The title of this book is a phrase often used to describe the fate of the Jewish people in the world and invokes one of the central arguments for the creation of the state of Israel. In this thoughtful collection of essays, Kim Chernin suggests that the Zionist struggle has left the Palestinian people in a similar predicament; now they, too, are merely guests in their former homeland. Confronting her own uncritical support of Israel, Chernin tries to reconcile her desire for a Jewish homeland with the reality of the violence carried out in order to secure it.
Following an in-depth examination of the perspectives of both Jews and Palestinians, Chernin writes eloquently of the process by which she gradually learned to hear once-ignored Palestinian voices. By combining her knowledge of Jewish history with her insights as a psychotherapist, Chernin discovers the psychological mechanisms that have kept her and other Jews from fully comprehending the suffering of both parties in this seemingly endless conflict. She argues persuasively that by overcoming the mental blocks that prevent so many from seeing the Palestinian point of view, Jews can learn to feel empathy for them without diminishing their love and support for Israel.
In challenging her own blindness toward the suffering of Palestinians, Kim Chernin manages to awaken each of us to the hidden parts of our soul and psyche that have denied our own responsibility for the continued suffering on this planet. Everywhere a Guest, Nowhere at Home is not only a description of the reality of the Jewish past and the Palestinian present but a powerful description of how life may soon be for all of us unless we are able to awaken to the ways that our world must be healed and transformed right now.
Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor, Tikkun Magazine
"Everywhere a Guest, Nowhere at Home will be seen as the locus classicus of the anguished re-appraisal of the Jewish relationship to Palestine."
Tony Rudolf, publisher, Menard Press