Shipler is acutely aware of the power of language. Israeli-Arabs' fluency in Hebrew is often contrasted with the Jews' disinterest in Arabic. This shows in how they interact (or fail to interact). Much of the book deals with the perceptions, stereotypes, biases, prejudices, slurs, epithets, slogans and diatribes that poison relations between Arabs and Jews. Shipler is a master of descriptive prose, helping the reader gain an insider's appreciation for the color and horror of the region.