I purchased a few more books yesterday:
‘From Beirut to Jerusalem’ by Thomas Friedman
‘The Clash of Civilisations’ by Samuel P. Huntington, and
‘Whose Promised Land? The Continuing Crisis Over Israel and Palestine’ by Colin Chapman.
Friedman is a Pulitzer Prize columnist currently working for the New York Times. Those in Singapore may have come across his commentaries in the Straits Times. However, he is not without criticism from anti-globalisation advocates and Muslims.
Harvard professor Huntington’s book is leaner but meaner and reads like a compact History of the World. His analysis takes everything into consideration – even our tiny dot on the map. It’s more a ‘big picture’ sort of book, not recommended for specific discussions on any conflict. Read the original article in Foreign Affairs, which led to the publication of his book.
I bought the last title as a supplement to my ongoing
struggle cross-comparison study between the Koran and the Bible. Part 1 contains an outline of the conflict from the beginning of Judaism (Abraham et al) with a collection of viewpoints from Israelis, Palestinians and other notables, while Part 2 analyses the problem from a Christian perspective. Chapman is a lecturer in Islamic studies in Lebanon.
The tricky thing about doing research on a sensitive area is, I don’t believe any publication is completely void of bias, yet because I don’t know the subject any better myself, I still have to start from somewhere.