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PARALLEL REALITIES A Jewish-Arab History of Israel/Palestine by Eric Black


Journalist Eric Black's book, Parallel Realities, presents a concise and insightful overview of how each side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict draws on fundamentally different, competing versions of history and reality. He treats both sides with respect and allows readers to consider for themselves whether one side or the other has a monopoly on the truth, and whether the parallel lines can ever touch.

Here are three excerpted chapters, reprinted with the permission of the author and the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Copyright 1992, Star Tribune. (See below for further information about the author and the book. )

dialogue of two monologues (chapter one)
chapter one

In the Israelis' and Palestinians' long struggle for security and identity, each side holds sharply different views on the major historical events affecting the land that both peoples claim. This chapter covers the historic arguments, from thousands of years ago through the 20th century. The author's statements in this chapter are based on the writings of scholars and the words of Palestinian and Israeli leaders.

Resolution 242 and the Aftermath of 1967 (chapter eight)
chapter eight

Adopted by the U.N. following the June 1967 war, Resolution 242 has been accepted by most Arab nations, Israel, the PLO, the U.S., and most of the world as the basis for a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. Despite this, the resolution has gone nowhere -- the problem being Israelis' and Palestinians' divergent, parallel versions of its meaning. A recent example of this divergence is Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's op-ed in The New York Times on June 9, 2002, in which he maintains that Resolution 242 determined that Israel "was not expected to withdraw from all the territories that its forces had entered ... in the Six-Day War." Palestinians say such a statement is outrageous because it is a totally incorrect interpretation of 242's language.

An Oath and a Chant (chapter thirteen)
chapter thirteen

This final chapter of Parallel Realities connects the past of Israel/Palestine to the present and the future of the conflict. It focuses on two historical events -- the struggles of the Jews in Rome and the Muslims during the Crusades -- in an attempt to show how the past can hold hostage the present and the future in the land that two peoples consider their home.

»About the Author

Eric Black is a reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, where he specializes in pieces that put the news in historical context. Parallel Realities is based on a series of articles he wrote for the newspaper. The book describes the history of Israel/Palestine, from biblical times until just before Oslo, from the perspectives of each side of the ethnoreligious divide.

» About the Book

Parallel Realities is available for $9.95 per copy plus $2.00 shipping/handling for up to 10 copies. Orders should be sent to Eric Black/Star Tribune/425 Portland Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55488. There are discounts available for classroom orders of 10 or more (15 percent) and 30 or more (25 percent). Details or inquiries can be directed to the same address, or to

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