Colum McCann’s new novel Apeirogon is based on the actual murder of two young girls, 13-year-old Smadar Elhanan who lost her life when three Palestinian suicide bombers exploded themselves on Ben Yehuda Street in West Jerusalem on September 4, 1997, and 10-year-old Abir Aramin who was shot in the back of the head ten years later in Anata just four kilometers Northeast of Jerusalem’s Old City by an 18-year-old Israeli soldier as his jeep sped around a corner.

The girls’ fathers, Rami Elhanan (an Israeli Jew) and Bassam Aramin (a Palestinian Muslim) met at the Hotel Everest between Jerusalem and Bethlehem through Combatants for Peace, an organization of former Israeli soldiers and Palestinian fighters who shared one thing in common, “that both sides had once wanted to kill people they did not know.”

For my review of the book, see my blog at the Times of Israel – .