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.