Bridges across an Impossible Divide: The Inner Lives of Arab and Jewish Peacemakers
Marc Gopin offers a groundbreaking exploration of Arab/Israeli peace partnerships: unlikely friendships created among people who have long been divided by bitter resentments, deep suspicions, and violent sorrows. In Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Gopin shows how the careful examination of their inner spiritual lives has enabled Jewish and Arab individuals to form peace partnerships, and that these partnerships may someday lead to peaceful coexistence.
Gopin, ordained as a rabbi at Yeshiva University's theological seminary, is a specialist in conflict resolution, holding a chair in this subject at George Mason University. He is interested in the problem of peace in the Middle East, which he doubts will be achieved by high-level political leaders. Instead, he relies on religious Arabs and Jews who reach out across enemy lines to establish friendships and to become peacemakers. The actual words of these individuals are presented as they seek areas of agreement. Gopin argues that constructing relationships based on spiritual commonalities and eschewing revenge will foster reconciliation. Religion, he claims, can offer a positive response to conflict. He provides case studies of people he calls "artists of human relations," who exemplify what is required to achieve peace, and describes his personal efforts at peacemaking in Syria before its current civil war, asserting that he offered a process different from violence. However, he and his Syrian counterparts totally failed in their efforts to block the current killings, making readers question the effectiveness of Gopin's approach.(Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Oxford University Press
November 01, 2012
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