Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Jewish American seeks justice for Palestinians New book encourages shift in interfaith dialogue to reach peace in the Holy Land

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CONTACT: Amy Currie (512) 478-2028 ext. 211

Jewish American seeks justice for Palestinians New book encourages shift in interfaith dialogue to reach peace in the Holy Land

WASHINGTON, D.C. – There are few topics in the world as divisive as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For years, the American viewpoint has largely portrayed Israelis as victims and Palestinians as aggressors — just look at the U.S. government’s unconditional support of Israel. But in a world where matters aren’t always what they seem, author and peace activist Mark Braverman, Ph.D., says it’s time we reframed the conversation on Israel and Palestine to bring about a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

In his new book, Fatal Embrace: Christians, Jews, and the Search for Peace in the Holy Land (SynergyBooks | February 2010 |
978-0-9840760-7-9 | Paperback | $16.95), Dr. Braverman delivers a controversial message to Jews and Christians alike: it is not anti-Semitic to stand up for justice for the Palestinian people.

“I am frequently placed in the ‘pro-Palestinian’ camp because I criticize Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians,” Braverman says. “I reject this designation. I lived in Israel and have family there. I want Israel’s people to live in peace. I fear for Israel’s future and seek to preserve its accomplishments, culture, security and, most of all, its people. This is not a struggle between good guys and bad guys, with one side as villain and the other side as blameless victim.
The issue is that short of full recognition of the ongoing abridgement of Palestinian rights, no political settlement will bring a lasting peace.”

Raised in the Jewish tradition, Braverman has strong familial ties to Israel, frequently visiting throughout his life and living on a kibbutz there for a year as a young man. However, after a life-changing trip to the West Bank in 2006, what was once a nagging suspicion that something was amiss in the Holy Land became a heartbreaking certainty that the Israeli government was violating the human rights of Palestinians.

“It’s acceptable for us to criticize every other government in the world, including the U.S., but not Israel. Why is that?” asks Dr.
Braverman. “To an increasing number of Jews, here and in Israel, it has become clear that Israel’s present course is tragically self-destructive and must change if Israeli society is to continue and prosper.”

Fatal Embrace looks to American society to change the political wind.
Braverman contends that the Jewish quest for safety and empowerment and Christian guilt for centuries of anti-Semitism play a major role in suppressing the dialogue needed to end the conflict. By challenging Jews to turn a critical eye on themselves and helping Christians overcome their fear of questioning Israel’s actions, Braverman hopes to advance a social movement that will result in lasting peace in the Holy Land.

Dr. Braverman holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, a master’s degree in education from Harvard and a Ph.D. from Boston University. He is a cofounder of Friends of Tent of Nations North America, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting Palestinian land rights and peaceful coexistence in historic Palestine. He serves on the board of directors of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions-USA, the advisory committee of Friends of Sabeel North America and the advisory council of the Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace. Braverman currently lives in Bethesda, Md., with his wife, Susan. Visit for more information.

To schedule an interview with Braverman, or to receive a review copy of Fatal Embrace, please contact Amy Currie at (512) 478-2028 ext. 211 or

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