Friday, July 2, 2010


Fatal Embrace: Christians, Jews and the Search for Peace in the Holy Land by Mark Braverman. Synergy Books. February 2010. ISBN #: 9780984076079

Perhaps it is time for a more complete understanding of the Israel-Palestine conflict! Mark Braverman and many of his known and unknown colleagues, peers and readers certainly make this presentation a quest for peace based on a perhaps set of facts and opinions often ignored for the wrong reasons. This is a hot topic and Braverman's controversial ideas will make many nod their heads in agreement and will unfortunately fan the flames of those incendiary tempers already impassioned by hatred on this topic!!!

Braverman charts this topic first in an overview of Christian/Jewish issues, next in presenting his own personal arrival at his present perspective, third on the impact of anti-Semitism both past and present, and lastly, the topic of Zionism. Overall the theme of this critical text is "balance," a balanced perspective that is unafraid to call prejudice what it is, an honest appraisal of how much reaction to anti-Semitism is a knee-jerk reaction that calls any criticism of Israel anti-Semitism. The author examines the events of the last seventy years, and even beyond that, and arrives at the conclusion that such efforts have been preordained to failure because the motivations behind them are tainted by hatred, fear and shame.

Just what is the solution? The balanced perspective called for in this thematic presentation is one that calls for examination of one's own personal beliefs and shadowed perspective as well as new form of religious, historical and political response. One might only hope that such as new road might progress toward a different future for the Middle East than that which appears to be following the same repetitive cycle of misunderstanding, apathy, militant response, etc.

A mark of an educated person (not only in the book or school sense) is an ability to listen, think and contemplate a balanced presentation of any topic. It is to that ability within all human beings that Braverman addresses his call for peace and justice in both Israelis, Palestinians and the remaining observers, as well as those who hold an eminent role in defining and executing policy in this area.

Fatal Embrace is an admirable, highly recommended work which will draw forth multiple responses this reviewer will eagerly be monitoring.

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