Lives in Common: Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem, Jaffa and Hebron Hardcover – 31 Aug 2014
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'Lives in Common is a work of deeply humane scholarship. It has been criticised by some as an expression of nostalgia for an irretrievable past or wishful thinking about an unattainable future. Yet Klein is neither a hopeless romantic or an ivory tower academic. He helped draw up the Geneva initiative for Israeli-Palestinian peace and, when Israel and the PLO were still negotiating, acted as an adviser to the Palestinian side - a remarkable example of open-minded commitment to a common good.' --The Guardian
'Drawing on diaries, memoirs and correspondence, Klein weaves a dazzling tapestry of complicated, sometimes fraught, but always intermingled connections between Jews, Muslims and Christians in Jerusalem, Jaffa and Hebron. Richly detailed and profoundly evocative, Lives in Common adds greatly to our understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its human cost.' -- --Haaretz
'Taking a new and original approach, Klein draws heavily on the diaries and memoirs of ordinary people, elevating his book beyond the usual leader-based perspectives or histories emanating from official documents. . . a significant achievement in scholarship and humanism.' --Christian Science Monitor
About the Author
Menachem Klein teaches in the Department of Political Science, Bar-Ilan University, Israel, and was a team member of the Geneva Initiative Negotiations in 2003. He has advised both the Israeli government and the Israeli delegation for peace talks with the PLO (2000), was a fellow at Oxford University and a visiting professor at MIT. He is the author of The Shift: Israel-Palestine from Border Struggle to Ethnic Conflict, also published by Hurst.
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One of the most important lessons that comes through: Despite what nationalistic histories try to teach us, Arabs and Jews have not always been enemies, and indeed can function well together and come to share a common ethnic identity, despite the fact that individuals and families may belong to Jewish, Christian, or Muslim religious communities.
As the book points out, neighbors of all faiths once delighted in sharing Purim together, despite the fact that, religiously speaking, it is a Jewish holiday.
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