in The New York Times, Op-ed page that resolving that conflict, the Israeli Palestinian conflict is a gateway to reconciliation, a gateway that seems almost like mirage right now, very distant reality. But it was even for me, something that I saw in I have done a lot of work in other countries, I have worked in more than 30 countries and I was in the Philippines in 2002 and visiting some Muslim communities in the island of Mindanao doing some interviews with families when I told them that I had worked in Jerusalem I noticed that they had a picture of the Al Aqsa Mosque and they started asking me they were talking about how important it was from their perspective to resolve this conflict. So it's not just a conflict affecting people who are tied to the region or who have their own families or interest in the region. So I wanted to talk a little bit first I am going to do some reading from the book and and sort of talk about what I like to call a tale of two families or in a sense, twice upon a time and read about these two families, one Arab, one Jewish one Palestinian, one Israeli. But before I do that I want to tell you a little bit about my own journey to this story, to this book, as Jane mentioned it was a radio documentary, it started out of Fresh Air, a 43 minute program. I actually set out looking for a story like this of course I didn't know what I would find but I it was 1998 and I have a production company called Homelands Productions with an S, we were first, it has nothing to do with Homeland Security. 1998 was the 50th anniversary, as many of you know no doubt, of what of the Arab Israeli War, the first Arab Israeli War. Depending on your point of view it's also the anniversary - 50th anniversary of the War of Independence for Israel. Many Jews around the world, many Israelis, that's how they know it. But to many Palestinians, probably virtually all Palestinians and many Arabs around the world, those who are identified more with that side of the conflict, it is the Nakba, the catastrophe and yet it's the same event. So I wanted to do was try to find a way to get beyond the the tragic of reappearance or the or the retelling of the stories that we have all read so many times or seen on TV or heard on the radio, the tragedy of another exploding bus in Tel Aviv, the tragedy of another teenager shot down by a bullet with a stone in his hand. And how could you actually do something that would somehow connect with the humanity of both peoples and tie them together in the same story. And this is not impossible but but since I am not a fiction writer and I did not want to take a single liberty and didn't with the book or or didn't also want to with the radio program, I had set out looking for something that was grounded in in the common tissue, the common ground, at least an overlapping history between the two peoples and so for my in my own background, I grew up in Milwaukee, a Catholic family in Milwaukee, but we had very close friends, very dear friends of my parents whose children I went to school with, who had grown up who had the parents of my friends had the mother of one of my friends had come to Milwaukee via South America after having fled in the late 1930's from Amsterdam. The boat that they almost got on this family almost got on was torpedoed. A Jewish family arrived in Milwaukee and this was a lot of my own understanding of the conflict and the reason for Israel's existence, of being a safe heaven for the Jews after the Holocaust. That's how I understood it and that's how it's explained in large extent I think in the way that many of us learned the story in this country. It's the Leon Uris Exodus version of the history. Now this is a powerful story. But it doesn't tell the whole story. And the Arabs in that story are more or less don't exist don't have any claim to the land and or our hostile and simply the enemy. Now later on much later on, after I had been a journalist for 15 years or so, I met a Palestinian journalist at and when were both Nieman Fellows at Harvard in 1992-93. We were later married well, we are not any more, but for eight years we were and through this gave me and in traveling to the region many more times, it gave me an understanding of another side of the story, another history, another narrative that's it largely not understood by those of us here growing up. We have heard more one side of the story and I began to get an understanding of another perspective and so when I went in 1998 to the region it was with a deep empathy and curiosity and drive to understand both sides of the story through a historical narrative. I had also done around that time I was doing work as in for the All History Department of the Holocaust Museum. So all of this was sort of fueling my desire to really deeply understand both sides of the issue and so I found it I found a story that I am going to tell you about now. And one of the reasons it has turned from a radio production - 43 minute radio program into a book is simply because of the reaction that I got to this story, this two families, the Eshkenazi family from Bulgaria and the Khairi family from Ramla and now spread across the Middle East and the Palestinian Diaspora. This story I had more response to this than all the other programs that radio and and programs that newspaper, magazine articles I had ever done put together and part of it was because it taps into something that is human and and then it's not just another tragic story that we the either want to turn away from or because our aunties in Tel Aviv or our uncles in Bethlehem we cannot but it's such pain. And I wanted to explore something that would certainly not stray or shy away from the hard realities but also would look at the connections. So I wanted to start by telling you that the first part of the once upon a time the family known as the Khairi family from Ramla. And the story begins really in 1936 when a man named Ahmed Khairi, the father of the main Palestinian character Bashir has decided to build a house. The stone lay cool and heavy in Ahmed's open hands, puck marked and rough, the color of cream, it was cut in foot thick slabs with the blended right angles of the stone mason's chisel. Its dips and rises define a landscape at miniature like the hills and valleys of the Palestine it came from. Ahmed stood in an open field in his coat and tie and Turkish fez. He looked down, crouched low and laid the first stone upon its foundation. 100s of other chiseled slabs known as the white Jerusalem stone were stacked high beside him. With the first stone in place Ahmed looked at his cousin's, friends and the hired laborers beside him. They began to place stone upon mortar upon stone. It was 1936 and Ahmed Khairi was building a home for his family. The house was to stand at the eastern edge of our Ramla, an Arab town of 11,000 and the coastal plane between Jerusalem and the Mediterranean. To the north lay the Galilee and Southern Lebanon. In the better woodlands to the south, the sands of Palestine and Sinai. Our Ramla was named for sand some believed, from the Arabic word Raml. Mostly the soil here was good bearing citrus, olive, bananas, lentos and sesame. The year Ahmed Khairi built his house Arab farmers in Palestine would produce 100s of 1000s of tones of barley, wheat, cabbage, cucumber tomatoes, figs, grapes and melons. The Khairis tended olives, oranges and almonds in a (communal) wakf land collectively by the owned collectively by the extended family and administered under Islamic law. Now what was interesting about this town is that unlike it was only founded in 715' so it was one of the newer towns in the holy land it was founded in the year 715' by Muslims and this is what an early Muslim traveler called Muqadasi wrote about Ramla district to give you little bit of a picture of what it was like in it's early years. It's a fine city and well built. Its water is good and plentiful. Its fruits are abundant. It combines manifold advantages situated as it is in the midst of beautiful villages and lordly towns near to holy places and pleasant hamlets. Commerce here is prosperous and means of livelihood, easy. Its bread is of the whitest and the best. Its lands are well favored above all others and its fruits are of the most luscious. The capital stands among fruitful fields, walled towns and serviceable hospices. It posses magnificent hostelries and pleasant baths, deity food and various condiments, spacious houses, fine mosques and broad roads. This was a very important turn of the time. It was actually the administrative capital of the region. Now a 1000 years later, here is Ahmed and his wife Solia with four I believe three or may be the fourth child is on the way. All girls waiting for a boy and that envisioned a house with an open design. Ahmed had gone over the master plan with a British friend and builder Benson Solly, were of only a few Jews who lived in Al Ramla. For the Khairis as for many Arabs, Jews like Mr. Solly as Ahmed's children remembered him, were simply part of the landscape of Palestine. Jews from the Kibbutzim bartered for wheat, barley and melons that Al Ramla's Wednesday market. Arab labors worked in nearby Jewish fields pushing hand ploughs made in the Kibbutzim and Jewish farmers brought their horses into Al-Ramla to be shod. Arabs would recall Jewish engineers and conductors working for the Palestine Rail Road that pass through town. Some remembered bearded Arabic speaking Jews riding by donkey to purchase bags of cement at the local factory. For the most part, the two communities lived and worked in separate worlds but their degree of interaction was undeniable. So this was the time when there was a lot of co existence, but not to say that there wasn't tension. In the 1930's or in in the year 1936 when Bashir's father, Ahmed built the home, he was - this was the first year of what was know as the Arab rebellion. The rebellion was against British rule; the British had come to Palestine and operated the British mandate in Palestine. They were also in charge of Jordan as result of a treaty with the French. In 1917 they had arrived and Arabs were chaffing under British rule and later on, especially the Zionist movement the Zionist that most of Palestine's Jews also were. But especially at this time the Palestinian Arabs were and they were angry about Jewish emigration from Europe. And that's a very complicated thing; we can get into some of the details if you want. One of the reasons that so many Jews were coming, it was in 1933, Hitler came to power, and so many Jews were looking for a safe haven. But the Zionist movement had existed long before Hitler came to power and the population nearly quadrupled in only 14 years between 1922 and 1936. For that for the Jews of Palestine this was a way to further the dream of a separate state, a home land of their own. For the Palestinian Arabs this was a threat because they didn't want to see a separate state in their midst. They so, and the and the and this was the result of the the rebellion was a result of the emergence of the Palestinian Nationalist Movement which partly was a response to the Zionist movement. So we can again we can get into some of those details later. Now, one more thing from this first once up on a time before moving to the second one, and that is as the tensions continued, they kind of got set aside by the war, there were there was maneuvering but but there wasn't a lot of action during in Palestine during, compared to what there was before and after during the Second World War. But in 1942 something momentous happened as far as the Khairi family was concerned. The first child male child was born, and they named him Bashir. And in the Arabic that means good news. And I am going to just read one little part of that. On day in 19 late 19 February 1942, as the drama surrounding the Bulgarian Jews, which I am about to tell you about was playing out in the North. A large contingent of the Khairi clan rode through the mountains of Palestine toward Hebron. It was 10 days since the birth of the first born male child of Ahmed and Zakia and time for the Akika Ceremony at the tomb of the patriots named after the prophet Abraham and known to the family as the Ebrahimi Mosque. The baby, his parents, his six sisters, his great uncle Sheikh Mustafa and several dozens aunts, cousins and uncles were packed in the buses moving south-east on the narrow roads of Palestine. The rolled past the watermelon groves of Naani, just south of Al-Ramla, passed village of Abu Shusha, passed the cool sweet springs of Imwas, passed the olive groves and sloping rain fed fields of Sureef and into Al Haleel or Hebron where the imam would be made waiting at the mosque. A name should be prescribed for the child, the Prophet Mohamed had observed. Its hair and all filth should be removed and sacrifice should be preformed on his behalf. At the ceremony inside the mosque of Abraham, the patriarch of three great faiths, the imam spoke the baby's name, Bashir, Arabic for good news or the barer of good tithing. His hair was cutten away, the family would give to the poor the value of that weighed in gold. Sheep were slaughtered and two-thirds of the meat would again be given to the poor. The clan had a feast with the rest. It was a big event. Bashir's sister Hanum remembered later, she would turn six that year. It was a great occasion. Now, a thousand miles to the North, the next year; well actually at that very time, tension among the Bulgarian Jewish community was immense as you can imagine. But the story of the Bulgarian Jews would prove to be very different than the story of the rest of European Jew and part of that is because of a remarkable series of events. But let's start with a little picture of the other family the Eshkenazi family. The young Jewish sales men walked quickly through the cold down the Cobblestone Street. Moshe Eshkenazi carried his black leather case full of fine socks, flannel underwear and other factory samples as he made his rounds from shop to shop in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia. Suddenly he stopped. There in plane view just at his feet, lay a valet. It was in good condition, untouched as if someone had only recently grabbed it. Moshe stooped to pick it up. The valet was filled with money, a small fortune to a struggling Jewish peddler trying to support his family in the Bulgaria of early 1943. During the war it become far more difficult for men like Moshe to insure any security for the families and for some men the unexpected find would have been impossible to resist. Moshe did not hesitate. He made the only decision possible for him. Taking the valet to the police was the most natural thing in the world to do. At the police station the officer on duty was shocked to see the salesman with a yellow star bringing a billfold with its contents intact. He consulted with the fellow policemen and soon Moshe was sent to another office where he introduced he was introduced to a senior member of the force. The officer looked at this unusual visitor with curiosity, Moshe looked stood short and squat with wavy black hair, heavy brown, a clear steady gaze. Before long the peddler and the veteran policemen found themselves deep in conversation and in the coming days they would develop a friendship. Moshe's daughter Dalia who grew up with the story was not yet born in 1943. She would never hear the specifics of these discussions, whether the two men talked about the war, Bulgarians alliance with the Nazis or the country's treatment of its Jews. But at some point the policemen decided to reveal a state secret. There is a plant to deport the Jews and soon he told Moshe "settle your affairs, take your family away and clear out of here". The officer's information though lacking in some details had come from a senior from senior Bulgarian authorities and Moshe needed no further warning. His brother Jack had already left the city and joined the communist resistance in the hills. Moshe had no such intentions. But within days he and his wife Solia had gathered their things and were traveling east to her family's home in Sliven, near the Bulgarian black sea cost. There they hoped, it would be safe, I don't need to tell you that it wasn't safe but what was different about Bulgaria is that even though the King Boris had aligned with the fascists, even though there was a neo fascist government and he had committed to alliance with Hitler, for one thing the Nazis had not occupied the town and for another thing that gave room for some descent for people who wanted to tap into the to a tradition in the Balkans and in Bulgaria in particular that didn't exist in much of the rest of Europe. What one of the things I love about being a journalist is you find these amazing things that are just gems as you just had no idea. And one of one of them is what the the Ottoman Sultan set upon the expulsion of the Jews by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492. This is a this is a Muslim. They say that Ferdinand of Spain is a wise man but he is a fool for he takes his treasure and sends it all to me. Bayazed send ships to the port of Cadiz so that the Jews of Spain could come into the Balkans. They spread across the Balkans including to Bulgaria and among their descendants were Moshe and Solia in Bulgaria. And then in 1940, tapping into a different tradition, when the Bulgarian fascist government and one particularly ardent student of the Nazis had come back and written the so called the law for t the defense for the nation based on the Nuremberg laws and they stripped the Jews of all manner of rights which you could imagine and I am sure you have heard about not only the yellow stars but you couldn't be member of a professional association, you couldn't own a radio, I mean you just had your rights stripped. But as this was being debated so many people sent objections. They were furious at the Bulgarian authorities and and so to the Parliament, to the interior ministry, to the King, to the Prime Minister, these were some of the telegrams and letters that came flooding in. We, the food workers from Plovdiv are shocked by the existence of such reactionary laws which will only divide the nation. We the textile workers who work side by side with the Jewish workers making goods for the Bulgarian people and going through the injustices of life, we raise our voices and protest against the law for the defense of the nation which stands against the interests and ideals of the Bulgarian workers society. We cannot understand who was going to win, from the implementation of the law for the defense of the nation, not the Bulgarian craftsmen to be sure; we protest this smashing of tradition. We the pastry workers of Plovdiv express our deep indignation. This bill sharply opposes all of the democratic understanding which has always been part of the soul of the Bulgarian people. Now because of that soul, but in part because of that soul and what one writer calls a fragility of goodness what what you might call accommodation of courage and happenstance, even though there were train cars in one town Kyustendil waiting to take hundreds of Jews to Treblinka not a single Jew got on one of those cars. And so what happen in 1943 was that no Jew perished, no Jew went from Bulgaria went to concentration camp. Bulgaria did occupy the lands of Macedonia and Fraser and it should be said that a 11000 Jews perished on the watch of King Boris. But within so called Bulgaria proper not a single Jew died. And as a result, four years later Moshe and Solia had been thinking about whether or not to stay and build the socialist paradise that that Jack thought would be happening in Bulgaria, Moshe's brother, or actually go and and embark on an adventure, a dream of helping build a Zionist state. This became far more likely of a prospect on November 30th or November 29th , it would have been in November 30th Bulgarian time when the United Nations voted to divide the two states, divide Palestine under the British mandate into two states, one for the Arabs and one for the Jews. And this was a cause for celebration, Moshe and Solia would have a greater cause for celebration three days later on December 2nd when Dalia was born. After seven years of marriage their only child, a girl who they called Daisy at the time, she would later change her name to Dalia, was born. But on those days in 1947, going back now a 1000 miles to the south, this was cause for great alarm to the Arabs of Palestine because they didn't want a separate state. They wanted their they wanted their own state; they wanted a state for all the people who are living there. Again we can get into all the details but they did not want a separate state. So when the United Nations voted the British said that they would leave Palestine on May 15th 1948, almost exactly 59 years ago. Now on the day before that day, David Ben Gurion on May 14th declared independence. But what had happened before that was a lot of fighting between the Arab side and the Jewish side, between the Zionist movement and the Palestinian Nationalist in particular. There were massacres, there were retributions, and in particular there was a massacre at Deir Yassin on April 9th I believe or April 7th which sent waves of fear across Arab Palestine and sent thousands of people fleeing. A few days later there was a retribution massacre of Jewish doctors and nurses on the Hadassah hill. And so it was getting worse and worse and then a month later David Ben Gurion declared independence for Israel and the next day Arab armies crossed the border of the new Jewish state. From the perspective of the Israelis this was an attempt to dilate the state before barely had begun. From the perspective of the Arabs, most of the Palestinians on the ground who were looking at this a way to prevent the establishment of the state because they didn't want the state and they didn't want to be a minority in someone else's state. Again very complicated history which I am I am moving over rather quickly because I want to get back to the to the families, because what happens and so often there is lot of arguments about history. But what there isn't is an understanding of the human cost of of what the history is. And the human cost for Bashir's family was much like it was for many of the other 750,000 Palestinian Arabs who either were driven out or fled in in early 1948 or into early 1949. So I am going to read a little about what happened to Bashir's family. And I think one of the reasons I want to emphasize is I am going to read somewhat extended excerpt is I think one of the least understood realities in the Middle East and particularly with this Palestinian Israeli Palestinian conflict is what happened in 1948. Of course we know or we should know - we need to know the devastation and the horrors of the Holocaust. What we know almost nothing about it and I am not equating these two things, but we know almost nothing about or very little about, is what happened to the Palestinians in 1948. And I think without understanding that we really can't understand what's even going on now. And it was in a sense it's the Central Palestinian Arab wound. And I am going to read a little about what happened to Bashir's family. Now just to give you a little bit of a backdrop, there was a truce in for about a month in June and during that ceasefire the there was an arms embargo imposed by the United Nations. There were both sides attempted it to break it. But the Arabs were not very successful and the Israelis were more successful. And so as a result the Israelis were able to rearm and had a decided advantage going into the second half second part of the war beginning in July. From July ninth and 10th the war resumed and on July 11th after several villages had fallen and a month or so after Haifa or rather Jaffa had fallen from the Arab perspective. Many 1000s 10s of 1000s refugees had arrived in Ramla and lived and the town of Ramla was washed with refugees. And on July 11th the Arab the Israeli army arrived and and occupied Ramla. The morning of July 14th was cloudless and extremely hot. That was in the middle of July, the 7th day of Ramadan. 1000s of people had already been expelled from Al Ramla by bus and truck. Some, like Bashir and his siblings have left well before the Jewish soldiers arrived, taking temporary refugee in Ramallah. Others in the Khairi clan had remained in Al Ramla. [0:32:38] (Firdous) who was Bashir's cousin and her cousins, aunts and uncles set waiting at Al Ramla's bus station. They were perhaps 35 in all and the Khairis and their relatives the Tajis, Sheikh Mustafa who was the patriarch of the family and mayor for more than 20 years of Al Ramla was among them. With them they carried a few suitcases, bundles of cloths and golds strapped to their bodies. Firdous who was 16 years old the girl guide, that was sort of equivalent to girls scout, except for in times of war more like a young nurse, had also packed her uniform and brought along her knife and a whistle. They had planned for a short trip in miles and in days. They were certain they would be coming back soon when the Arab armies recaptured Al Ramla. The bus rolled out of Al Ramla, between the front lines of the Arab legion of Al Latrun, there they were ordered off the bus and told them march north towards Al Beit. It was only four kilometers but by now it was 100 degrees. There was no shade and no road, just a steep rise across the cropped cactus and Christ thorn. This is what the people would later call the donkey road. If a donkey could make it, perhaps people can too. The earth was baked hard. Firdous looked ahead. A line of humanity moved slowly up the hills in the waves of heat. For many of the people of Al Ramla it was their first glimpse of Khairi women. The family was in the aristocracy and then many of the women lived in the compound and rarely went out into town. Firdous got sight of the village idiot carrying his two water melons. This was something that was described earlier in the in the narrative. Wordlessly she took one of them and with her grow guide knife sliced into the red flesh. The Khairi families and their neighbors gathered impatiently. The melon was quickly, save for the small piece Firdous helped back herself. But then a young mother came to her begging the last piece for her son. White cross formed around everyone's mouth, how far was Al Beit? Were they still going in the right direction? They were always looking for shade and water. They cross fields of corn where they plucked the ripe ears and sucked the moisture out of the Kernels. Firdous saw a boy peeing into a can and then watched his grandmother drink from it. A man has slung his father over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes and Firdous for a time carried someone's in her arms. In the evening the Tajies and the Khairis came to a grove of figs in the village of Al Beit. The village was nearly abandoned except for the 100s of refugee families resting in the orchards. 10s of 1000s of refugees were milling about, stunned and humiliated, looking for food and determined to return home. Now I am going to stop in just a moment but I want to read briefly two more two more excerpts. At the same time, again going back to Bulgaria 1000s miles to north Moshe and Solia had arrived at a decision that they were going to move if they had the opportunity. And they did have the opportunity. They were fired by the dream of establishing a new country and in a land that especially Moshe had learnt so much about in in his highest education in Bulgaria. And so they boarded a train on October 26th 1948, over three days they rode to the port of Bacara in Yugoslavia, got on a ship and sailed to the south. And in early November before dawn of the 8th day of their journey, lights appeared at the distance. The passengers began to stern and climb up on deck. As land grew closer they could see that some of the lights appeared to be sitting on top of others. The scattered jewels hanging in the air were actually lights from houses - on different elevations of the hill side. This was Carmel - the bluff overlooking Haifa. They were almost there. As light broke on November 4th the passengers were crowded toward the bow as the boat powered into Haifa port. Some were crying, they began to sing Hatikva, for 60 years the anthem of the Zionists and now of the state of Israel. Then they got off the boat and the officials at the Jewish agency sat at tables and behind a rope line, processing the family or the passengers family by family. This is how the Eshkenazis began life in Israel. For about 10 days Moshe and Solia lived in a tent alongside a 1000 others in the in gathering of nations. Dark, curly haired Arabic speaking emigrants from Morocco, pale dazed Yiddish speakers from Romania, Hungary and Poland. It was a crowded smelly place. Hot for early November and muddy from the rains. Soon Moshe and Solia grew restless. Like many others they were anxious to settle somewhere. Tel Aviv had little space and Jerusalem was still too dangerous. After 10 days Moshe noticed people sitting at a table, signing up emigrants to move to a town somewhere between this emigration camp and Jerusalem. Moshe had never heard of the town but why not he thought. Let us try this place called Ramla. Now one more brief excerpt and we are going to jump forward 19 years. 19 years of one family being in exile and another family trying to make a life in what the daughter of that family well, it was the only home she had ever known. And both both families kind of wondering, not specifically about the other but wondering about the other, who lived here before? Who is in our house? Are we going to be safe? Are we ever going to be able to get home? And the Arabs of course hoped that they would be coming home on the backs of the Arab armies in 1967. We know the result of that war which the 40th anniversary of which is coming up very shortly. And so instead of coming home in triumph the Arabs and Bashir in particular with his cousins decided that they would simply go actually back to their old house now that the borders were actually more porous for reasons we can get into. Like before they actually got on a bus in late July 1967 and Bashir showed up at the door at the gate, rang the bell and Dalia who was now 19 years old, studying English literature at Tel Aviv University, she was a reserve officer in the Israeli army, Bashir stood at the gate, rang the bell, Dalia came to the gate, opened the gate. Bashir said to her, this was my father's house and I lived here too. And Dalia told me later she knew what was coming next and she knew who they were and she said I was always waiting for them. But then he asked her if he could come in and see the house. There were three Arab and a young Israeli woman home alone, her parents were at work. What do you do? She should she told herself, say no, come back when my parents are home. But if she didn't open the door they might have never come back. But if she did open the door would she be ever able to close it again? And they stood there waiting at looking at her wondering why she was taking so long to answer a simple question, may we come in and see the house? And finally she said, yes please come in. So I will stop there and look forward to your questions.