Palestine Posts: An Eyewitness Account of the Birth of Israel by Daniel Chertoff is based upon the letters written by his deceased father, Mordecai, a Hagana soldier and journalist for the Palestine Post, from Jerusalem during the period leading up to and including Israel’s War of Independence (1947-1948). Daniel speaks with Eve Harow about the discovery of the letters, their the historical context, the detective work involved in finding people mentioned in them, and, surprisingly, in getting to ‘know’ his grandparents and father’s siblings. The book is a blend of painstakingly researched historical fact and intimate and moving detail exposed via correspondence written against the backdrop of the turbulent, exhilarating, and religiously fraught struggle to reconstitute the Jewish state.

The book moves between the deeply personal and the prophetic, the heroic and the tragic. We are given a peek through a window into a family room on the ground floor of the birth of our national home. The drama and the outstanding questions remain long after the final page is read.