Voices from the Centre of the World is a snapshot of events in the Israeli-Palestinian Sambatyon. It is based on an especially impressive series of interviews that the award-winning journalist Henrique Cymerman conducted with most of the main players and parties to the conflict – including the late Yitzhak Rabin, who gave Cymerman his last interview just a few hours before his assassination. The author of Voices from the Centre of the World also yields the verbal right-of-way to the heads of the Palestinian Islamic movements, a Palestinian collaborator with Israel’s internal-security agency, international leaders, and counter-terrorism experts who are intimately familiar with the region and work closely with the heads of the Israeli and American intelligence services. Several interviewees stand out in particular: those with victims on both sides, a teenage would-be “martyr” (suicide bomber) and members of civil society who experienced the conflict in their flesh. Some of these individuals have died or been murdered in the interim, others have been incarcerated. The President of Portugal, Jorge Sampaio, recently described this book as a “kick in the stomach.” The Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón wrote that he enjoyed, as well as suffered, reading the book and was often moved to tears by its contents.
Javier Solana, High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union, quotes the author in his preface as saying that each of the sides – the Israeli and the Palestinian – stresses its own victims and represses the casualties on the other side. Solana adds, “[…] It is the duty of the international community, and of the European Union as part of it, to help the sides to surmount the many obstacles. Thus the victims’ voices, documented so horrifyingly in this book, will become a painful memory and not an everlasting current event.”
“A fascinating book… a ‘must’ in our political reality… empathizing with all human suffering.” Shimon Peres. President of the State of Israel
“Cymerman represents both people on both sides.” Azzam Al-Ahmad. Former Vice Prime Minister, Palestinian National Authority
“A reporter with no boundaries… his insights are at times a gentle caress, at times a kick in the stomach…” Jorge Sampaio. Former President of Portugal
“…moved me to tears…” Baltasar Garzón. Spanish Judge