In this extraordinary book a German Benedictine monk reports from an area at the centre of global interest. Father Nikodemus Schnabel lives in a monastery on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, a location that in international law belongs neither to Israel nor to any potential Palestinian state. Schnabel is the monastery’s press spokesman and has pastoral oversight over Roman Catholics in Israel, Palestine and the Gaza Strip. His autobiographical reportage covers a broad spectrum of topics, ranging from his decision to become a monk to reflections on religious extremism. The author discusses his relationship with members of other Christian denominations as well as with members of the Jewish and Islamic faiths and considers his differing experiences of Gaza, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Schnabel relates his fascinating observations with warmth and sincerity.
At Home in No Man’s Land is aimed at a wide audience and Schnabel’s optimistic outlook will consolidate the title’s broad appeal. The book offers an unusual personal perspective on the contemporary Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its lucid, insightful style makes it a highly satisfying read.