Elias Chocour’s novel, Blood Brothers, represents his point of view on the contemporary Palestinian position regarding the holy land of Israel. The book traces the transformation of Chocour’s life, from a Melkite Christian Palestinian boy into a powerful spiritual leader and innovative agent in facilitating better race relations in the region. He shows how Palestinian’ needs were left out during the formation of the State of Israel, and how their plight is highly misunderstood, and often grossly distorted because of ignorance. Chocour’s depiction of the problem facing non-Jews is highly illuminating, and Blood Brothers will dispel many illusions and fallacies that cloud the facts surrounding the status of Israel’s inhabitants.
The book begins before the creation of Israel, when race relations were less strained than they are now. Chocour says he loved the area in which he lived because it was his home. “Our lives were so rooted to the land (that) the stones even found their way into our play” (26). Palestinians and Jews were friendly and neighborly towards each other. Their lives were bound together because they inhabited and shared the land (32). Chocour developed his humanitarian views that would later lead him to greatness during this time of racial peace. He “had beautiful dreams for Palestinian and Jewish children (living) together” (ix). The creation of the State of Israel drastically changed the equality in the region, and these times were soon be forgotten.
Israel was created as a haven for persecuted Jew as a result of the Holocaust, however, it was soon run by the military. “The new Israel seemed to be a nation where the military ruled ignoring the will of the countr...
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...r remains faithful to the memory of his peaceful childhood when Jews and Palestinians lived together in peace, and the prospect of a better future. Despite the political wrongs his people have suffered, he is proud of his heritage and intends to “restore race relations between Jews and Palestinians, (by restoring) human dignity” (146). To do this, Chocour implements innovative techniques: he has Palestinians visit the Kibbutzim, and has Jews spend time with Palestinian families. Chocour’s message is quite honorable, “to change hearts not institutions” (222). Chocour remembers that “Jews and Palestinians are brothers, the(y) have the same father, Abraham, and believe in the same God” (34). It is sad that peoples in this region need to be remnded that they are brothers, but it is comforting that there are men like Chocour, who valiantly assume this task as their own.
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