Since this book has been incubating for 10 years, I am indebted to more people than I can name. I am so grateful for the many kinds of support I have received: intellectual, political, social, and emotional. The people acknowledged here are only the tip of the iceberg.
Starting from the end and working backwards, I am indebted beyond measure to my wonderful editor and friend Patricia Leavy (aka The Energizer Bunny), whose invitation made this book possible. I have also benefitted from extraordinary editing by Peter Lehman whose painstaking, challenging line-by-line edits, accompanied by the best substantive questions, have made this a much better book. Kaitlin Astrella understands the difference between “a woman without her man is nothing” and “a woman: with her, man is nothing.” Thank you Kaitlin. Sa’ed Adel Atshan spent endless time and effort, balancing praise and challenge in exactly the right proportions. He is a friend, a colleague, and a comrade. Others have read the manuscript in whole or in part with equal care and insight – in alphabetical order, my thanks to Sam Bahour, Anat and Alex Biletzki, Amahl Bishara, Jim Bowley, Elizabeth Burki, Diana Buttu, Jonathan Cook, Irene Gendzier, Maheen Haider, Nicole and John Harrington, Kat Lancaster, Dana Sajdi, Elizabeth Sherman, Anne Wagner, and Sarah Woodside. The usual disclaimers are in order: the genius is theirs; the mistakes are mine.
In Boston, I am blessed to be a member of the Palestinian and the Jewish activist communities, both of which have been supportive of this work. For all the conversations, hospitality, and wisdom I thank Thomas Abowd, Sa’ed Adel Atshan, Nidal Al Azraq, Paul Beran, Amahl Bishara, Martin Federman, Munir and Naila Jermanus, Dan Klein, Jeff Klein, Karen Klein, Howard Lenow, Steven, Barbara and Shaina Low, Hilary Rantisi, Alice Rothchild, Sara Roy, and Hannah Schwarzschild.
In the academic community I am immeasurably grateful to the two women who have been such supportive Chairs while this book is being written: Sarah Babb and Zine Magubane, I can’t thank you enough. The Boston College administration has also been uniformly supportive, from the Provost, David Quigley and the Associate Provosts Don Hafner and Pat DeLeeuw, Associate Dean of the Graduate School Candace Hetzner, Dean Greg Kalscheur, SJ, to the people in Student Affairs, in the Chaplaincy, at the Volunteer and Service Learning Center, and the Montserrat Coalition: Karl Bell, Paul Chebator, Kate Daly, Paula Dias, Maria DiChiappari, Burt Howell, Daniel Leahy, Yvonne McBarnett, Marina Pastrana, Daniel Ponsetto, Akua Sarr, Mer Zovko. I am indebted to for the support and advice of my colleagues in the Middle Eastern and Islamic Civilization program, in International Studies, and in African and African Diaspora Studies: Kathleen Bailey, Ali Banuazizi, David Deese, David DiPasquale, Peter Krause, and Cynthia Young.
I benefitted from the hard work, commitment, and insight of my wonderful research assistants and tech assistants: Kaitlin Astrella, Annelise Hagar, William Hubschman, Hannah Kazal, Kyla Longman, Anna Mascagni and Erin Zoellick.
A very special thank you also to all the faculty who have allowed me to try out some of my ideas in their classes or who have provided opportunities for thinking, speaking, writing, and intellectual companionship: Pam Berger, Fr. James Bernauer, SJ, Charlie Derber, Elizabeth Goizueta, Fr. Raymond Helmick, SJ, John Michalczyck, and Matt Mulane.
This work would not have been possible without the habits of reflection, the conversations about serving the world, that are hosted at Boston College by the much missed Fr. Joe Appleyard, SJ, Burt Howell, and the Intersections Project within the Division of Mission and Ministry, and by James Weiss in the Capstone program.
Nor would the work have been possible without the wonderful and loving companionship of the people who trusted themselves to my judgment and came with me and my students to Israel and Palestine: Karl Bell, Scott Easton, Kimberly Kay Hoang, Deborah Levenson-Estrada, John McDargh (aka Mr. Sherman), Fr. Gustavo Morello, SJ, Erik Owen, Adam Saltsman, David Scanlan, and Sarah Woodside.
I also want to extend very special gratitude to friends and family who profoundly disagree with me and who kept talking and listening anyway. You are my heroes, Shoshanna Bravmann, Carol Haspel, Jeff Haspel.
In Palestine, I am deeply indebted to the wisdom, patience, and friendship of Laila Atshan, Sam Bahour, Diana Buttu and Tom Dallal, Daoud Nasser, Nader Said and Renad Qbbaj, Samer, Noora and Nala Said, Sami Abou Shehadeh and all the wonderful people at the Siraj Center: George Rishmawi, Michel Awad, Iliana Awad, Rania Awad.
In (or from) Israel, I am equally indebted to my friends Eitan Alimi, Anat and Alex Biletzki, Michelle Gawerc, Sarit Larry, Oded Na’aman, and Ilan Pappe. Sami Abou Shehadeh and Diana Buttu are both Palestinian and Israeli; in a sane world they would be numbered among the most valued and honored people of their society.
Most of important of all, there are the almost 200 students who have taken this journey with me, in class, on the ground in Israel/Palestine, in political activism on campus: you are my raison d’être. Watching you becoming the writers, teachers, thinkers, doctors, lawyers, actors, social workers, senate staffers, soldiers, state department staffers, business leaders, peace activists, yoga instructors, gadflies, and nomads you are in the process of becoming makes me optimistic about the future. Knowing you is one of the great gifts of my life.
My special thanks to trip alumnus Emil Tsao for the photographs found on my Amazon author page and on the cover of this second edition.
My family has listened to me talking about bits and pieces of this project for a decade. To Connie and John, Sarah and Blake, Mark and Diane, Julia and Jill, and to my goddaughters Petra and Jennifer: thank you … just for being you.
And to Dean Albertson: you gave me the life-long gift of seeing you stand up for your beliefs with dignity and courage. Everything I do is built on the platform of the things I learned from you.