• Imprint: Saqi Books
  • ISBN: 9780863566820
  • Published: February 2008
  • UK Price: £11.99
  • Format: 135 x 216 mm (Demy)
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Extent: 336pp
  • Subject:


Crossing the Israel/Palestine Divide

Jonathan Garfinkel

Jonathan Garfinkel can’t make up his mind – about his relationship, Judaism, or Israel. After hearing about a house in Jerusalem shared by a Palestinian and a Jew, he decides to travel to Israel and the West Bank to witness this unlikely co-habitation for himself. Along the way he meets the people behind the headlines, from secret assignations with Palestinian activists and an uninvited visit to a refugee camp to Passover with Orthodox Jews.

Rife with riotous, sometimes surreal comedy, as well as tragic misunderstandings, Ambivalence brings to light the complexities of real life as opposed to the religious or political ideal, and offers a vivid and challenging portrait of life in Israel and Palestine.

About the Author

Jonathan Garfinkel is the author of the book of poetry Glass Psalms and the plays Walking to Russia and The Trials of John Demjanjuk: A Holocaust Cabaret. His most recent play, The House of Many Tongues, is about a divided house in Jerusalem, and will be produced in Tel Aviv and Toronto. His work has been translated into six languages. Ambivalence is his first work of prose. Jonathan lives in Toronto, Canada.


‘This book will change how you think about Israel and Palestine.’ Brian Eno

‘Garfinkel crosses so many intimate borders he should be issued an emotional passport.’ Michael Winter

‘Marvellous. Garfinkel deftly mines what it means to simultaneously belong, disavow, love, and loathe an identity, a culture, and a history.’
David Rakoff

‘A deeply engaging account of a Jewish coming of age'
Globe and Mail

‘Garfinkel sets out on his first encounter with Israel and Palestine in a model of honest enquiry … without abandoning who he is.’
PEN International