Dark Hope

Working for Peace in Israel and Palestine

David Shulman

David Shulman

236 pages | 1 map | 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 | © 2007
Cloth $22.00 ISBN: 9780226755748 Published June 2007

For decades, we’ve been shocked by images of violent clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. But for all their power, those images leave us at a loss: from our vantage at home, it’s hard for us to imagine the struggles of those living in the midst of the fighting. Now, American-born Israeli David Shulman takes us right into the heart of the conflict with Dark Hope, an eye-opening chronicle of his work as a member of the peace group Ta‘ayush, which takes its name from the Arabic for “living together.”

Though Shulman never denies the complexity of the issues fueling the conflict—nor the culpability of people on both sides—he forcefully clarifies the injustices perpetrated by Israel by showing us the human dimension of the occupation. Here we meet Palestinians whose houses have been blown up by the Israeli army, shepherds whose sheep have been poisoned by settlers, farmers stripped of their land by Israel’s dividing wall. We watch as whip-swinging police on horseback attack crowds of nonviolent demonstrators, as Israeli settlers shoot innocent Palestinians harvesting olives, and as families and communities become utterly destroyed by the unrelenting violence of the occupation.

Opposing such injustices, Shulman and his companions—Israeli and Palestinian both—doggedly work through checkpoints to bring aid, rebuild houses, and physically block the progress of the dividing wall. As they face off against police, soldiers, and hostile Israeli settlers, anger mixes with compassion, moments of kinship alternate with confrontation, and, throughout, Shulman wrestles with his duty to fight the cruelty enabled by “that dependable and devastating human failure to feel.”

With Dark Hope, Shulman has written a book of deep moral searching, an attempt to discover how his beloved Israel went wrong—and how, through acts of compassionate disobedience, it might still be brought back.

 

 

 

Adina Hoffman | The Nation
“Beautifully written and emphatic in its calm insistence on the need to take both responsibility and action, Dark Hope is notable not just for the bleak picture it paints of the nightmare that the settlers and their sponsors, the Israeli government, have brought to millions of Palestinians but also, as its title suggests, for the faith it places in a basic human decency and in the belief that there must be another way. It is essential reading for anyone who wants—or hopes, however darkly—to grasp the lay of this punished land.”--Adina Hoffman, The Nation
Emily Bazelon | Slate
"During what he calls the 'unhappy years' from 2002 to 2006, David Shulman, an Israeli professor at Hebrew University, did some of the harder work of his country's peace movement: clashing with police and settlers to deliver food and medical supplies to Palestinian villages. In his excellent record of these years, Dark Hope, Shulman vividly describes the small bands of Palestinians who live in caves in the Hebron Hills."
Contents
Acknowledgments
1          Introduction
2          Jinba, Twaneh, the South Hebron Hills
3          Jerusalem: Isawiyya, Mount Scopus, ‘Anata, Silwan
4          Samaria: Salfit, Yanun, Banu Hassan
5          Saying No
6          The Wall: Maskha, Abu Dis, Ar-Ram, Bil‘in
7          Epilogue
Postscript Glossary Select Dramatis Personae
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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