I read this book in preparation for an upcoming trip to Jerusalem. It is a highly readable and recommended overview of the issues in the Middle East. Chacour tells his own personal story of his efforts to promote reconciliation but also offers a historical overview of main events that contributed to the present situation. He also offers reflections all along on his life’s journey. Can bitter enemies ever experience reconciliation? Can misunderstandings ever be resolved? Is there reason for hope of any kind?
Elias Chacour lived in a small Palestinian village in Galilee. Once his townspeople lived at peace with their Jewish neighbours. But in 1948 and ’49 all that was swept away as tens of thousands of Palestinians were killed and nearly one million were forced into refugee camps. With this new reality, he had to struggle with his love for the Jewish people and the world’s misunderstanding of the Palestinians. How can you deliver a message of heavenly peace in a place where there is daily war? Devoting his life to the cause he has found an answer in the haunting words of Jesus: “Blessed are the peacemaker.” Something his father said, stayed with him, the only way is by “softening one heart at a time.”
A moving account of peace and reconciliation in the midst of hatred, destruction and death. It offers a human perspective in the midst of political upheaval.