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Embracing Israel/Palestine: A Strategy to Heal and Transform the Middle East (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 22. November 2011

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“Rabbi Michael Lerner provides us with a brilliant and hopeful vision of how to transform the Middle East from a cauldron of violence to a vanguard of peace. For several decades Lerner has been a remarkably courageous rabbi, defying the orthodoxies of some in his own community to insist that Biblical teachings require recognizing the equal value to God of both Israelis and Palestinians, and the practical necessity to embrace both Israel and Palestine with compassion and love, thereby challenging the extremists on all sides. In Embracing Israel/Palestine, Lerner presents us with a path to peace that will require our replacing the strategy of domination and war with what Lerner appropriately describes as the far more effective path to homeland security: the strategy of generosity and genuine caring for the well-being of everyone involved. This is practical and effective advice for the world. I hope every American will read this book and apply its lessons for changing how we deal with the Middle East.”
—Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States of America and recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize

“Here is a terrific book by a pioneer of global transformation. Out of love for people—both Israelis and Palestinians as equal creations of God—Rabbi Michael Lerner offers us the deepest way out of the bloody conflict. Not just a political agreement, not a simple “real estate” and power sharing transaction, but an approach that draws from a deep psychological and political understanding of the dynamics of the Middle East and integrates into this a profound way of replacing the current profane and shallow political discourse with a deeper spiritual wisdom that would, if adopted, lead to precisely the consciousness expansion so badly needed. Lerner’s book, like all of his past prophesies, is coming out of a loving heart and a powerful analytic mind. He offers us a strategy of trust that could heal and repair the mentalities of fear and traumas that limit the current perspectives that dominate our politics. This book is a must-read for world and regional leaders as well as every one of us. It is the concept most needed in our time, the voice expressing our universal need, the sound of so many hearts.”
—Avrum Burg, Israeli author, former Chairman of the Jewish Agency and World Zionist Organization, Speaker of the Knesset, and interim President of the State of Israel

“Rabbi Michael Lerner is one of the very few Jewish leaders in the Diaspora who has consistently challenged slavish Jewish pandering to right-wing Israeli chauvinism and messianism, opposed the occupation of the West Bank and the crimes of many Israeli settlers, supported Palestinian rights and justice for the Palestinian people, called for an end to religious coercion and separation of state and synagogue in Israel, but has simultaneously retained a strong commitment to the safety and well-being of Israel and the Jewish people. He has been a fierce critic of those who move from legitimate criticism of Israeli policies to an illegitimate anti-Semitism or attempts to destroy Israel. His voice needs to be heard by Israelis, Palestinians, and all those who seek peace for the Middle East.”
—Uri Avnery, chair of the Israeli peace movement Gush Shalom

“Michael Lerner has been a national leader of the social change movements in the U.S. for the past forty-five years, and the practical wisdom derived from that experience plus his analytic skills honed as a psychotherapist, philosopher, and theologian combine in this book to give Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians a brilliant path to heal the Middle East. This book is at once a major intellectual achievement, a practical guide for peacemakers, and a perspective on politics and social change that everyone needs to read. Share it with your most partisan friends on every side of this issue, and on every side of America’s political divisions, and watch how they begin to broaden and mellow their understanding of the world.”
—Michael Nagler, founder of Peace Studies at UC Berkeley and chair of the Metta Center for Nonviolence

“This is Rabbi Michael Lerner’s magnum opus, but also beyond a doubt a chef d’oeuvre among myriads of studies dedicated to the alas so numerous human catastrophes of our times. It seems to be our un-asked-for Jewish destiny to suffer inanities and absurdities of all historical eras in their most radicalized and brutalized form. The particular inanity behind the Israeli-Palestinian dance macabre is the trademark product of modernity: the unholy trinity and explosive mixture of state-power, nation, and territory. No matter how many books you’ve read on this subject, Embracing Israel/Palestine will give you a new and powerfully insightful perspective that could empower you to play a significant and hopefully effective role in healing this conflict—and in doing so begin to heal the world.” 
—Zygmunt Bauman, author of Modernity and the Holocaust, Modernity and Ambivalence, and Postmodernity and its Discontents

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

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.


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Amazon.com: 4.7 von 5 Sternen 28 Rezensionen
10 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Rabbi Who Knows Both Sides of the Story, and it Should be Read by All Peoples 21. Dezember 2012
Von Alastair Browne - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This is a book that focuses and the present problems of the Middle East, centering on Israel and Palestine. It is objective, tells of the history of the Jews, how they acquired Israel, the wars they fought to keep it, and their determination to hold on what they tried to acquire these past 2000 years. Then there are the Palestinians, how their land was "bought," stolen, and confiscated by the Jews to establish Israel, how they were driven out of a land they owned for 2000 years or more, and how they are treated today, especially in the occupied West Bank. Yes, the author, a Rabbi (Michael Lerner) did say occupied. He holds no bars. He tells of the grievances on both sides, but also explains the guilt on both sides, treats both sides equally, and from his point of view, there are no heroes or villains, only human beings.
This is why I recommend this book for everyone, Jew, Christian, and Muslim. He is very Idealistic in establishing a two state solution, and he is also a realist, knowing what really happened, and why both sides hold a hatred towards each other, and how, eventually this can be mended with time and a change in attitude.
In the first seven chapters, the history of Israel/Palestine (he refers to the state of Israel and the West Bank as both names, with a slash) and the peoples. The Jews, after their expulsion in 70 A.D., were forced to wander the Earth. They found refuge in Europe, first in Spain, then in Germany. Here, in both countries, they made a serious effort to fit into society, to assimilate, but it didn't work for them. In 1492, they were expelled from Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella, and then the majority had to settle in Germany, and the Germans took them in with open arms. Here, they assimilated, established businesses, contributed to German society, and even fought for the Germans in their wars, up to and including World War I. The Jews here considered themselves Germans first, Jews second, until Hitler came along. Regardless of what they were, decorated soldiers, Christian Jews, Non-religious, residents for 800 years or more, they were slaughtered by the Nazis, six million of them.
With no choice, many during and after the holocaust went to Palestine, thereby establishing a Jewish state, Israel, in 1948, amid the objections of many countries, especially the Arabs. In great defiance, they cried (words are mine) "We tried it your way and it didn't work. We're going back to our homeland, and if you don't like it, too bad." Can you blame them after what they went through?
Then there's the Palestinian side. Land was bought from absentee landlords, running off the current residents (Palestinians). Other lands, farms, houses, etc., were confiscated, many homes literally bulldozed, Palestinians driven off, eventually ending up in congested areas with no sanitation, forced to live like animals. Some went to other countries where they were not treated any better. So now they want their homeland back, to be able to live in dignity and security. Is it any wonder why they are so angry with the Jews? In the West Bank, they are being crowded ouy by Israeli settlements, and even water is specifically for the Jews, used for swimming pools, while Palestinian settlements have to use dirty water.
Four wars have been fought by Israel, many massacres committed by both sides, with masses of people killed, on both sides, throughout modern Israel's short history.
All this information came from Rabbi Lerner, who, obviously, is Jewish. He knows, he's been there, and he is not afraid to admit the guilt of his own people. He also stresses that criticizing Israel does not mean one is anti-semitic. Any country that oppresses any group of people, be it the United States, South Africa, or Israel, or any other country, will be criticized.
He mentions Israel in its present state, where Benjamin Netanyahu continues to build settlements. Where after Israel signs agreements to try and establish peace with the Palestinians, they continue to build settlements. Lerner also mentions in Gaza, now totally occupied by Palestinians after the Jews evacuated, with Hamas firing rockets on Israel proper, killing many Israelis. Also, Hamas has pledged to destroy Israel and replace it with Palestine completely.
So there you have it, both sides of the story, the guilt and grievances, neither side willing to budge. Obviously, it goes deeper than this, for the book is 400 pages long, educating you completely on the subject for the first seven chapters.
Beginning in Chapter 8, Lerner offers solutions. A two state solution is the only answer, with Gaza and the West Bank becoming Palestine, and East Jerusalem being the capital, with traditional Jerusalem being shared by joint forces, with an equal number of Israeli and Palestinians, guarding their traditional holy sites. A one for one land swap is offered, with the concentrated settlements along the Israeli border going to Israel. Palestinians remaining in Israel would live under Israeli law, and vice versa. Lerner also proposes that 20,000 Palestinians can return from exile each year for 30 years to reclaim the land that they lost in Israel proper.
What you will read in the entire book will surprise you, and I feel that these are common sense solutions, as long as Israel holds their part of the bargain, and Palestine, along with the rest of the Arab states recognizes Israel and its right to exist.
In the last two chapters, Rabbi Lerner deals with a change in attitude, on both sides, that everyone will need to undertake, including love, peace, and justice for all. This is not pie in the sky, but something everyone needs to do, and he feels that it's possible. Each side has to look upon the other as their equals, human beings that need to be treated as such. They all need to recognize that oppression does not work, it makes things worse. Also, each side must recognize the hardships of the other, and know that the needs of both, food, shelter, up to and including their own country and security for all, are vital for not only their survival, but the entire human race. Lerner knows that there will be extremist factions, on both sides, that will want to destroy this process and then each other, but they will have to be dealt with, harshly.
Everyone, of all faiths, should read this book. In situations like these, either you're part of the problem, or you're part of the solution.
14 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Achieving peace in Israel/Palesine 4. Januar 2012
Von James E. Maynard - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This book by Rabbi Michael Lerner, the editor and publisher of Tikkun, is a knowledgeable and compassionate look at the current Israel/Palestine conflict, which provides both an historical and contemporary basis for understanding the needs and aspirations of both Israeli Jews and their Palestinian neighbors, both within Israel and in the West Bank and Gaza. Neither Jews, nor Muslims within Israel-Palestine are exempt from criticism in this account. Rabbi Lerner asserts the rights of both Muslims and Jews to live freely and independently within this land. While providing support for a meaningful two State solution, he also offers some alternatives for consideration. For most Americans, who are impacted on a day to day basis by the right wing pro-Likud polemics of the America Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC) and Christians United for Israel (CUFI), this easy to read, easy to understand and quite convincing narrative is a welcome addition to our understanding of a complex and heart rending conflict. One emerges from the reading with a realization that the existential threats for both Jews and Muslims in Israel/Palestine are not external, either in Iran or surrounding Arab States, but internal within their own seemingly intractable belief systems. Rabbi Lerner's compassionate account illustrates the wisdom of two great Jewish sages, Rabbi Shim'on Ben Gamli'el, "On these three things, the whole world stands: Justice, truth and peace", and Rabbi Muna, "When justice is done, truth is done, and peace is made". Rabbi Lerner's historical narrative goes a long way to allow us to understand the truths on which currently lacking justice can be achieved and, hopefully, peace made.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen An Opportunity to Listen to Both Sides 10. Dezember 2014
Von Courtney A. Weller - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
To start to understand even a small bit of what is going on in Palestine and Israel, we must listen to the perspectives of both people and "Embracing Israel/Palestine: A Strategy to Heal and Transform the Middle East" attempts to work to this end. Lerner lays out the history of both peoples and their various struggles living in the land as well as giving voice to the current (as of 2011) state of affairs. One of his most helpful contributions through this book is the ability for the reader to hear both Jewish Israelis and Palestinians have a deep connection to the land-- based not a simply on a matter of choice, but of deep heritage and religious importance-- as well as listing the painful actions both sides have taken to meet their own ends (or, at least, the actions of extremists on both sides).

Lerner, however, does not end his offering with a history and opportunity to listen to both sides. Instead, he offers hope and a way forward as he lifts up peacemaking solutions that balance both the need for Israel's sense of safety and the support of Jewish people as well as Palestine's right to autonomy and safety. Lerner makes an effort to mention that the work for peace is not simply political, but also one of changing attitudes-- listening to one another, realizing that power over one another (in whatever form it takes) is counterproductive in its inability to secure a just and lasting peace, and working towards helping the other "side" achieve basic needs (water, housing, food) and a sense of security. Lerner's book is a demonstration of the attention that needs to be paid to both Israelis and Palestinians within the dialogue of peace.

Whether his support of a two-state solution is dated is yet to be seen. Yet Lerner's voice that seeks to understand both Palestinians and Israelis from the perspective of a Jewish Rabbi is welcome and needed. "Embracing Israel/Palestine: A Strategy to Heal and Transform the Middle East" is a book to add to your shelf as you look for hope within the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen The book is useful for a course I plan to teach for older ... 5. Dezember 2014
Von Arthur Goldschmidt - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
The book is useful for a course I plan to teach for older adults. If I were teaching my course to a university class, I would want to use a more documented work, such as James Gelvin's book on Israel and Palestine, now in its third edition..
10 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Most Valuable Book for 2011 23. Dezember 2011
Von Glen - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I think this is the finest, most timely, book I have encountered in the past 20 years. I am reading voraciously this treasury of love & wisdom which should be understood and embraced by both our Public Policy Makers as well as the population at large. (Kindle version)
Thanks to Rabbi Lerner for his dedication to the values essential to humanity's continued existence on planet earth.

Glen Whitener
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