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Blood Brothers: The Dramatic Story of a Palestinian Christian Working for Peace in Israel

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A unique and unforgettable book, "Blood Brothers" is the moving story of Elias Chacour, a Palestinian Christian who has a deep love for Jews and Palestinians alike. As he recounts his life story, he combines the history of Christianity in the Middle East with a new perspecitve on Bible prophecy and the Zionist movement. He offers you a gripping, true-life account of what r A unique and unforgettable book, "Blood Brothers" is the moving story of Elias Chacour, a Palestinian Christian who has a deep love for Jews and Palestinians alike. As he recounts his life story, he combines the history of Christianity in the Middle East with a new perspecitve on Bible prophecy and the Zionist movement. He offers you a gripping, true-life account of what really happened at the birth of modern Israel. "Blood Brothers" addreses such controversial questions as: What is the true root of conflict between Palestinians and Jews? What behind-the-scenes politics touched off the turmoil in the Middle East? What role did Britain play? And America? What does Bible prophecy really have to say? Can bitter enemies ever be reconciled? In a world taut with tension and terror, ths book offers hope-filled insight into living at peace.


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A unique and unforgettable book, "Blood Brothers" is the moving story of Elias Chacour, a Palestinian Christian who has a deep love for Jews and Palestinians alike. As he recounts his life story, he combines the history of Christianity in the Middle East with a new perspecitve on Bible prophecy and the Zionist movement. He offers you a gripping, true-life account of what r A unique and unforgettable book, "Blood Brothers" is the moving story of Elias Chacour, a Palestinian Christian who has a deep love for Jews and Palestinians alike. As he recounts his life story, he combines the history of Christianity in the Middle East with a new perspecitve on Bible prophecy and the Zionist movement. He offers you a gripping, true-life account of what really happened at the birth of modern Israel. "Blood Brothers" addreses such controversial questions as: What is the true root of conflict between Palestinians and Jews? What behind-the-scenes politics touched off the turmoil in the Middle East? What role did Britain play? And America? What does Bible prophecy really have to say? Can bitter enemies ever be reconciled? In a world taut with tension and terror, ths book offers hope-filled insight into living at peace.

30 review for Blood Brothers: The Dramatic Story of a Palestinian Christian Working for Peace in Israel

  1. 4 out of 5

    Matthijs

    Before reading this book I thought I had quite a balanced view on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After reading this book I see how I also fell victim to the Israel-as-hero story. No, I didn't approve everything Israel does, especially the last decades, and yes, I did feel that the rights of Arabs needed to be more taken into consideration. But at the same time I had this feeling of the Israeli state as being inherently good. They make mistakes, agreed, but aren't they all just well meaning pe Before reading this book I thought I had quite a balanced view on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After reading this book I see how I also fell victim to the Israel-as-hero story. No, I didn't approve everything Israel does, especially the last decades, and yes, I did feel that the rights of Arabs needed to be more taken into consideration. But at the same time I had this feeling of the Israeli state as being inherently good. They make mistakes, agreed, but aren't they all just well meaning people? This book changed that perspective, without me going over to the other side: the idea that Israel is inherently evil. I guess it added some realism. Chacour, being an Arab christian is an interesting spokesperson, recognising both a Biblical role for Jews and the very real suffering of Arabs. Chacours story is a very personal account of Zionist's occupation of one little village in Israel, his village, and his quest to try and bring peace between the two peoples, both descending from the same ancestor: Abraham. For him this means telling his personal story of occupation and oppression, while at the same time acknowledging and respecting the majority of Jewish citizens that also loathe violence and oppression. This is one man's story about living and working in that tiny state along the Mediterranean. It's also a story not too often heard in Christian/Evangelical circles. For me it added realism and a much needed balance in sympathy for both Israel and the Palestinians. It also made me realise the strange and questionable role the West played in founding the state of Israel and looking the other way when oppression got nasty. Thanks mister Chacour for broadening, and changing, my perspective with your personal story. Thanks for emphasising the importance of a balanced stand against violence from all sides and thanks for reigniting a tiny glimmer of hope for peace when people who follow Jesus aim to be spokespeople for reconciliation. *** Disclaimer: Although being Dutch, I try to review books I've read in English in English, for the international audience the English version will attract. Please excuse any bad English or strange grammar.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    1/11 - Read this again for book club and loved it even more than the first time. His messages of peace and love for his fellow men are needed so desperately today. Some of his methods for creating a sense of ownership and hope is to build schools and community centers - much like Greg Mortensen. I saw a lot of similaries in their approach to long-standing problems. It was frustrating to read what happened to his family and many other Palestinians and realize that their story is rarely told in th 1/11 - Read this again for book club and loved it even more than the first time. His messages of peace and love for his fellow men are needed so desperately today. Some of his methods for creating a sense of ownership and hope is to build schools and community centers - much like Greg Mortensen. I saw a lot of similaries in their approach to long-standing problems. It was frustrating to read what happened to his family and many other Palestinians and realize that their story is rarely told in the news. It is so one-sided in favor of the Jews. He proves that there are always 2 sides to a story and his people have suffered tremendously. Well worth the 2nd read. 10/05 - This book gave me a new perspective on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. The main character is a Palestinian Christian and he is doing wonderful things to change his corner of the world. One of my top 10 inspiring books.

  3. 5 out of 5

    grace

    Ok, this actually was a really good book. It was a true story so that obviously makes it way more inspirational. It was heart-wrenching and the values shown among these people living in dispute is the real lesson to take from it. It is not about whether the story is fun and action packed, it's about what the story represents and how the growth of Chacour relates to the growth of his nation(s). Of course, it was not the most entertaining book, it was boring at times, but when I read of the diffic Ok, this actually was a really good book. It was a true story so that obviously makes it way more inspirational. It was heart-wrenching and the values shown among these people living in dispute is the real lesson to take from it. It is not about whether the story is fun and action packed, it's about what the story represents and how the growth of Chacour relates to the growth of his nation(s). Of course, it was not the most entertaining book, it was boring at times, but when I read of the difficult times and the cruel punishments that him and his family/friends were thrown into, it was the outcome and how they survived that impacted me the most. It's one of those books that kind of plunges you head first into a whole new world with a different perspective.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shelli

    Let's stop the polarized conversations. We all need to work for peace. Let's Begin by understanding the Palestinian and Israeli conflict from a Palestinian Christian who lived it, saw his people suffer and has been working for peace many many years. Published in 1984, it is still a relevant read today. I can't recommend this book enough!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ed

    For those who want to truly understand the morass that is the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, this book is a must read. Elias was born in the early 40's to a Palestinian Christian family that dates its roots back to New Testament times. His life encompasses the entire conflict. In the book you watch the painful transition of a peaceful village in which the town's only rifle was buried out of concern for violence, to occupation, distrust, and ultimately war. Through it all, Elias' commitment to pea For those who want to truly understand the morass that is the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, this book is a must read. Elias was born in the early 40's to a Palestinian Christian family that dates its roots back to New Testament times. His life encompasses the entire conflict. In the book you watch the painful transition of a peaceful village in which the town's only rifle was buried out of concern for violence, to occupation, distrust, and ultimately war. Through it all, Elias' commitment to peace through the principles of the Sermon on the Mount, gives hope in the midst of all the hopelessness.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Arturo has to read this for his English class, so I read it too. I learned a lot about the Palestinian experience post-WWII, beginning with the arrival of the Zionists and the takeover of land and village. The Bible and religious references were a bit much for me, but I guess that's Chacour's story; that's how he experiences life. The point of reading this for the English class is to show how one person can make a difference; it makes that point pretty well.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rachel B

    4.5 stars This is both a memoir of the author's work in peacemaking, and a history of the unrest between Israel and Palestine. I knew virtually nothing of the issues between these two nations (only that they existed), and it was enlightening and saddening to learn the details. In a way, it was refreshing for me, a white American, to read about a racial/ethnic divide that wasn't the black and white one. It allowed me to look at the division with more objectivity and offered a perspective that I can 4.5 stars This is both a memoir of the author's work in peacemaking, and a history of the unrest between Israel and Palestine. I knew virtually nothing of the issues between these two nations (only that they existed), and it was enlightening and saddening to learn the details. In a way, it was refreshing for me, a white American, to read about a racial/ethnic divide that wasn't the black and white one. It allowed me to look at the division with more objectivity and offered a perspective that I can apply to the tensions in my own society. My only concern with the book is that the gospel of Jesus didn't seem to be clearly presented, and Chacour didn't address the biblical passages that address peace, such as when Jesus says that he did not come to bring peace on earth (Matt. 10:34). It left me unsure of which message Chacour actually believes: that there is only one way to be reconciled to God (through the blood of Jesus), or that all religions which claim to serve the God of the biblical Old Testament, and reject Jesus as the Messiah, are as valid as Christianity.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marisa

    The content of the book and the details about Chacour's life are fascinating, but the actual writing of the book is just not that great. I understand that English isn't Chacour's first language, so I feel guilty criticizing his writing, but it's overly simplistic and reads in a juvenile manner. I also feel guilty for not loving this book when I greatly admire the work this man has done, how dedicated he is to doing what he can to achieve peace between Palestinians and Israelis. It doesn't feel r The content of the book and the details about Chacour's life are fascinating, but the actual writing of the book is just not that great. I understand that English isn't Chacour's first language, so I feel guilty criticizing his writing, but it's overly simplistic and reads in a juvenile manner. I also feel guilty for not loving this book when I greatly admire the work this man has done, how dedicated he is to doing what he can to achieve peace between Palestinians and Israelis. It doesn't feel right to sit and nitpick a book that tells a very personal story with incredibly deep emotions running through it, but I do admit to feeling disappointed by it. If you're interested in an unorthodox perspective of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the book is worth a read, but there's also a lot of stuff to wade through to get to the particularly interesting tales.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    This book opened my eyes to the personal realities of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Even more than that, it helped me to see how each person matters and that we in the West have a vital part to play in not dehumanising any people group. I couldn’t put it down, what an inspiring and encouraging book!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    This is a fascinating story of the formation of Israel from the Palestinian viewpoint;. it will make you re-evaluate the ideas you hold about Israel as a Western Christian.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lis

    I learned so much from this book. There are two sides to every story and this side of the Palestinian/Israeli history is so important. Elias is an extraordinary person.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sherry

    This very insightful book taught me a great deal about the Palestinian conflict. There were good stories and I was surprised it was so uplifting.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cole

    I had to read this book for a class, therefore I thought this is going to be a boring book. To my surprise I was totally wrong. I have always disliked nonfiction books and whenever I had to read one for a class it was a labor. This will probably be the only nonfiction book I will ever recommend to anyone else. This book is about being a peacemaker and learning to forgive others which is something that everyone should learn more about. I opened the book for the first time about a month before I wr I had to read this book for a class, therefore I thought this is going to be a boring book. To my surprise I was totally wrong. I have always disliked nonfiction books and whenever I had to read one for a class it was a labor. This will probably be the only nonfiction book I will ever recommend to anyone else. This book is about being a peacemaker and learning to forgive others which is something that everyone should learn more about. I opened the book for the first time about a month before I wrote this, and thought to myself I don’t know how I am going to read this whole book. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the first chapter went by fairly quickly and held my interest. It unfolded from there I had a hard time putting the book down, and before I knew it, it was finished. Enough about me now let's get to the book (Warning May Contain Spoilers). The main character is a young Palestinian boy that lives a happy life in the small village of Briam. He lives in a large family that owns a fig orchard. However as world war two ends, a group called the Zionist Jews comes to Biram and force all the residents to leave. In an ironic twist, Elias father and brothers apply for a job in their old orchards. They get the job but alas the pay is not enough to sustain the family so Elias is sent to an orphanage in the hope that he will be able to have a better life. Throughout Elias’s adulthood he struggled to forgive the Zionists and let go of his hatred. After being ordained, he was assigned to a church that was dying. He works to unify the church and through this process he finds the will to forgive the ones who wronged him. This story is quite inspirational because even though Elias was wronged throughout his life he found the strength to persevere and forgive those that wronged him.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Caleb

    Elias Chacour grew up in Biram, a relatively small town in Galilee. He was welcomed into the world with a loving family who believed in Jesus Christ. He enjoyed going on spiritual walks with Jesus, his savior and role model. However the best things in life don’t often last forever. In young Elias’ case, it was World War II. Following the aftermath of Hitler, Palestine grudgingly welcomed Zionist Jews and their military. They confiscated the houses, farms, and churches from the people. God called Elias Chacour grew up in Biram, a relatively small town in Galilee. He was welcomed into the world with a loving family who believed in Jesus Christ. He enjoyed going on spiritual walks with Jesus, his savior and role model. However the best things in life don’t often last forever. In young Elias’ case, it was World War II. Following the aftermath of Hitler, Palestine grudgingly welcomed Zionist Jews and their military. They confiscated the houses, farms, and churches from the people. God called on Elias to bring peace between Arabs and Jews. He was able to find education in a bishop’s school, and further understand the Arab-Israeli conflict. Elias struggled to love the Jews, and he struggles to clarify the misunderstanding of his people. The men of Galilee are able to help him with a saying. “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Personally, I did not find this book very interesting. I often found myself zoning out and forcing myself to reread a page that my brain let slip through. But then I read other summaries by people with much more experience than I have. The book suddenly became more appealing to me. I enjoyed reading how other people interpreted the book and compared it to what I understood. I found that the book put emphasis on the whole Arab-Israeli conflict, however by the end of the book, it seemed as though the the focus was directed at Western Christians and Arabs than Jews and Arabs. I don’t think that other high schoolers would find this book appealing or interesting. I think that I, personally, am too young to fully appreciate this book considering the amount of good reviews I’ve seen. However, if the audience was just people who enjoyed reading non-fiction books about the Middle East, then I say it is perfect.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Debra George

    Imagine you're a Christian child and a native of the Holy Land, living there as you and your family practice your faith in the very setting of Jesus' earthly life. In the company of all your close as well as extended relatives, your home's setting is surrounded by where Jesus was born and raised, where He ministered, performed miracles, died and was resurrected. But then, suddenly and without warning, you find yourself swept up in the raging violence and terror that begins the Israeli-Palestinia Imagine you're a Christian child and a native of the Holy Land, living there as you and your family practice your faith in the very setting of Jesus' earthly life. In the company of all your close as well as extended relatives, your home's setting is surrounded by where Jesus was born and raised, where He ministered, performed miracles, died and was resurrected. But then, suddenly and without warning, you find yourself swept up in the raging violence and terror that begins the Israeli-Palestinian conflict… "Blood Brothers" by Elias Chacour, has become one of my all-time faith favorites as a story that has withstood the test of time for many reasons both earthly and spiritual. One obvious--and unfortunate--explanation for its endurance is this book's earthly subject remaining so relevant. It still captures the headlines. But the book's true gem of stamina is its special spiritual focus on reflecting the light of Christ in a dark place, and it is this quality that ensures its being a timeless treasure for believers no matter the headlines. Blood Brothers was first published by Chosen Books, a Division of Baker Book House Company, back in 1984 with several reprintings that followed including my own expanded edition. Despite its publication date, this book remains the crucial backstory of the current headlines. Preserved in print, its reverberating theme now climaxes as a call for a peaceful resolution before the coffin permanently closes on the two-state solution. I was introduced to this book several years ago, when my children were still small and I wanted to find a way to introduce them to this matter but felt that the books I had read on it were too grim to share. So I asked an organization that I belonged to, the United Methodist Church’s Task Force on Peace with Justice for Israel/Palestine, if they knew of a book that could explain the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without the end result creating the negative feelings of Anti-Semitism, Anti-Palestinian, or Islamophobia. Being that we are an Orthodox Christian family, I also had some concerns about how the overall Christian connection would be framed. The resounding recommendation I received from the UMC organization was Blood Brothers by Elias Chacour with David Hazard. I went on to purchase this book for my son, but of course I also read it. With all my previous readings, interviews, and attending lectures on this conflict, I had became rather well-versed about the many complexities of it which included the “Nakba”. This is the Palestinian word for the catastrophy (their description for when Zionists arrived in Palestine and forcefully took the land in the Zionist quest to reclaim biblical Israel). But what made this book of a Palestinian prospective different for me was that this story was told through the first-hand eyewitness account of a native devout Christian, Elias Chacour, who possessed the impressive pedigree of belonging to a family that could trace their lineage, along with the roots of their Melkite community in Galilee, all the way back to the very time when Christianity was born! Blood Brothers is Elias Chacour's own personal story, throughout which he bares his soul chapter by chapter in reflecting on what it was like to be a young boy caught up in the war of 1948, with the aftermath of dispossession and persecution. While a reader with some knowledge on both sides of this issue might simply assume that since this story is about what a Palestinian experienced from 1947 on, then it must be all about devastation and loss. But what such a reader is unprepared for is how Chacour's story surprisingly uplifts as he shares how his family struggles to survive in ways that were in lockstep with gospel teachings. "Blessed are the peacemakers" became more than a directive; it justified their refusal to take up arms in their own defense. Chacour grows from being a child during the Nakba to a coming of age during the settler colonialism period that followed. It was during this latter phase, as many fellow Christians were struggling to hold onto their faith, that our main character began to realize he was being called to serve the church. Chacour provides his scattering flock with comfort, inspiration and enduring strength. Though challenged, he balances retaining his truthful witness of the injustices all around him while reaching out to "love thy enemy". Page by page, the reader experiences Chacour growing in his faith and humanity, his effectiveness leading to his climb in the ranks of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land, earning credentials and credibility along the way as he evolves from survivor-turned priest-turned bishop-turned peace activist. He even goes on to become an award-winning humanitarian. All of these accomplishments lead to him to gain the admiration of his people, and eventually even the respect of Israeli officials and world leaders. This book is further enhanced by its endorsing foreword by former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker III (who held that position during 1989-92). Reading this message from someone in such high standing gives authenticity to the value of the book from an official American prospective. It was the dedicated work of Sec. Baker that paved the way to the Madrid Conference in 1991, an endeavor which was the forerunner to open the door to the Oslo Accords a couple of years later. And it was Oslo that has been the blueprint for the peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians which had existed (at least on paper) right up to our present year. Sec. Baker's own efforts toward Holy Land peace makes his foreword all the more influential as well as informative for the reader. While you can be sure that you will gain a fuller knowledge and understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by reading Blood Brothers, know that you will also be treated to the story's testimony of how the depth of faith not only can succeed to sustain oneself, moreover it can inspire to educate and edify the faith in others who also face crisis. If you consider the Holy Land special and if you favor a peaceful solution to this region's sufferings, then you will prize "Blood Brothers" as much as I do. Elias Chacour's classic proves that while following the Christian path is not always one that can avoid the dark division of politics and differing religions, Christians can nonetheless discover a way to avoid the demonization of others and truly "love thy enemy" even under the most dire of circumstances—and that is the treasured message mirroring this teaching of Jesus that makes Elias Chacour’s book one of the best faith-based books you will ever read! --Debra George, www.christiancoffeeclutch.blogspot.com

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Boller

    The book was written to tell the story of Elias Chacour. Elias helped create some peace and love in the Middle East, a place with extreme conflict while fighting personal demons. He as a child watched his family be stripped of their home and have everything taken from him and so he had to leave his family and go to an orphanage. Having much hate for the ones who took so much from him he grew up learning to be a bishop. He had to battle his hate and help create peace with those who did terrible t The book was written to tell the story of Elias Chacour. Elias helped create some peace and love in the Middle East, a place with extreme conflict while fighting personal demons. He as a child watched his family be stripped of their home and have everything taken from him and so he had to leave his family and go to an orphanage. Having much hate for the ones who took so much from him he grew up learning to be a bishop. He had to battle his hate and help create peace with those who did terrible things to him as a child. The reason for this story is to tell everyone that we are all children of God, nothing can stop that and we must love one another. I agree with this even though it can be hard for me to love everyone also. We all have people or groups that may treat us worse because of who we are and we must just show them love no matter how difficult. We should not curse another man but yet we do, we should not have prejudice but yet we do. All of these are detrimental to our relationship with God and others. We must forgive those who have made themselves our enemies for that is what Jesus did. Any Christian or Muslim or Jew could read this and should. It is more to do with Christianity but it still talks of how we should act like our religion says and not have hate in our hearts. If you want to learn about a man who fought demons that we all fight and won just enough to make a difference and maybe even you want to do similar this is your book to read. This is a nonfiction book and can become boring at times, but the message given is beautiful and we should all listen.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mitchell

    The book Blood Brothers was a well written and insightful book. It’s story about a Palestinian Christian boy named Elias, and the struggles and persecution he faced was from a very different perspective than most of our western views of the Middle East. He explains some of the conflicts that he and other villages faced in northern Galilee in 1947 and how he dealt with it then and later on in his life. Blood Brothers was very relevant to me at the time that I read it. It gave me background inform The book Blood Brothers was a well written and insightful book. It’s story about a Palestinian Christian boy named Elias, and the struggles and persecution he faced was from a very different perspective than most of our western views of the Middle East. He explains some of the conflicts that he and other villages faced in northern Galilee in 1947 and how he dealt with it then and later on in his life. Blood Brothers was very relevant to me at the time that I read it. It gave me background information about the roots of the Israel and Palestine conflict with each other that we were studying in my World History class. This book also was made to open up the conflict to western minds that didn’t know much about it. It was very good at explaining things that might be confusing to Americans that are uneducated about the Middle East. It helped me understand why Israel and Palestine had such a strong hate for each other. It also showed that there are Palestinians, like Elias, that have love for all religions and races. The book also told about the struggles that he faced in having that love for all people. He had to deal with the constant pressure from other Palestinians to join the violent revolts to the Zionist attacks on the Palestine. I would suggest this book for anyone who wants to learn about a different perspective of some of the conflicts in the Middle East. Also, if you don’t know much about Middle Eastern conflicts, this book is a perfect one to learn about the roots of conflict in Palestine.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Niemeyer

    Elias Chacour’s book "Blood Brothers" illustrates his own incredible life in Palestine as a refugee. The book describes the hardships Elias and his family had to go through. The story opens in the 1940s in the village of Biram, where Chacour spent his early childhood. He grew up having a strong relationship with Jesus Christ and often went of spiritual walks with Him. Soon though, Israeli soldiers invade the village, first living alongside the villagers, but later forcing an evacuation. Thus beg Elias Chacour’s book "Blood Brothers" illustrates his own incredible life in Palestine as a refugee. The book describes the hardships Elias and his family had to go through. The story opens in the 1940s in the village of Biram, where Chacour spent his early childhood. He grew up having a strong relationship with Jesus Christ and often went of spiritual walks with Him. Soon though, Israeli soldiers invade the village, first living alongside the villagers, but later forcing an evacuation. Thus begins his life as a Palestinian refugee. In the midst of all the conflict between the Arabs and the Jews, God called upon Elias to help bring peace to the two groups. He attends various schools in an effort to make this peace. Jews and Palestinians in Israel. The book is about how Jews and Arabs are, in fact, blood brothers and should treat each other as such. I gained a lot of knowledge from the reviews other people posted on this book, many of them saying how the book made them feel in ways I myself hadn’t thought of while reading the book myself. Chacour most likely wrote this book for older audiences and if I were to read it again, I feel I would be able to receive a full understanding on everything the author was saying throughout his story. If you are the type of person who reads for enjoyment and likes to be captivated by what you read, then I do not recommend this book for you. I you would like to learn more on the history of Israel and Palestine, or you just like an inspiring true story then you may enjoy this book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    I loved this book. It was further proof to me that many Palestinians are Christians. It was intriguing to read about the upbringing that the author experienced with peaceful parents and militant Israeli events. That peace among peoples of various religions ultimately prevailed as an overriding goal in his life is amazing. After finishing the book, I wondered if Chacour were still living. I learned that he was eventually appointed bishop over a large area of the Middle East. Then I was saddened t I loved this book. It was further proof to me that many Palestinians are Christians. It was intriguing to read about the upbringing that the author experienced with peaceful parents and militant Israeli events. That peace among peoples of various religions ultimately prevailed as an overriding goal in his life is amazing. After finishing the book, I wondered if Chacour were still living. I learned that he was eventually appointed bishop over a large area of the Middle East. Then I was saddened to read that he recently (Jan. 2014) resigned as bishop due to ill health and a sexual abuse charge lodged against him by a young woman several years ago. It was jarring to read this. Having read his book in which only elderly nuns are mentioned, I couldn't quite imagine him at an advanced age forcing himself on a young woman. BTW, Melkite Christians were a very early Byzantine sect. Today they are Arabic-speaking Greek Catholics living in the Middle East, allied with the Catholic Church in Rome. At least that's what Wikipedia implies.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Priscilla Park

    I never thought about Christians in Palestine before. Since it is pretty close with Israel, or almost used to be part of them, I thought the majority of them are obviously Jews. This book helped me to look at many things in different perspective. Religions, nationality, etc. And also helped me to think about what I might do, as a Christian, if Jewish come to my town for rest. I wasn’t sure if I could be open minded. I recently read another book related to the Jews, “Merchant of Venice”. Both boo I never thought about Christians in Palestine before. Since it is pretty close with Israel, or almost used to be part of them, I thought the majority of them are obviously Jews. This book helped me to look at many things in different perspective. Religions, nationality, etc. And also helped me to think about what I might do, as a Christian, if Jewish come to my town for rest. I wasn’t sure if I could be open minded. I recently read another book related to the Jews, “Merchant of Venice”. Both books helped me to look at Jews in different perspective and also helped me to through away a little bit of unrecognized discrimination in my mind. Anyways, It was a good book to provide different perspectives!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bryce

    This book is an engaging narrative of Elias Chacour's life as a Palestinian in Israel. It chronicles his struggle to reconcile his Melkite Christian faith with his feelings toward Jews who forced his family out of their home village. Chacour learns to have a compassionate view of his Jewish brothers and works for reconciliation between the various religious and ethnic groups in Israel. I found his story inspirational, particularly in terms of dealing with those we sometimes view as "enemies". Hi This book is an engaging narrative of Elias Chacour's life as a Palestinian in Israel. It chronicles his struggle to reconcile his Melkite Christian faith with his feelings toward Jews who forced his family out of their home village. Chacour learns to have a compassionate view of his Jewish brothers and works for reconciliation between the various religious and ethnic groups in Israel. I found his story inspirational, particularly in terms of dealing with those we sometimes view as "enemies". His story also offers a rare look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the perspective of those who were living in the land since before the Zionist movement.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Dora

    This is a must read for anyone who thinks they know anything about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Of course, as the back cover states, "this is a story about people. Not politics." This book is for everyone--a story about struggling for peace, whether it be inner or outer, written by a man of God, Father Elias Chacour. May we give dignity back to the people and quit choosing sides. "The Jews and Palestinians are brothers--blood brothers. We share the same father, Abraham, and the same God. We This is a must read for anyone who thinks they know anything about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Of course, as the back cover states, "this is a story about people. Not politics." This book is for everyone--a story about struggling for peace, whether it be inner or outer, written by a man of God, Father Elias Chacour. May we give dignity back to the people and quit choosing sides. "The Jews and Palestinians are brothers--blood brothers. We share the same father, Abraham, and the same God. We must never forget that. Now we get rid of the gun."

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jacie Sytsma

    I learned a lot about the history of the Isreali-Palestinian conflict from this book, as well as being encouraged through the example of a modern day saint. Elias Shakour is surely one of those Jesus blesses in the Beautitudes... "blessed are the peacemakers..."

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ronia Dubbaneh

    Heart-wrenching, eye-opening, emotion-shattering. Please read this!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Carol Baldwin

    The forward of Blood Brothers makes clear Elias Chacour’s purpose in telling his personal story to author David Hazard: he wanted to show an unappreciated side of the Arab-Israeli conflict. First published in 1984, Chacour’s dedication to portray both Palestinian and Jewish prejudices is evident throughout the biography. Another theme is Chacour’s question, “What does it mean to love our enemies and be a peacemaker?” (Note: I listened to this book courtesy of Tantor Media. As a result, quotes mi The forward of Blood Brothers makes clear Elias Chacour’s purpose in telling his personal story to author David Hazard: he wanted to show an unappreciated side of the Arab-Israeli conflict. First published in 1984, Chacour’s dedication to portray both Palestinian and Jewish prejudices is evident throughout the biography. Another theme is Chacour’s question, “What does it mean to love our enemies and be a peacemaker?” (Note: I listened to this book courtesy of Tantor Media. As a result, quotes might not be exact.) Beginning with his childhood in the hills of Galilee, Chacour’s faith and life’s work is grounded in his mother’s Bible stories and his father’s recounting the history of the Melkite church. Chacour pictured Jesus walking and working in the hills of Galilee—perhaps even in his own village of Bir’im since after all, the Mount of Beatitudes, was close to their home. He was attracted to Jesus’ fiery nature and the way in which He helped the poor. His father taught him two things: “We should love and respect our Galilean soil. Second, our lives are bonded together with the Jews--our blood brothers from Father Abraham.” Mount of Beatitudes as seen from Capernaum. Even when the Zionist soldiers invaded and took their village, Chacour’s father said, “We do not use violence, even if someone hurts us… The Jews have been hurt by being exiled. They have lived in poverty and fear. They’re afraid. They’re weak because they’ve lost peace within.” Chacour was 8 in 1947 when Palestine was portioned and the armed Zionist solders frightened him. One million Palestinians who had lived there since Christ became refugees and targets of “purification.” In a moment of painful irony, three years after they were expelled from their village they were hired back to care for their own, beloved olive trees. The army, the Haganah, not the government, ruled Israel. By Fred Csasznik - Benny Morris, "Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem." ISBN 0 521 33028 9. 1987., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index... After the Zionists bombed their village, Chacour was sent away to schools in Haifa and Nazareth. He felt a growing hopelessness and questioned his faith. How could there be peace like Jesus talked about in the Beatitudes? Eventually he was sent to a seminary in Paris to study for the priesthood. In explaining himself to others he attempted to counter public opinion. “We were not terrorists, we were terrorized.” During a visit to Germany he realized the similarity between Hitler’s persecution of the Jews and the persecution against his own people. He hurt for the Jewish people and recognized their need for a homeland but wondered why the persecuted had become persecutors. As he studied the roots of Zionism, he uncovered the political maneuverings behind Israel becoming the Jewish homeland. His search for a life ministry took Chacour to the small village of Ibillin. He realized that the community was divided between Christian and Arab and that the only answer was forgiveness. He thought about Jesus as the peacemaker and wondered how he could emulate Him. As his work to promote peace grew in notoriety, he was a frequent advocate for bridge building between different people groups. The community center he started in Ibillin grew into a K-12 school of 2,750 of Muslims, Christians, and Druze. Today, Chacour is retired under the charges of sexual harassment and mismanagement. Clearly narrated by Jonathan Davis, Blood Brothers provides political and sociological insights into a country that has passed through many hands. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t provide the spiritual solution that is most necessary. As a Jewish Christian, I found his Palestinian perspective to be interesting. From childhood, I was taught that Israel was the Promised Land that belonged to the Jews and had never seen Zionism from another angle. Hearing about how Arabs were forced out of their homeland was an eye-opener. Although I applaud Chacour’s wok to build bridges and seek forgiveness between people groups, I found that his work stopped short of the greatest need—forgiveness of sin with God. Chacour often quoted Jesus’s words in the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matt 4:9). But he never mentioned what else Jesus said, “Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.” (Matt 4:4) Most Biblical scholars agree: Jesus was teaching about our need to mourn our sin. Although Chacour said we must “remember the gospel of Christ” he never once mentioned that the gospel can be summarized with, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” (Romans 10: 9, Acts 16:31). Chacour said he was looking for peace. I’d submit that the only lasting, true peace comes when we find peace with God. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5: 1. I’m giving away my copy of this audio book. Please leave a comment by October 20 if you’d like to be included in the drawing. Make sure you leave me your email address if you are new to my blog.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    http://mariesbookgarden.blogspot.com/... My dear friend and Lutheran pastor, who visited Palestine in 2014, advised me that Blood Brothers was a good introduction to the history of the conflict in the Middle East. Until a few years ago, I only knew one side of the Palestine-Israel story. Several people from my church started a Holy Land team and regularly visit Palestine. We've had many speakers on the topic, including Lutheran bishop Mitri Raheb (who just won the 2015 Olof Palme peace prize), Rab http://mariesbookgarden.blogspot.com/... My dear friend and Lutheran pastor, who visited Palestine in 2014, advised me that Blood Brothers was a good introduction to the history of the conflict in the Middle East. Until a few years ago, I only knew one side of the Palestine-Israel story. Several people from my church started a Holy Land team and regularly visit Palestine. We've had many speakers on the topic, including Lutheran bishop Mitri Raheb (who just won the 2015 Olof Palme peace prize), Rabbi Ned Rosch (representing Jewish Voice of Peace), and other speakers. So I was reasonably well informed before starting this book, but Blood Brothers gave me a more personal, home-grown perspective. A few months ago, we discussed Blood Brothers at our church book group, and we had two special guests: a friend who is Syrian, Hazar, and her dear friend, who is the great-niece of Fr. Elias Chacour, author of this book. A deeply emotional, heartfelt conversation ensued as they both shared stories of loss and sadness about their homelands. One of Elias Chacour's mentors, Fr. Longere, gave this advice during a final lecture: "If there is a problem somewhere, this is what happens. Three people will try to do something to settle the issue. Ten will give a lecture analyzing what the three are doing. One hundred will commend or condemn the ten for their lecture. One thousand people will argue about the problem. And one person--only one--will involve himself so deeply in the true solution that he is too busy to listen to any of it. Now...which person are you?" This is the central message of the book...Fr. Chacour dedicated his life to building peace among nations and religions, even though his life and his family's was upended by the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The most important message about this book is that there's so much more going on in Israel and Palestine than what meets the eye (or crosses our path via western media). Blood Brothers begins when Fr. Elias Chacour is just a small boy, when his family had close relationships with Jews in his community. Peaceful farmers, his family did not have a lot of money, but they were rich in love and their Christian faith. I learned in the book that the desire to form a Jewish homeland in Israel did not begin after the Holocaust. In fact, the idea first sparked in 1897 in Switzerland, at a conference "to lay the foundation stone of the house which was to shelter the Jewish nation." Over the years, many western countries talked about creating a homeland for the Jews. In 1917 Jewish Zionists aligned themselves with Britain's Christian Restorationists, a group that believed they might bring to pass the second coming of Christ by creating a state of Israel. The intentions were not necessarily pure either. British Lord Balfour supported the creation of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine, while at the same time playing a major role in passing the Aliens Act in 1906, which expressly sought to exclude Jews from Great Britain. He also did not care at all what the Palestinians thought about this. Through the 1920s, European immigration to Palestine increased and Zionist leaders became less guarded about their plan to institute a Jewish state. Many Zionists were ill at ease with those who insisted on Jewish "predominance" in Palestine. Yitzhak Epstein, an agriculturist, warned the Zionist Party that they "had wrongly consulted every political power that held sway over Palestine without consulting the Palestinians themselves..." and he worried about Palestinian resentment. He argued that the immigrating Jews should help Palestinians find their own identity and open to them the new Jewish hospitals, schools, and reading rooms...however, he was staunchly opposed. By the 1930s, immigration from Europe was rising like a flood, with no intervention or plans by the British. In 1936, Palestinian leaders called for a general strike, as they were losing power over their own homeland...the strike lasted for 6 months, crippling commerce. But violence increased and in 1938, the protests were finally crushed. Pres. Roosevelt held off the Zionists and wanted to open the free world to the victims of the Holocaust, but Pres. Truman had a different plan. The Zionist lobbyists argued that admission to Palestine was the "only hope of survival" for the Jewish people. The exhausted British found themselves pressured by the White House, even as they watched their mandate government in Palestine blitzed by a campaign of terror. In 1947 they announced their plan to surrender their mandate. And violence spread unchecked. Then came the Holocaust, when many western nations refused to take in Jewish refugees. Chacour does not blame the terrified masses of Jewish immigrants who fled to Palestine. He says they were pawns of the Zionist leaders. Upon their arrival in Palestine they were indoctrinated against their so-called new enemy: the Palestinians. In 1950, 50,000 Jewish people were celebrating Passover in Baghdad, Iraq. (More than 130,000 Jews lived in Iraq at the time, the oldest Jewish community in the world.) A small bomb was hurled from a car speeding along the river, and shock waves rocked the community. Leaflets appeared the next day, urging Jews to flee to Israel, and 10,000 signed up for emigration immediately. Then a second bomb exploded, then a third, killing several people outside a synagogue. By early 1951 Jews fled Iraq in panic until only 5,000 remained in the country. In the end, 15 people were arrested in connection with the bombing, and they were Zionists. They had thrown bombs at their own people to touch off a panic emigration to Israel. Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion and others knew of the plot in advance. But back to Elias Chacour's story. During the Zionist takeover of Palestine, Israel destroyed 450 Palestinian villages, including Chacour's. He and his family had to flee their orchards and house to settle in a nearby village that was much more shabby than their own. Chacour was eventually sent to seminary and became a priest and then a bishop. Even though his family's lives were torn apart by the Israeli Zionists, he does not hate them. Instead, he shows compassion to them, the true biblical "turning the other cheek," because he keeps in mind what happened in the Holocaust. He has dedicated his life to bringing Jews, Christians, and Muslims together...through activism, advocacy, and community building. At a young age, he and other Palestinians were unfairly branded as "terrorists" even though they were not. Given the Palestinian apartheid and unfair treatment they have received, it's understandable why they would want to protest. But Chacour has chosen a nonviolent path in spite of what he has seen and faced. He tells a touching story about arriving in the deeply fractured city of Ibillin, where he arranged to have three nuns visit and reach out to the villagers. He hoped the sisters would be able to do what he had not yet been able to do: broker peace. Even after the tension began thawing, enemies still existed. One day Fr. Chacour locked the church doors and exhorted them to act like Christians and forgive each other. His mother's final message to him before she died was, "Be strong, Elias. What you do matters. Especially for the young ones." The book ends with Fr. Chacour asking questions of Palestinians, Israelis, and westerners. "How can you take on yourself the right to decide who is the terrorist? Who is the fighter for liberty? How do you find it your right to judge?" Coauthor David Hazard shares an anecdote in the afterword about a visit to a Gazan refugee camp, where he spoke to a 17-year-old Palestinian girl. She told how she witnessed her teenage cousin being shot through the head after he picked up a rock in response to Israel soldier taunts. She accused him and all Americans of knowing about these daily abuses against Palestinians but not caring, and even supporting the conservative Israeli forces that sponsor these acts. When Hazard tried to explain that Americans don't know about these things, she said, "Of course Americans know we're suffering over here. You're the most powerful nation on earth. And everyone has a television. I know you know." In the group at my church, our guests--Hazar from Syria and Fr. Chacour's niece, who is Lebanese, emotionally spoke of their homelands and the misperceptions people have about the real story in the Middle East. The following month, we discussed Blood Brothers at my regular book group, and my British friend Niki spoke about what she learned about Palestine and Israel growing up, a much more complex and multilayered picture than what we were fed in the U.S. We are so uninformed and ignorant. So much of the conflict and strife in the Middle East, hatred between Muslims and Jews, comes down to this conflict in Palestine. And until it is resolved, nothing will get better.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Matt Diaz

    I highly recommend this book. I wish more Christians, myself included, focused more on Jesus' command to be peacemakers. Regrettably, we often seek justice as the world does. The Jesus we often follow is not the Jesus found in the Gospels, that preached the Sermon on the Mount. We often follow one that is molded to fit our political or cultural views instead of shaping our political views based upon what Jesus taught. The straight and narrow path is difficult not because a creed is accepted, but I highly recommend this book. I wish more Christians, myself included, focused more on Jesus' command to be peacemakers. Regrettably, we often seek justice as the world does. The Jesus we often follow is not the Jesus found in the Gospels, that preached the Sermon on the Mount. We often follow one that is molded to fit our political or cultural views instead of shaping our political views based upon what Jesus taught. The straight and narrow path is difficult not because a creed is accepted, but because truly following in the footsteps that Jesus commands is the exact opposite of what the world teaches, that we should seek to humbly see and accept our own faults (and the faults of the "us", "our group," nationality, church group, etc.) and to redeem them by asking for forgiveness for those that have been hurt and seeking conciliatory peace that may come at a greater cost to us, just as Jesus sought reconciliation between God and man at a cost of himself, despite his perfect innocence (something we do not have!). Being poor in spirit and meek is the opposite of what we see in so many of our political leaders and celebrities who flaunt their wealth, fame, and power. It is the opposite of being arrogant and selfish. It means we conquer by stooping, by serving with love and kindness, even if it means personal danger or financial hardship. Following Jesus means we hunger and thirst for righteousness, that we not just find out the wrong that has been done, but that we seek to bring healing where there is injury, hope where there is darkness and despair. It means that we show mercy to our enemies and those who slander us. That we treat others as we want to be treated and to show the mercy we desire (and need, if we are honest!) to others. That we show mercy when others cannot repay us, just as Jesus has done and continually does for us. That we are pure in heart, that we see the good that sees the hope of God's work, that our hope "lies in the Body of Christ taking action--living, moving, and breathing in the character of Jesus of Nazareth...in the work of Christian groups of relief workers giving their lives to serve Palestinian and Jew alike." That we are the salt and light, that we shine God's love and hope and that as Christians, we have a preserving-sort of character. “As a Christian do you speak out against the action of your enemies—or do you allow them to crush the life out of you? So many seemed to think that submitting to humiliation was the only Christian alternative. Should you not, sometimes, be stinging and preserving like salt?” Is your hope found in achieving peace by means of military force or physical violence or is your hope in finding peace by following God and loving your neighbor and enemy? How do you balance physical violence with “Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” – Romans 8:8 ? John 8:12 – When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This book should come with a warning label: Read/Proceed with caution! Elias Chacour's memoir will transform your worldview! Chacour's autobiographical story breathes life into the bones of historical facts and sensationalized media fiction. “Palestinians, who in any other country being overtaken by a foreign force, would have been called freedom fighters, were ‘terrorists’ and ‘guerillas.’ Hence, the widely used term ‘Palestinian terrorist’ was ingrained in the Western mind.” Chacour introduces This book should come with a warning label: Read/Proceed with caution! Elias Chacour's memoir will transform your worldview! Chacour's autobiographical story breathes life into the bones of historical facts and sensationalized media fiction. “Palestinians, who in any other country being overtaken by a foreign force, would have been called freedom fighters, were ‘terrorists’ and ‘guerillas.’ Hence, the widely used term ‘Palestinian terrorist’ was ingrained in the Western mind.” Chacour introduces his reader to his family; through one man's story, we read the narrative of a nation. “‘The Jews and Palestinians are brothers – blood brothers. We share the same father, Abraham, and the same God. We must never forget that. Now we get rid of the gun.’ It is extraordinary how a voice from our childhood, even one word spoken in a crucial moment, can bury itself inside only to reveal its simple wisdom in a crisis our adult minds cannot begin to fathom. Then our whole life is refashioned...locked somewhere inside me with the other jewels of heritage and faith that Mother and Father had carefully hidden there. The time was soon to come when I would have little else to hold onto but these treasures of the heart.” While Chacour walks with us along his journey of faith and forgiveness, he also engages the reader to consider his role in the story. “‘If there is a problem somewhere this is what happens. Three people will try to do something concrete to settle the issue. Ten people will give a lecture analyzing what the three are doing. One hundred people will commend or condemn the ten for their lecture. One thousand people will argue about the problem. And one person – only one – will involve himself so deeply in the true solution that he is too busy to listen to any of it. Now which person are you?’” As humans, we live with the universal truth of sin; as creatures, we are also invited to be reconciled with our neighbors and with our Creator. Forgiveness is beyond our comprehension and capability; justice intersects with compassion at the cross of Christ. “All men everywhere – despite the thin, polite veneer of society – are capable of hideous violence against other men. Not just the Nazis, or the Zionists or the Palestinian commandos – but me. I had covered my hurts with Christian responses, but inside the anger gnawed. With this sudden, startling view of myself, a familiar inner voice spoke firmly, without compromise: if you hate your brother you are guilty of murder. Now I understood. I was aware of other words being spoken. A Man was dying a hideous death at the hands of His captures – a Man of Peace, who suffered unjustly—hung on a cross. Father forgive them, I repeated. And forgive me, too.” “For the first time that twisting dark feeling inside was matched – if not totally overruled – by another feeling: the ache of compassion. It was as if some calming hand was beginning to tame a wild creature [rage] within me.” All consuming anger ends and divine domestication begins. The baby in the manger cries. Blood brothers are born.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Josie

    I got this book as a gift from a friend about a month ago, but I only started reading it this week, after this years remembrance of 9/11. I thought educating myself would be a nice way to honor that tragedy and every tragedy that's followed. I don't know very much about the Middle East, and to be honest, even after many, many explanations, by many, many different people and books, I have had a hard time understanding why peace isn't easier to foster in those nations. This book provided me with I got this book as a gift from a friend about a month ago, but I only started reading it this week, after this years remembrance of 9/11. I thought educating myself would be a nice way to honor that tragedy and every tragedy that's followed. I don't know very much about the Middle East, and to be honest, even after many, many explanations, by many, many different people and books, I have had a hard time understanding why peace isn't easier to foster in those nations. This book provided me with the most comprehensive explanation that I've ever encountered! Honestly, after finishing this book, I feel a bit embarrassed that I have gone on for so long so confused by these issues. Mostly, embarrassed that I've gone on for so long ignoring these issues. But, on the other hand, I now look at many of my peers, family members, and political representatives, and can't help but feel overwhelmed by how little we know of the situation over here in the Western world. If you pay attention while reading, you'll notice how "dumbed down" everything written out in this book had to be for it to reach mass market. While that's typical of a non fiction book, it is very telling of the situation: many non- Middle Eastern people are undereducated on these issues. Which wouldn't necessarily be a huge issue if it weren't that they then determine their stances based on biases fed to them by the media. At this books conclusion, there is no group that you are rooting for. There is no political agenda that's been pushed on you. You just can feel the sting of the problem at hand. I felt helpless, and still ill equipped to move forward in terms of declaring myself pro- Palestine or pro- Israel. I really am, after reading this book, only pro- the people in it. They are wonderful, wonderful people. On my books cover, it says that Chacour has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. What a worthy nominee. Bishop Raya also deserves a special mention. They warmed my heart, and inspired my faith in new ways, to new levels. I loved the scriptural references as well.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Blood Brothers is an absolutely beautiful book. Chacour wrote about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but what he learned and implemented with the people in the Middle East is applicable to any small- or large-scale conflict. His perspective on the conflict between groups in the Middle East is refreshing and new- different than the exclusively pro-Jew perspective that the West often hears. He does not, however, ignore the Jews and their plight. Chacour sympathizes with the Jews' need for a Holy Blood Brothers is an absolutely beautiful book. Chacour wrote about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but what he learned and implemented with the people in the Middle East is applicable to any small- or large-scale conflict. His perspective on the conflict between groups in the Middle East is refreshing and new- different than the exclusively pro-Jew perspective that the West often hears. He does not, however, ignore the Jews and their plight. Chacour sympathizes with the Jews' need for a Holy Land, but learns that he can stand up for his own people without harboring hatred for the Jews. One of my favorite moments of the book occurs in the village of Ibillin in Galilee. Chacour is asked to serve as a priest in this village for a month. What he finds is a village torn apart by familial conflicts, community grudges, and villagers that have forgotten the importance that Christianity used to play in their lives. One Easter Sunday, he locks the members of the village inside the building. Chacour reminds the congregation that Christ taught forgiveness, and that he wouldn't let them out until they were willing to embrace and forgive each other. One member of the community, a police officer who had been feuding with his three brothers for years, stands and asks forgiveness from his brothers and their community. Following his example, the other members of the congregation admit their wrongdoings and forgive those of others. The shift in the community is incredible-- more people return to church, families are reunited, and people come together to make the poor village a better place for all of them. Chacour's message can be summed up in this quote: "We can’t wait for people to see things our way- to believe and talk and act like us. Isn’t it more important to demonstrate the spirit of the gospel, rather than bartering people with the words? If we are going to represent God,... do we build bridges or walls?” In a divided world, Chacour teaches that peacemakers who build bridges are more important than vigilantes who divide. He exemplifies understanding and compassion.

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