Cover image for Storm of terror : a Hebron mother's diary
Storm of terror : a Hebron mother's diary
Leavitt, June O.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chicago : Ivan R. Dee, [2002]

Physical Description:
185 pages ; 22 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS113.8.A4 L435 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
DS113.8.A4 L435 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



What would it be like to live with terrorism day in and day out? To bury loved ones week in and week out? What would it be like to be an ex-American, raising five children in Hebron, miles from the West Bank of Israel? Trying to keep herself sane in "a gyre of internal doubts and external turbulence," June Leavitt took to writing a diary, recording the appalling things that were happening around her. Storm of Terror begins with Rosh Hashanah in September 2000, the Jewish New Year, when Stage II of the Intifada broke out all over Israel. Ms. Leavitt writes firsthand of the tragic events of the ensuing eighteen months, when the Palestinians opened up the arsenals of weapons that had been given them as part of the American-sponsored peace process, and began to use them against Israelis. Hundreds of Israeli mothers, fathers, and children were gunned down on the roads of Israel. Israeli soldiers, waiting for rides, were blown up by suicide bombers; buses filled with civilians went up in rockets of fire, leaving chars and cinders of tragedy. Ms. Leavitt and her family knew many of the victims. Her daughter was drafted into the army as a combat soldier in Hebron just as the Arab uprising began. With a keen sense of the political blunders that, parading under the banner of "Peace Accords," caused the escalation of Arab terrorism and national trauma; with stirring references to biblical stories where the roots of the Arab-Israeli conflict may lie, Ms. Leavitt has written a poignant and powerful narrative.

Author Notes

Living in the eye of the storm in Kiriat Arba, Hebron, for the past twenty years, June Leavitt teaches English at a local school and writes. Her books have been published in English (Flight to Seven Swan Bay), French (Vivre à Hebron), German (Im Labyrinth des Terrors), and Hebrew (Cochav Nophel). To find out more about her work, visit

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Leavitt, who grew up in a wealthy Jewish family on Long Island, emigrated to Israel in 1979, where she lives with her husband, three sons, and two daughters. Her deeply moving diary begins on September 30, 2000, and ends on February 15, 2002. The author, a teacher, worries about her children: one daughter takes part in riots in which her sister, a soldier, has to help quell. She fears that the family could be injured or killed while riding in a bus or a car, or even in their home. She recalls going to the funerals of friends and neighbors who were killed by terrorists and not being able to sleep because of the noise of gun battles. After one night of fighting between Israelis and Arabs, she observes: "I am no longer in a clear frame of mind. I am mindful only of bullets, hatred, fear, and not knowing." Leavitt, who has written previous books in four languages, presents a searing account of living in a land without peace. --George Cohen