This Heated Place

Encounters in the Promised Land

This Heated PlaceDuring the first Gulf War, journalist Deborah Campbell was a student of Middle Eastern studies at Tel Aviv University; she returned to the region ten years later seeking insights into one of the world’s most intractable conflicts. “I wanted to fill in the missing pieces, ask the questions I had been unable to formulate in the past,” she writes. “I arrived to an escalating crisis.”

This Heated Place takes readers on a literary journey into twenty-first century Israel and the occupied territories, as Campbell drives through the West Bank with an American-Israeli settler in his bombproof SUV; visits a Palestinian family in Hebron in the aftermath of an army raid; meets students of an Islamic girls’ school in Gaza; and talks to Israeli refuseniks who have spent time in prison for their stance. As she travels, she is mindful of the words of someone she meets along the way. When it comes to understanding this terrible conflict, he tells her, what you see depends on where you are standing.

This Heated Place skillfully combines elements of political reporting, travel writing and personal observation. In recounting her journey, Campbell creates an unforgettable portrait of the people caught up in this complex and bloody struggle.

Read an excerpt


“A beautiful book.”
–Vicki Gabereau, CTV

“An honest work that I think excellently captures this intractable situation in the Middle East… Brilliant…You have to get this book.”
–Michael Harris,¬†author of¬†Justice Denied