Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land

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9780142002292: Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land

The Jew, according to the Arab stereotype, is a brutal, violent coward; the Arab, to the prejudiced Jew, is a primitive creature of animal vengeance and cruel desires. In this monumental work, David Shipler delves into the origins of the prejudices that have been intensified by war, terrorism, and nationalism.

Focusing on the diverse cultures that exist side by side in Israel and Israeli-controlled territories, Shipler examines the process of indoctrination that begins in schools; he discusses the far-ranging effects of socioeconomic differences, historical conflicts between Islam and Judaism, attitudes about the Holocaust, and much more. And he writes of the people: the Arab woman in love with a Jew, the retired Israeli military officer, the Palestinian guerilla, the handsome actor whose father is Arab and whose mother is Jewish.

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Review:

The correspondent for The New York Times in Jerusalem from 1979 to 1984, David K. Shipler brings a very American moral commitment to the problem of Arab-Jewish relations. The occupation of the West Bank was by then a static fact of life; many young Israelis and Palestinians had grown up knowing no other reality. The Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the massacres of Palestinians by Lebanese militiamen at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, which were under Israeli control, had shaken the consciences of many American Jews. Many of the voices in this book are American, from idealistic young secular Jews working for Arab-Jewish cooperation to the more fanatical followers of Meir Kahane. This work, which won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction, gives Shipler's narrative the power of a terrible family argument.

About the Author:

Rhidian Brook was born in Tenby, South Wales. The Testimony of Taliesin Jones received the Somerset Maugham and Betty Task Awards and was short-listed for the Welsh Novel of the Year. He is also the author of the novel Jesus and The Adman.

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