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Dark Hope: Working for Peace in Israel and Palestineby David Shulman
Synopses & Reviews
For decades, we’ve been shocked by images of violent clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. But for all their power, those images leave us at a loss: from our vantage at home, it’s hard for us to imagine the struggles of those living in the midst of the fighting. Now, American-born Israeli David Shulman takes us right into the heart of the conflict with Dark Hope, an eye-opening chronicle of his work as a member of the peace group Ta‘ayush, which takes its name from the Arabic for “living together.”
Though Shulman never denies the complexity of the issues fueling the conflict—nor the culpability of people on both sides—he forcefully clarifies the injustices perpetrated by Israel by showing us the human dimension of the occupation. Here we meet Palestinians whose houses have been blown up by the Israeli army, shepherds whose sheep have been poisoned by settlers, farmers stripped of their land by Israel’s dividing wall. We watch as whip-swinging police on horseback attack crowds of nonviolent demonstrators, as Israeli settlers shoot innocent Palestinians harvesting olives, and as families and communities become utterly destroyed by the unrelenting violence of the occupation.
Opposing such injustices, Shulman and his companions—Israeli and Palestinian both—doggedly work through checkpoints to bring aid, rebuild houses, and physically block the progress of the dividing wall. As they face off against police, soldiers, and hostile Israeli settlers, anger mixes with compassion, moments of kinship alternate with confrontation, and, throughout, Shulman wrestles with his duty to fight the cruelty enabled by “that dependable and devastating human failure to feel.”
With Dark Hope, Shulman has written a book of deep moral searching, an attempt to discover how his beloved Israel went wrong—and how, through acts of compassionate disobedience, it might still be brought back.
An attempt to discover how his beloved Israel went wrong and how, through acts of compassionate disobedience, it might be brought back, is examined in this eye-opening chronicle of the author's work as a member of the peace group Ta'ayush.
About the Author
David Shulman is the Renee Lang Professor of Humanistic Studies in the Department of Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was born in Iowa but moved to Israel in 1967 at age eighteen. Named a MacArthur Fellow in 1987, Shulman is the author or coauthor of nineteen books, including The Hungry God: Hindu Tales of Filicide and Devotion, also published by the University of Chicago Press.
Table of Contents
2 Jinba, Twaneh, the South Hebron Hills
3 Jerusalem: Isawiyya, Mount Scopus, ‘Anata, Silwan
4 Samaria: Salfit, Yanun, Banu Hassan
5 Saying No
6 The Wall: Maskha, Abu Dis, Ar-Ram, Bil‘in
Postscript Glossary Select Dramatis Personae
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History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology