Conflict In The Lemon Tree

1373 Words6 Pages
As we look back throughout history and the countless number of conflicts and wars that occurred, there is one cause that is more visible than the rest, religion. Conflict of religion may be the most complex issue of them all because it can be seen as both the cause of the conflict as well as the resolution to such conflicts. In the novel, The Lemon Tree, the author, Sandy Tolan, illustrates this conflict of religion concerning two communities, the Palestinians and the Israelis. To put it in the simplest form, the Israelis believe they are entitled to the land currently known as Israel, while the Palestinians believe they are entitled to that land they call Palestine. It may seem that both sides are claiming the same land and are just calling…show more content…
The house is extremely significant to the novel and to the purpose and theme Tolan is trying to highlight. When Bashir and his family leave their home in Palestine and Dalia’s family moves in, there’s one important portion of Bashir’s family that stays with them, the lemon tree. For Dalia’s family the lemon tree represented nothing but a reminder to her family that this was someone else’s home before their own. However, for Bashir’s family this tree meant much more. The lemon tree symbolizes their culture and the fruit from the tree reminds them what they’ve lost as well as hope for their future to return and regain their losses. Late in the novel we see the lemon tree representing hope for both the Palestinians and the Israelis. After the death of the original lemon tree, Dalia and a group of young Arab and Israeli students decide to plant a new one next to the dead trunk of the original lemon tree. This act signifies hope and the lemon tree symbolizes a brighter future ahead and one step closer to achieving peace between both sides. Tolan focuses this novel on the house and the lemon tree to portray that the empathy Dalia and Bashir had in their friendship is the vital characteristic Palestinians and Israelis need to show in order for peace to be…show more content…
Originally I had thought the reason why the Israelis, Palestinians, and Arab nations were in conflict was because of their religious differences, but I did not know what their religious differences were as well as how much their religion meant to them. It all sounded like politics to me when I found out their dispute was over land, but it was more complex than that. Because the Palestinians made that land their home before the Israelis I believed the land should belong to them, but when the land became holy and God promised the Jews he would provide them the promise land this is where I became stumped. After reading The Lemon Tree it became obvious that the land belonged to both the Palestinians and the Israelis, but they couldn’t live together because their God disallowed it. This troubled me because I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that living in the same city or village with a person or people of a different religion was a sin because in my opinion it is more immoral to exile someone from their home because of a different belief rather than living with them. This novel changed the way I perceive other religions, to explain, before this reading my thinking towards other religions was that my religion is the correct one and all the others are wrong, but I realize that serves no good to me and to other people if we all believe in
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