I received this book to review, and was rather excited to read it; this is a very relevant and important topic. I am always looking to gain more knowlI received this book to review, and was rather excited to read it; this is a very relevant and important topic. I am always looking to gain more knowledge and understanding about the Middle East. It is such a beautiful region, but so fraught with turmoil and tragedy. The first part of the book is basically a re-telling of the story of Abraham and Sarah. This is a good primer for those who are unfamiliar with this story or the bible. For those that are familiar with Genesis, this might feel a little redundant and repetitive.
Although this book is defninitely "pro-Isreal", I appreciated that he tried to be as unbiased as possible, and show both "sides" of the story, so to speak. Often only one side is portrayed as "just" or 'good", and the other as just evil/bad. This dehumanizes an entire peoples who are also suffering, feeling, thinking, living; they have families and fears just like all of us. The basic premise is that conflict is inevitable, and Isreal are the chosen ones.
I like the descriptions of the regions and how he gives different perspectives. He poses three questions: Does God play favorites, Is God unfair, and Is the Middle East conflict God’s fault?. These are good questions to add, because I am sure many people think about them in one way or another. I would've like to see him develope some of the topics a bit more, shorten the beginning part about Abraham, and go more into detail with the later parts of the book. He definitely present a lot of great knowledge, and as I mention, I appreciate a fair view (if one can use such a term as "fair" in this circumstance). I also like how he makes the scripture applicable, and easy to understand and contextualize. He also gives some information on the rise of Islam, lineages, and some of the additional biblical context I didn't know.
It would be neat if he included some "solutions" or ideas on how to better the situation...more