Ever since finals ended in June, I have been wanting to read a book that speaks to me. A book that has my heart beating a bit quicker and my mind racing with thoughts and different perspectives. I haven’t read a book like that since I read “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green in January. Then, I came across “Two Brothers” by Ben Elton.
The novel ends quicker than it started. Taking place in Germany (1920s,1930s, and 1950s), the storyline follows the fictious lives of two brothers and what it was like to be a Jew before Nazi Germany, during and after.
Although the story talked about a different time, a different world even, all I saw as I flipped through the pages is how easily the book could be about someone living in Palestine, and more specifically, Gaza, and even more so im many other places.
The chants of “death to Jews” by the Nazis in the novel resonate the chants of “death to Arabs” by Zionists today. The violent scenes hit closer to home. The humiliation seems not far (and not even close) from what the Palestinians experience at the hands of the racist state of Israel. Every “Jew” in that novel could easily be replaced with “Palestinian”.
I read a review on this book saying that it was believable, and to me, it is. I see those two brothers in a different time, though. I see them in Gaza being separated as they fled their homes. I see them holding on to each other as Israeli rockets fly over their homes. I see one of them crying as the other one smiles down on him from the sky. I see both losing the people they love because they were born the wrong people at the wrong time in this indescribable life. Two brothers. Two friends. Two cousins. Two sisters. Two lovers. For every two, two more begin to hurt, and for those two, two more begin to hurt. And it goes on, as the world remains silent. It goes on in Gaza. It goes on in Syria. It goes on in Iraq. It goes on, here and there. I hate to think of how the world is so silent about things that matter. I hate to think how the world is silent for the two’s of Gaza the way someone was silent for the two brothers in this novel that could easily have been put in the non-fiction section of things.