Dark Hope: Working for Peace in Israel and Palestine by David Shulman

By David Shulman

For many years, we’ve been stunned by way of photos of violent clashes among Israelis and Palestinians within the West financial institution and Gaza. yet for all their energy, these photographs depart us at a loss: from our vantage at domestic, it’s tough for us to visualize the struggles of these dwelling in the course of the struggling with. Now, American-born Israeli David Shulman takes us correct into the center of the clash with Dark Hope, an eye-opening chronicle of his paintings as a member of the peace crew Ta‘ayush, which takes its identify from the Arabic for “living together.” notwithstanding Shulman by no means denies the complexity of the problems fueling the conflict—nor the culpability of individuals on either sides—he forcefully clarifies the injustices perpetrated by way of Israel by means of displaying us the human size of the profession. the following we meet Palestinians whose homes were blown up via the Israeli military, shepherds whose sheep were poisoned by way of settlers, farmers stripped in their land by means of Israel’s dividing wall. We watch as whip-swinging police on horseback assault crowds of nonviolent demonstrators, as Israeli settlers shoot blameless Palestinians harvesting olives, and as households and groups turn into totally destroyed via the unrelenting violence of the profession. Opposing such injustices, Shulman and his companions—Israeli and Palestinian both—doggedly paintings via checkpoints to deliver relief, rebuild homes, and bodily block the growth of the dividing wall. As they face off opposed to police, squaddies, and adverse Israeli settlers, anger mixes with compassion, moments of kinship trade with war of words, and, all through, Shulman wrestles along with his responsibility to struggle the cruelty enabled via “that accountable and devastating human failure to feel.” With Dark Hope, Shulman has written a ebook of deep ethical looking, an try to notice how his cherished Israel went wrong—and how, via acts of compassionate disobedience, it can nonetheless be introduced back.

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It’s OK, Issam. He’s almost finished. ” I bandage the wound with a little antibiotic and give the tube to the parents with several clean pads, I tell them to change the bandage twice a day, to watch out for fever. Issam climbs down from Ezra’s lap and runs off. A sheep bleats plaintively as the scissors cut through its curls. I return to the wheat but soon am shifted uphill to one of the cave brigades. There is a large group of foreign volunteers— a Japanese girl, several middle-aged Swiss men, some younger women—straining to excavate the entrance to one of the caves.

A young officer, also religious, takes charge. To my surprise, he is clear-headed, authoritative, and humane. He gives no hint of being outraged at what the settlers have done; he listens impassively to our reports—Liora floods him with a furious harangue— and makes no attempt to find those who shot at us. This, apparently, is not his job. He doesn’t care. He seems familiar with the scenario, unmoved, but at least not hostile to the villagers or to us. He consults with his superiors by field radio, then draws a line: the field, our field, is beyond it, out of bounds, a closed military area.

They are already tired; it is hard work, filling plastic buckets with earth and stones and carrying them up and away from the buried entrance to the cave. We have to break up some of the heavier rocks with a pickax. A chain is formed to pass the heavy, full buckets from hand to hand. Down below some workers are inside the cave itself, sending up buckets filled with rocks. Somewhere, beneath the thick layers of dirt, are buried the original stone steps leading down to this home—destroyed, the owner tells us, by the army in 1984 or 1985.

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