Book: Blood Brothers
Author: Elias Chacour and David Hazard
As a child, Elias Chacour lived in a small Palestinian village in Galilee. When tens of thousands of Palestinians were killed and nearly one million forced into refugee camps in 1948, Elias began a long struggle with how to respond. In Blood Brothers, he blends his riveting life story with historical research to reveal a little-known side of the Arab-Israeli conflict, touching on questions such as:
•What behind-the-scenes politics touched off the turmoil in the Middle East?
•What does Bible prophecy really have to say?
•Can bitter enemies ever be reconciled?
Now updated with commentary on the current state of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as a new foreword by Lynne Hybels and Gabe Lyons, this book offers hope and insight that can help each of us learn to live at peace in a world of tension and terror.
I would love to say that Blood Brothers by Elias Chacour is merely a book full of history, a story of experiences of the past, not of the present, or even the future. I would love to say this book is now irrelevant, that the problems that face the nation of Israel and the Palestinian people are no longer there.
Sadly, Chacour’s book about growing up as a Palestinian Christian when Israel became established as a nation in 1948 holds familiar themes for our world today. Chacour’s book, first written in 1984 holds many of the same lessons and truths we need to be aware of today when talking about the tension and bloodshed between the Israeli and Palestinian people.
Chacour’s story is an eye-opening look at the conflict in Israel but also at those working for peace there. Chacour, now in his 80s, is still working for that same peace, the peace that was lost long before modern history, but especially in the late 40s when the United Nations declared Israel its own nation. Chacour may not have seen peace on a wide scale but at the personal level, he has seen healing and understanding unfold between Jews, Muslims, and Christians in a way he never thought possible as a child who witnessed unimaginable, heartbreaking violence toward his people and others.
As the back of the book says, Blood Brothers is a story about people, not politics and that’s exactly how I found it.
Chacour grew up in a small Paestinian village in Galilee. In 1948, tens of thousands of Palestinians were killed and nearly one million were forced into refugee camps. Chacour’s only family was chased from their village and their men were arrested, some of them later able to return, some of them killed. Being called a terrorist was a routine occurrence for Chacour from the time he was a small child and probably even know. He dealt with these these taunts and oppressive comments even as he studied to become a pastor with the Melkite Church. He is now the Archbishop of that church.
Chacour’s personal experience created a struggle within him between the love of the Christ he knew and how humans treat other.
Blood Brothers has become an international best seller, not only because it details Chacour’s experiences, but because it offers hope that healing will come on a personal level, if never on a political level, for the people of Israel and Palestine.
It is a book we all should read before we form or express opinions on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and I hope more will do so.