This book is a profile of Israel, a real-life profile.
I thought it needed no introduction, nor any opening, interpretation, or background. I wanted its stories, the "cases" of the people and the groups, to stand as separate units, as in a collection of photographs combined into an album. The documents could speak for themselves, and the readers would find their own personal meaning in each. It may be a bad habit, but in art books or photograph collections I rarely want to read the instructions written by others, who have already gone through what I am going to experience. Sometimes, however, I am interested in the introduction afterward.
Presenting the material of this book to readers of a foreign culture made some words of explanation indispensable, to be read either before or after the cases and interviews. The reader may choose his or her own preferred order, starting with the emotional account ("The Unfinished Business of War in Israel"), the descriptive report ("Peaceful Conversations About the War"), or the more intellectual discussion (the introduction to each section, and the first part of the book).
In the records collected and presented for the book, I served in at least two distinct roles: that of the therapist, group leader, or interviewer on the one hand, and that of the observer, recorder,* and writer of the group encounters on the other. A third unmanifested role I frequently took was that of the client, with whom I identified and through whom I sometimes coped with my personal dilemmas, with or without total awareness of this process. This is, apparently, the situation of the participant____________________