Visu­al Arts

Dark Hope: Work­ing for Peace in Israel and Palestine

David Shul­man
  • Review
By – November 14, 2011

David Shul­man lays out his cards at the begin­ning when he states that he has set out to write a book about Israel’s respon­si­bil­i­ties, mis­takes, and vio­la­tions in deal­ing with the Pales­tini­ans. He admits that both sides are guilty — but that it does not inter­est him to deal with Pales­tin­ian fault or guilt. He wants only to focus on Israel’s errors. 

Dark Hope is a pow­er­ful book. It charges Israel with seri­ous crimes against the Pales­tini­ans. This book is a polemic and an argu­ment, not a study. The author has a seri­ous ax to grind. In descrip­tion after descrip­tion, inci­dent after inci­dent, Shul­man con­demns Israel and the Israeli army. He pro­vides no con­text for his con­dem­na­tion. In the eyes of this author, Israel is sim­ply wrong, with­out justification. 

Shul­man, who made aliyah from the Unit­ed States, is a pro­fes­sor at the Hebrew Uni­ver­si­ty of Jerusalem. The book describes his per­son­al expe­ri­ences as he involved him­self in cre­at­ing Jew­ish-Arab dia­logue groups. It delves into his per­son­al suc­cess­es and frus­tra­tions as he forged friend­ships despite the difficulties. 

Despite it all, through­out all of the con­flict and all of the set-backs, Shul­man con­tin­ues to vol­un­teer and to work build­ing bridges between Jew­ish and Arab com­mu­ni­ties around Jerusalem.

Mic­ah D. Halpern is a colum­nist and a social and polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor. He is the author of What You Need To Know About: Ter­ror, and main­tains The Mic­ah Report at www​.mic​ah​halpern​.com.

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