Join the Discussion – Blood Brothers, by Elias Chacour

The day has come for us to try a little book discussion. If you were with us a month ago, we encouraged you to grab a copy of Blood Brothers, by Elias Chacour, and we invite you now to share your reflections in the comments section. For those just joining us at Adding to the Beauty, Elias Chacour is a Palestinian priest in the Melkite Church who has spent his life toiling for justice and peace, particularly through education, amidst a conflict that provokes many to fatalism and despair. If you have not yet read the book (or even if you have), we’d love to hear the stories and experiences that have shaped your perspective on the conflict in Israel/Palestine and the people whose lives are affected by it.

To get things rolling we’ll share a quote from Chacour and a few questions to consider.

This is from a commencement address Chacour gave at Emory University:

Church of the Sermon on the Mount on the Mar Elias Educational Institutes in Ibillin, Galilee

Church of the Sermon on the Mount on the Mar Elias Educational Institutes in Ibillin, Galilee

You who live in the United States, if you are pro-Israel, on behalf of the Palestinian children, I call unto you: Give further friendship to Israel. They need your friendship. But stop interpreting that friendship as an automatic antipathy against me, the Palestinian who is paying the bill for what others have done against my beloved Jewish brothers and sisters in the Holocaust and elsewhere. And if you have been enlightened enough to take the side of the Palestinians – oh, bless your hearts – take our side, because for once you will be on the right side, right? But if taking our side would mean to become one-sided against my Jewish brothers and sisters, back up. We do not need such friendship. We need one more common friend. We do not need one more enemy… for God’s sake.

A few questions:

  1. What is your favorite quote/segment/story from the book and why?
  2. What new perspectives did you glean on the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
  3. What insight did you gain about the person of Jesus from Chacour’s story?
  4. Were there any parts of the book that frustrated you or made you uncomfortable?
  5. What other stories and experiences have shaped your understanding of the Israel-Palestinian conflict (and how)?

Now it’s your turn…

photo credit: hoyasmeg via photopin cc


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