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The Body and the Blood: The Holy Land at the Turn of a New Millennium: A Reporter's Journey

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Book Overview

Retracing the path of Jesus's life from Bethlehem, to Egypt, to Nazareth, to what is today Lebanon and finally to Jerusalem, this volume takes readers on a picaresque journey through the modern Middle... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

An eye-opening account of real life for Christians in Israel

This book is beautifully written and is an insightful look at modern-day life for Christians in Israel/Palestine. They are the minority in this tiny nation, so disturbed by militants over the years.

Far Undervalued...

This book came out without fanfare and without attention by most media at a critical time in history. The Arab Middle East were being blamed for the 9/11 terrorist attacks and painted as extremist Muslims. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict was reaching its greatest intensity since 1948. For those with a provincial media-driven view of Arab Palestine this will be an eye-opener. For those with a Western Christian perspective of the Holy Land as a touristic site in Israel this tome is a must read to remind them of their forgotten fellow Christians in the original land of Christ. Although I have an issue with the author's attempt to stand the Palestinian Christians' values apart from the values of Palestinian Muslims, this is a superb narration of the past and present Israeli-Palestinian problem with the palpable humanity of its Christian population as its protagonist.Its forthright honesty and non-propagandist perspective can be the only reason it did not reach in these times the aclaim it deserves.

Required reading.

If you believe that Israel is justified in its treatment of Palestinians, whether for reasons of security, entitlement or revenge, or if you believe that all Palestinians are culpable, this will be a difficult book. While the fear and anger behind the Israeli' reaction is understandable, neither they nor we can disregard the needs of the Palestinians or our obligation toward all humans. Sennott will not allow you to dismiss the Palestinians. Their story cannot be overlooked, nor their treatment continue without loss of our own humanity. Sennott makes clear that the villains of this story are not the people, Jew or Palestinian, whether Christian or Muslim, but those seeking to maintain or gain power; those who have forgotten their religious heritage and merely co-opt that heritage for political purposes. He questions the message and motives of the religious leaders whose livelihood is provided by governments or political organizations. He notes the disconnection between indigenous Christians and their denominations. The parallels between events and motivations today and those faced by Jesus 2000 years will frighten and alarm while providing insight into both the Middle East and our own lives. You may question his journalistic impartiality. But, he is at least as critical of the Palestinian Authority as the Israeli government. His thesis is that the faiths so deeply invested in this troubled area, particularly Christianity with its tradition of non-violence and forgiveness as prerequisite to healing, are essential to the resolution of an otherwise insurmountable conflict. You will be moved by this story. You must read it. You will also find in its message, whether Sennott intended it or not, disturbing questions about our culpability in the escalating violence and hatred. [e.g., Our government advised Israel to quickly quash the non-violent demonstrations initiated in the Christian Palestinian community because of the power of such movements; and the monetary support given by U.S. fundamentalist Christian groups to Zionist groups believing that provocation of violence would bring on the second coming of Christ.]Read this book.

Will disturb those with a pro-Israeli bias

You must come to this book with an open mind, unburdened by either a pro-Israeli or pro-Palestinian bias. Sennott skillfully explains an impossible situation, one of two peoples--both with historic claims--trying to live on one land. The greatest value of this book is his central story: making us aware plight of Christian Arabs, a forgotten group in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Reading of the daily humiliation and impossible situation of these persons (I was shocked to learn by by LAW Palestinians cannot purchase land in Israel--depriving them of their traditional means of making a living, farming).Though Sennott makes clear how the Israeli Jews have (seemingly unaware) turned from the oppressed into oppressors, he is even-handed and notes how the real tragedy is each party's inability to acknowledge the sufferings of the others.A great book for understanding the complexities of this conflict--all sides of it.

a new path of understanding

At a time when so many of us want to know and need to know more about the Middle East, this book is an essential read. The writer has the keen eye of a reporter as he brings readers along a pilgrimage through the modern Middle East, a path that leads to new understanding of the issues that shape this land. Whether you are Christian, Muslim, or Jewish, this book is a refreshing way to look at this ancient land. With beautiful writing and a sure understanding of history, Sennott takes readers on a journey along the path of Jesus' life.... I can't recommend this book enough.
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