Embracing Israel/Palestine: A Strategy to Heal and Transform the Middle East

Embracing Israel/Palestine: A Strategy to Heal and Transform the Middle East

by Michael Lerner


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


A major modern conundrum is how the Arab/Israel conflict remains unresolved and, seemingly, unresolvable. In this inspirational book, Rabbi Michael Lerner suggests that a change in consciousness is crucial. With clarity and honesty, he examines how the mutual demonization and discounting of each sides’ legitimate needs drive the debate, and he points to new ways of thinking that can lead to a solution.

Lerner emphasizes that this new approach to the issue requires giving primacy to love, kindness, and generosity. It calls for challenging the master narratives in both Israel and Palestine as well as the false idea that “homeland security” can be achieved through military, political, economic, or media domination. Lerner makes the case that a lasting peace must prioritize helping people on all sides (including Europe and the U.S.) and that real security is best achieved through an ethos of caring and generosity toward “the other.” As many spiritual leaders have taught, problems like these cannot be solved at the same level at which they originated—one must seek higher ground, and that becomes a central task for anyone who wants a sustainable peace. Embracing Israel/Palestine is written for those looking for positive, practical solutions to this ongoing dilemma.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781583943076
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Publication date: 11/22/2011
Pages: 448
Product dimensions: 8.96(w) x 6.02(h) x 1.08(d)

About the Author

Best-selling author Michael Lerner, PhD, is the rabbi of Beyt Tikkun synagogue in San Francisco and the editor of Tikkun magazine, one of the most respected intellectual/cultural magazines in the Jewish world. Lerner, together with his then wife, founded Tikkun in 1986 as “the voice of Jewish liberals and progressives” and as “the alternative to Commentary magazine and the voices of Jewish conservatism.” From the start, the magazine was dedicated to Jewish ethics and to healing and repair of the world. A frequent lecturer and scholar in residence at universities and synagogues around the United States, Canada, and England, Rabbi Lerner was, in 2001, awarded a special PEN Award for his stance in breaking the censorship that effectively exists around Israel-Palestinian matters in the U.S. media. In January of 2002 he founded The Tikkun Community, an international interfaith organization dedicated to peace, justice, non-violence, generosity, caring, love, and compassion, which he chairs with Cornel West. Each year, The Tikkun Community brings hundreds of people to Washington, DC, for a Teach-In to Congress on Middle East Peace. Over the years Lerner has been a guest on numerous national and international television shows, including Larry King Live, CNN News, Meet the Press, and Bill Moyers Journal. He lives in Berkeley, California.

Table of Contents


The Challenge: The Historical Roots of Trauma 1

The First Step: Listening to and Embracing the Other 2

The Next Step: A Peace Based on Compassion and Healing 6

The Spiritual Path to Healing 10

My Personal Journey 12

A Framework to Understand, Not a History 20

Chapter 1 Peoples of the Land 27

The Ancient World: Liberation from Slavery 27

Jewish Reality: The Christian Role in Generating Hatred of Jews 36

Killing of Jews by Christians 39

Jews Take the Rap for Capitalism 41

Jewish Responses to Modern European Anti-Semitism 44

Failure of Internationalism and Anti-Semitism in the Left 47

Palestinian Reality: A Land With a People 48

Chapter 2 Zionism Comes to the Land 57

Were the Zionists an Extension of Western Colonialism? 59

Dealing with the Colonial Powers 68

Clash Over the Land 72

Who Has a Right to the Land? 77

The Economic Clash 83

Did Palestinians Have a Right to Keep Jews Out of Their Country? 88

Chapter 3 The Emergence of a Jewish State 91

The Holocaust 99

Chapter 4 Palestinian Refugees. .. And the Conflict Continues 123

Struggle with the Arab States, 1949-2011 139

Palestinians Who Remained in Israel 143

Arab States and the 1967 War 148

Emergence of Nationalist Fundamentalists in Israel After 1967 152

The 1973 War and Its Aftermath 155

1977 and Beyond: The Triumph of the Israeli Right 157

Chapter 5 The Oslo Accords And Beyond 167

The Settler Right Wins The Hidden Civil War in Israel 178

After Rabin 186

Chapter 6 Camp David, the Second Intifada, Hamas, and the Palestinian Authority 195

The Illusion of Barak's "Generous Offer" 199

Ariel Sharon at the Temple Mount 200

The Rise of the Militarist Right: Ariel Sharon and "Bibi" Netanyahu 204

The Failed Road Map and the Second Iraq, War 208

Two Flaws in the Road Map 210

Withdrawal from Gaza 212

The Settlements: Driving a Policy of Conquest 234

Occupation, Blockade, and Assassinations 240

Criticism of Israel Is Not Anti-Semitism 246

Reflecting on the History: From Then Until Now 253

Chapter 7 Healing the Traumas of Both People 255

Psychotherapy for Societal Pathology 255

Splitting 265

The Israeli Fear of Being a Freier 268

Socio-Cultural PTSD Explains Why Imposed Solutions Will Backfire 271

So How Can We Work With Societies Suffering From PTSD? 276

Chapter 8 Terms of a Sustainable and Just Peace Agreement 291

Tikkun's Proposal foil Two States at Peace 292

Two States with Overlapping Electorates: An Alternative Solution 296

The One-State Solution 298

The No-State Solution 303

This Peace Depends on Transformed Consciousness 306

Chapter 9 Strategies for Achieving Peace 309

Strategy 1 Nonviolence and the Palestinian Peace Movement 311

Strategy 2 Creating a Spiritually Oriented Peace and Justice Movement in Israel 315

Strategy 3 Weakening AIPAC and the "Israel Lobby" in the United States 318

Strategy 4 UN Recognition of Palestine 323

Strategy 5 Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions Against Settlements-Not Against Israel 325

Strategy 6 A Global Marshall Plan for Israel/Palestine 330

How the GMP Campaign Supports Middle East Peace 337

Chapter 10 Embracing the Left Hand of God 345

Settler Judaism and Power Worship after God's "Failure" 355

Settler Judaism Grew to Dominate Zionism 356

The Spiritual Crisis within Judaism 360

Torah Values and the Left Hand of God 362

What is Meant by "Jewish State" 364

A New Vision of Judaism: Love-Oriented and Emancipatory 367

World Transformation Needs Emancipatory Islam and Christianity Too 372

Questions and Answers 377

Appendix: Resources for Peace 403

Index 415

Customer Reviews