Diary of an unrepentant idealist

David Shulman’s latest work is poetic and filled with empathy – but it is also imbued with a toxic blindness to modern antisemitism.

By ELAINE MARGOLIN
November 1, 2018 19:52
Diary of an unrepentant idealist

A PALESTINIAN shepherd herds a flock of sheep near his home in the village of Ghwien, south of Hebron.. (photo credit: NAYEF HASHLAMOUN/REUTERS)

 
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Most of us soon enough close our hearts to strangers, trusting only those closest to us. Not David Shulman. This enchanting 65-year-old secular holy man is filled with an enviable life spirit that has found ongoing spiritual nourishment for the past two decades working as a peace activist for Ta’ayush, helping Palestinians in the West Bank. He preaches nonviolence in the manner of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

His compelling new book Freedom and Despair: Notes from the South Hebron Hills is a follow-up to 2007’s Dark Hope: Working for Peace in Israel and Palestine, which ruminates on similar themes.

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