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Holy Land, Whose Land?

Dorothy Drummond

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Educare Press

Published : 2002

Copyright : Dorothy Drummond 2002

ISBN-10 : HB 0-944638-30-9
ISBN-13 : HB 978-0-944638-30-9

Publisher's Write-Up

From Abraham to Arafat, the Holy Land has long been a cauldron of conflict. Holy Land, Whose Land? Modern Dilemma, Ancient Roots investigates the complex political and philosophical choices that have perpetuated the incessant rivalry between Israel and the surrounding Arab states. Holy Land examines how this region, sacred to three of the world's monotheistic religions, struggles with the continual intrusion of the past upon the present. Holy Land, Whose Land? is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the complicated story-both sacred and profane-of this unique, beautiful, and tortured land.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Paul Lappen (220903) Rating (9/10)

Review by Paul Lappen
Rating 9/10
This book attempts to make some sense of the seemingly intractable Arab-Israel conflict. The first part looks at present conditions in Israel and the Occupied Territories. There is a look at the wars Israel has fought since independence. Also explored are Gaza, the West Bank and the Golan Heights, occupied since 1967 by Israel. Maps show the number of Jewish settlements, and, in the Golan Heights, the number of depopulated Syrian villages. For instance, in Gaza, less than 7,000 Israelis live among 1.2 million Palestinians (mostly refugees), comprising less than 1 percent of the population, but Israel controls one-third of the land.

Most of the book is taken up with the history of the region since Abraham, almost 4,000 years ago. In brief chapters, the author talks about Abraham being the father of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Exodus took the Israelites out of Egypt and into the desert before they reached the Promised Land. It talks about the Assyrians, the Babylonians and the Persians, all of whom ruled the area at one time or another. It certainly talks about the time of Christ. Also considered are the destruction of the Temple, the coming of Islam, the Crusades, the Turks, the Ottoman Empire, the years of the UN Mandate, all the way to Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon.

The author, a teacher of physical and political geography at the university level for many years, says that the only way out of the never-ending violence is for both sides to negotiate a settlement. It certainly won't be easy, but there is no alternative.

This one is well worth reading. Some will say that the subjects in this book are covered much too briefly; it isn't meant to be a detailed reference book. Combining history, politics and travel, the author also does an excellent job of not taking sides in what is a very divisive issue. To get an idea of the history of the Middle East before Israel's independence and even before Zionism, this book is the place to start.
Paul Lappen (22nd September 2003)

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