We Belong to the Land: The Story of a Palestinian Israeli Who Lives for Peace & Reconciliation
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We Belong to the Land: The Story of a Palestinian Israeli Who Lives for Peace & Reconciliation

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  83 ratings  ·  17 reviews
A Palestinian Melkite priest tells the story of his life spent working for peace and reconciliation among Israeli Jews, Christians and Muslims. From the destruction of his boyhood village to his efforts to build summer camps for children of all religions, his moving story brings hope.
Paperback, 212 pages
Published April 1st 2001 by University of Notre Dame Press (first published October 1st 1990)
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Evan Hays
This is always the first book that I recommend (and constantly loan out) to anyone who asks me about the Middle East. For those of you who do not know, Abuna is a Melkite Priest (now an Archbishop) in Galilee. He is an Israeli citizen, but he is an Arab. He was expelled from his home at the Nakba, along with his family. His life has been devoted to bringing reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians, which is an overwhelming task for anyone, let alone a person which neither side would clai...more
Erin
Sep 02, 2008 Erin rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Erin by: Colin
In February I walked into a church, and my life has not been the same since. Many of you have asked me (or yourselves) what I am doing with these "religious nuts", and I am here to tell you that I am radicalizing my understanding of the world. There are many things happening that I can't put words to yet, a shift in some stodgy, dusty old thinking that's no longer serving me. I am opening myself up to new ideas about religion and the religious. How exciting! Wish me luck (and good books) on the...more
Linda Dixon
A pro-Palestnian point of veiw wrtten about a Christian-Palestinian Priest, Elias Chacour, in Galilee. Sort of a back-patting book about all the great things he did for his parish and how brave he was in every circumstance. Yet, there is a lot of unknown history of Paleistine here and I, at least, needed to read it. With the situation in the Middle East continuing for decades, I need to have a broader understanding of what is going on. I have seen Israel as the "right"side in the issue, only to...more
Graham
How do you bring peace to the Middle East? Read about it in this autobiography of a Palestinian priest working for peace with Israel. Unsentimental, humorous, tough as nails, cunning as a fox and wise as Solomon: who better to guide you through this nightmare....
Brian
Dec 25, 2013 Brian rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Absolutely everyone with an interest in human justice and equality.
Recommended to Brian by: Laith Choucha
What an inspiration this man was and still could be! I am only sad to see a man who was so supple, flexible and effective now allow himself to become hardened and stiff. If only he could retrace his own steps. Never say it can't be done. Look at the Dalai Lama. Abuna Elias Chacour was much more effective and damaging to the hardheads of the bad side of Zionism. (Yes there is a good side, there is good and bad in everything). Was very moved by some of the truths and basic pieces of common sense e...more
Patty
Elias Chacour is the Archbishop of Galilee of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. This is the second book of his that I have read. I found this book to cover much of the same ground that his first book, Blood Brothers talks about. That did not detract from this book, but readers should be aware of this fact.

This book will expose the reader to a point of view that we rarely hear about in the United States. Chacour considers himself to be a descendant of Jesus' disciples. His message is that the Is...more
Lucasparry2002
This is a must read for Christians who are interested un understanding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Most of the dialogue we hear from the US media and even within the Christian church is a one-sided story. I believe it is vital to understand the whole story so that we can work together for a solution of peace, which will help in easing conflict and tension all around the world.

Begin here... then read "Blood Brothers" by the same author. Your understanding will never be the same again.
Kirsten
This is an incredibly moving and inspiring book about an amazing man who, despite obstacles, strives for peace in a troubled area. He loves his oppressors as much as his own people and will stop at nothing to create educational opportunities for the children of his village. I recommend this to anyone interested in learning more about the Israel/Palestine conflict through the eyes of a Palestinian Christian Arab Israeli.
Wesley
Wasn't as good as Blood Brothers, but still very powerful. I was able to visit Chacour's school in the Galilee region. He spoke to our group of 27 students. Irregardless of your agreement with his political-religious messages, he is profoundly a man of peace; when he spoke to us you could feel the love and gentleness that he writes about so astonishingly well in his books. He is no pretender.
Cheryl


In some ways too sweet, a Pollyanna view of life, yet if more people believed this way, the world would be a much better place. A good intro to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, especially for Christian westerners, as it is not too graphic or frightening, and speaks in a religious format they will be familiar with, yet still shows the problems and ideological impasse all sides face.
Mary
Sep 11, 2007 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
So touching and emotional. You think you know all about the history of Israel and Palestine, but this book really opens it all up for you. I think everyone should read this and take a leaf out of Elias Chacour's book. We sure would have alot less wars going on. It is really heartbreaking to read all about the unjust way Palestinians are treated.
Emily
I am very grateful for this book. It was really my first exposure to what life is like as a Palestinian in Israel. It exposed a lot of misconceptions I had. It was not terribly well written, but kept me interested and was overall a very good meditation on forgiveness. This man seems to live the gospel out.
Kim Bos
I loved this book. It speaks in a voice that is so often ignored in the dialogue about Israel and Palestine. I learned so much and found myself driven to caring so deeply about the people in it. I would definitely recommend it to anyone with a base knowledge of the conflict.
Steven Salaita
An excellent book by a Palestinian Melkite priest who was displaced from his childhood village, Biram, in 1948.
Jason
Not as good as "Blood Brothers", but an inspiring look at the middle east conflict.
Francine
I have read it and shared it with others...it is most worthy of your time.
Billie Rain
i dare you not to love Elias Chacour after reading this book.
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