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Blood Brothers: The Dramatic Story of a Palestinian Christian Working for Peace in Israel Paperback – February 1, 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 169 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Is it possible to live at peace in the midst of conflict?

"From my perspective, both as a believer and as a diplomat, I take hope and comfort in knowing that amid all the hatred, destruction, and death, Father Chacour continues his patient work, softening one heart at a time."
James A. Baker III, U.S. Secretary of State, 1989-1992

"An accurate, moving account worthy of careful attention."
Wes Pippert, former UPI bureau chief

As a child, Elias Chacour lived in a small Palestinian village in Galilee. The townspeople were proud of their ancient Christian heritage and lived at peace with their Jewish neighbors. But in 1948 and '49 their idyllic lifestyle was swept away as tens of thousands of Palestinians were killed and nearly one million forced into refugee camps.
An exile in his native land, Elias began a years-long struggle with his love for the Jewish people and the world's misunderstanding of his own people, the Palestinians. How was he to respond? He found his answer in the simple, haunting words of the Man of Galilee: "Blessed are the peacemakers."
In Blood Brothers, Chacour blends his riveting life story with historical research to reveal a little-known side of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the birth of modern Israel. He touches on controversial questions such as:

" What behind-the-scenes politics touched off the turmoil in the Middle East?
" What does Bible prophecy really have to say?
" Can bitter enemies ever be reconciled?

In a world of tension and terror, this book offers hope and insight that can help each of us learn to live at peace.

About the Author

Elias Chacour (Shah-koor), a Melkite priest, is a graduate of the Seminaire du Saint Sulpice in Paris and the first Palestinian to earn a degree from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has built schools, libraries, community centers, and youth clubs throughout Israel's Galilee region, where he lives, as a source of reconciliation between Palestinians and Jews. Chacour, who speaks eight languages, has taught in synagogues, mosques, and churches around the world.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Chosen Books; Expanded edition (February 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800793218
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800793210
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jay on September 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is a very touching recount of the life of a Palestinian Arab and his memories of being expelled from his village when the Jews took over Israel and the hardships that took on his life after the fact. While Chacour does give these painful accounts of the life he has had to face, he in no way is bitter or hateful because of them. On the contrary, he offers possible solutions to the conflicts while explaining his side of the story and providing a great deal of history. Chacour tells his readers about the prejudices that were placed against him by the Jews in Israel and Europeans or all religions. He was made to leave the home he and his family had known for thousands of years and then had to read in history books that it never happened! He explains how these experiences led him to God. The story then moves on to explaining his struggles with the Israeli government to gain rights for his people.
I have had the extreme honor of meeting Elias Chacour after I read this book. I stayed with him in his village of Ibillin in Galilee. While there we spoke every evening, often late into the night about the struggles and hardships that both sides have faced in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is very committed to doing everything he can to better his people's situations while also defending the Jews and their claim to the land as well. He in no way is anti-Israel, or anti-Jew. As he says, we all come from the same God, from the same Mother and Father, and from the same land.
I saw the ruins of his village, which he is not allowed to move back to. I saw the graves of his mother and father. I saw the church that he describes so well as the place that saved him. But, more importantly, I saw a new side of this conflict.
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Format: Paperback
Chacour transports the reader into his experience as a Palestinian child growing up amidst the turmoil of Zionist takeover in Israel. The experience of his family's diaspora and his personal journey from an exile living far from his destroyed home to his education in Europe to his return home to help sow the seeds of peace according to the Christian tradition prescribed in the Beatitudes.

This book shows a side to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that is far too often untold or dismissed. It is the side of the exiled, those forced off their land to create the modern nation of Israel. In no way is this book a polemical jab against the Jewish nation, rather it is the true story of a Christian Palestinian working within Israel to create a peaceful land where all are truly welcomed and are safe.

This is a must read for all. It will open your eyes.
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Format: Paperback
It seems that much has been written about the Middle East in terms of religion, culture, history, economics, geopolitical significance, etc. But it seems very little has been written about the region in terms of brotherhood. The notion almost rankles upon first utterance, yet Elias Chacour, a Christian Palestinian approaches the topic from this rather unique perspective. Having experienced the destruction of his home village of Biram by Israeli soldiers in 1951, one would expect him to have something to say. While portraying injustices honestly, he refuses to draw harsh generalizations. As Israeli soldiers or Zionist groups such as the Irgun destroy local villages, Chacour notes the sentiment of the native Jewish people in the area who were "shocked and disgusted" and who protested such activities via their religious leaders. Although the book is not enthralling in terms of literary quality, it is compelling in terms of ideas.
Showing promise as a young student, Chacour is given the rare privilege of attending seminary in Paris and becomes the first Palestinian Arab to earn a degree from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. His educational exploits expose him not only to Jews with a genuine compassion for Palestinian suffering but to Christians with very little. Returning to Palestine, he accepts a position as a priest in the small, embittered Palestinian town of Ibillin. Ironically, it is through the malice of Ibillin's Christians that Chacour becomes intimately acquainted with his own propensity for violence. Having reached his limit of exposure to interfamilial strife in the town, Chacour emotes, "Silent, still, I lay there, aware for the first time that I was capable of vicious, killing hatred.
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If you want to really understand the Palestinian-Israeli conflict -here is your chance. Told not from a sociopolitical perspective but a human and personal point-of-view, you will appreciate the conflict in ways you never could from the nightly news or a text book. Before reading this book, I had no idea that Palestinian Christians existed or that so many of them lived in Palestine before the Zionists expelled them. This is a story that the mainstream American media does not want you to read. I first read this as required reading in a course on the Middle East. Years later, I still recommend it to all of my intellectual friends. This story is essential in understanding the roots of the Israeli-Palestinain conflict. That written, this book is not just a history, but a moving story of a great man of peace and love.
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