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Identity, Ideology, and the Future of Jerusalem
From The Publisher:
For more than a hundred years, the tiny strip of land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River has been the subject of intense debate and bitter conflict, with one of the main focal points of the ongoing struggle being a single ancient city. Exploring the lives of fourteen key Palestinian and Jewish leaders, this fascinating study examines the roles of identity and ideology in the search for a resolution to the final-status issue of Jerusalem. The book will prove an important resource for scholars and students interested in the Arab-Israeli conflict, peace studies, and political psychology.
Thousands of troops are pouring deeper into Lebanon as Israel prepares to expand its offensive against Hezbollah. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert rejected mounting world pressure for a ceasefire after the weekend strike in the town of Qana. Troops are pushing into Lebanon to clear out Hezbollah fighters and secure the territory until a multinational force is deployed there, reports Associated Press.
This latest round of Middle East violence on the border between Israel and Lebanon is yet one more demonstration of the need for focused understanding and appreciation of the differences between the antagonists. While diplomatic negotiations to end the violence are under way, a vital factor may be missing from the puzzle.
"Whether it's Hezbollah, Hamas, the PLO or Israel, none of the immediate parties will achieve lasting and sustainable peace without recognition of an unavoidable truth: identity and ideology matter to everyone," says David Hulme, author of a new book, Identity, Ideology And The Future Of Jerusalem.
The book traces the lives of 14 key Palestinian and Jewish leaders in this more-than-100-year Arab-Zionist conflict and focuses more on the parallels than the differences. From Zionism's Theodor Herzl to Hamas's Shaykh Yassin, from Israel's David Ben-Gurion to the PLO's Yasser Arafat, these leaders lived lives with parallel goals for their people, and with identities that were more akin than apart.
Understanding the role that identity and ideology played in their lives-leaders at the center of the impasse-is crucial to discovering the way forward in today's ongoing conflict. The recent outbreak of hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon will be seen as but one more chapter in the saga unless the underlying issues of identity and ideology are understood.
This fascinating study examines the roles of identity and ideology in the search for a resolution to the conflict. "There can be no attempt to destroy identity that will not produce further conflict. What is happening in southern Lebanon, Israel, Gaza and the West Bank is an attempt by all parties to destroy the other's identity," says Hulme.
Understanding this vital piece of the puzzle could make all the difference to those now in talks with Israel and Lebanon and could affect the final-status issue of the city of Jerusalem.
“Few cities in world history are the focus of continuing conflict and concern, and perhaps none have been as preoccupying as Jerusalem. It is the site of religious and political strife, ideological and identity tensions--what Hulme refers to as ‘one of the world’s most perplexing political and humanitarian problems.’ While those problems will have to be solved in the political arena, a reading of this book clarifies the potential for resolution. It is a magisterial work, one that will surely serve as a reference for years to come.”
—James N. Rosenau, University Professor of International Affairs, The George Washington University
“No city in the world has so many imagined residents deeply attached to it as Jerusalem. Through Jewish and Arab key actor biographies, David Hulme’s rich and original work illuminates Jerusalem as an identity symbol and explains why it is so difficult to find a solution to the contested city.”
—Menachem Klein, Senior Lecturer in Political Science, Bar-Ilan University (Israel)
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About the Author
David Hulme is publisher of the quarterly journal Vision and president of Vision Media Productions, which has made several award-winning documentaries on Middle East history, archaeology, and religion. He received his doctorate in International Relations from the University of Southern California.
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