At an earlier gathering, a few contributors to the book were photographed, and one said, “What is there to smile about–” in reference to the situation in Palestine. And Freeman reflected that in her own extensive travels, “some of the warmest, wittiest, most joyful people I’ve ever met I met in Palestine,” and they had told her: Don’t cry for us. “Go back and do whatever you can do.” This book, she said, “is that can-do for me.”

To watch videos of the event, visit Mondoweiss.

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