On the Border chronicles a radical political education in a time and place charged with idealism and danger. A Polish Frenchman and a rabbi's son, Michel Warschawski left for Israel at the age of sixteen to to study the Talmud, and eventually became one of the most renowned figures of the Israeli left.
Warschawski's involvement in radical politics led to inspiring alliances with Jews, Muslims, Christians, and Marxists. Yet as the border lines hardened, he became targeted by the Shin Bet, Israel's notorious intelligence agents. Finally arrested, incarcerated and interrogated for 20 days, Michel gives his readers an insider's view of the psychological and political pressures that Shin Bet brought to bear, even on Jews, and never lets you forget the severity of treatment that his Palestinian colleagues faced.
In touch with the Jewish diaspora, and inspired by a socialism without borders, the book mixes sharp analysis of the ongoing conflict with deep personal insight into the events of the last three decades. The lessons he draws from his experience on the border between Israel and Palestine should be instructive for all the places where cultures rub against each other for better and worse. Warschawski's perspective offers hope for the rich cultural and political exchange that these places offer their inhabitants, and hope for his adopted land.
Michel joined us at the bookshop to discuss his life and work. Watch him here.