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Terror in the Holy Land: Inside the Anguish of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Israelis and Palestinians have been caught in what seems a 'forever war' with routine terror in the promised land for more than 100 years. This book is the first of its kind to bring together commentary and anguished personal insights from people on both sides of the battle.


As the reader, you get a personal look at -- and understanding of -- the psychological trauma that is common for men, women and children in the region.


Psychologists living and working in the region, as well as scholars in other parts of the world and from across disciplines, tell their personal stories, interwoven with academic reflections on important issues fueling the conflict - humiliation, revenge, hate and the need for a homeland as well as identity.


This unique collection of essays confronts controversial issues—like the psychological impact of terrorism and occupation -- and also offers you exceptionally compelling chapters including: stories of Palestinian female martyrs; compassion of a Jewish doctor treating suicide bombers; the identity crisis of a Palestinian comedian; the transformation of the daughter raised for Jihad; and the experiences of a doctor teaching Palestinians and Israelis unique techniques to find peace.




"To promote peace you must understand the human hearts and minds of the Israelis and Palestinians who live the conflict. Judy Kuriansky's book powerfully deepens and broadens our understanding through moving personal accounts, sensitive and probing descriptions, and more formal psychological and sociological studies. There is no other book like it."

Bruce E. Wexler, M.D.

Professor of Psychiatry, Yale University
Author, "Brain and Culture: Neurobiology, Ideology and Social Change" MIT Press


"With her impressive background and expertise in relationships, conflict resolution, and journalism, and experience representing psychological issues at the United Nations, Judy Kuriansky has done an exemplary job in this book. It is a major contribution to psychology and should be read by all those in related fields."

Florence Denmark, Ph.D.

Past President & Main representative to the UN, American Psychological Association
& Distinguished Research Professor, Pace University


"A genuinely great book that will leave its mark upon our time."

Abdul Basit, Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Muslim Mental Health
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Northwestern University


"These narratives and scholarly analyses succinctly clarify both Palestinian and Israeli perspectives on the conflict today."

Joseph Albeck, M.D.
Department of Psychiatry, McLean Hospital & Harvard Medical School
Faculty, Harvard International Negotiation Initiative


"Brings to the forefront some of the 'real' issues which governments seem to ignore."
Ibrahim Hamide
President, The Eugene Middle East Peace Group

"Important and essential reading for people of all religions and backgrounds."
Saheer Siam
Faculty, Al-Quds Open University
Board member, Interfaith Encounter Association, Jerusalem


"The psychological costs of the Middle East conflict have for too long been left out of the discussion. While we can count the number of casualties and the financial costs of a war, it is much harder to evaluate the toll it takes on the human psyche, relationships, identity and family life. Dr. Judy wakes us up to these realities. Terror in the Holy Land is a much needed perspective of the psycho-social dimensions of chronic conflict. This is an important book that should be required reading for anyone interested in conflict resolution, international relations, and the psycho-social dimensions of war."
Julie Diamond, Ph.D.
Academic Director & M.A. in Conflict Facilitation and
Organizational Change, Process Work Institute Graduate School, Portland


"An educational, illuminating and moving book about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a unique and effective delivery. Dr. Kuriansky has done a brilliant job bringing together compositions presenting a new "look" at the conflict with a clarity rarely encountered in other books."
Robert Seibel
Attorney, researcher on Middle East and International Affairs


"An extremely valuable volume that illuminates the many facets of terrorism as it manifests itself in one of its most prominent foci; The Israeli Palestinian conflict, "
Arie W. Kruglanski, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Psychology & Co-Director, National Center for the Study of Terrorism and the Response to Terrorism, University of Maryland


"A comprehensive piercing read that shows how inextricably linked the Palestinians and Israelis are. May their common experience of agony and loss bring about their common goal of peace in our time."
Tovah Feldshuh
Award-winning Broadway actress and star of "Golda's Balcony"


"Tremendous food-for-thought for those hungry to understand the psycho-social dimensions of both suicide terrorists and their victims."
Robert Pape, Ph.D.
Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago
Author: "Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism"


"Judging from the stories told here, neither side has a monopoly on righteousness and both sides have a role in causing anguish felt by citizens of Israel and Palestine. However, as sections of the volume show, a significant bloc of Israelis and Palestinians have been working -- many heroically -- toward peace and toward healing the deep divides, misperceptions and mistrust that plague the Middle East. One can take heart in the stories of anguish overcome, and of mental health workers promoting health, cooperation, and mutual understanding. Kuriansky and her colleagues tell us of the promise for the future of a peaceful Middle East -- sooner, we hope, rather than later."
Richard V. Wagner, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Bates College
Editor, Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology

Dr. Judy is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and faculty member at Columbia University Teachers College and in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia Medical School. An expert in relationships, disaster relief, media and other topics, she has authored more than 15 books in several languages and has led disaster relief after bombings in Jerusalem, SARS
in China, the tsunami in Asia and after 9/11 her in the United States. A representative to the United Nations for the International Association
of Applied Psychology and the World Council for Psychotherapy, she is also a Fellow of the American Psychological Association division on media psychology and media consultant to its peace psychology division.
She is also a member of the Society for the Study of Education in the Middle East and Muslim World, and has presented plenary speeches and workshops all over the world from Argentina to India, Israel and Iran.


INTRODUCTION by Dr Judy Kuriansky

PART 1: Times of Terror: Anguish on Both Sides


CHAPTER 1: Homeland, Helplessness, Hate and Heroes: Psychosocial Dynamics in the Israeli Palestinian Conflict by Julia DiGangi


CHAPTER 2. Girls Interrupted: The Making of Female Palestinian Suicide Bombers by Katherine VanderKaay


CHAPTER 3: Coming of Age in Times in Terrorism by Barbara Sofer


CHAPTER 4: Raised for Jihad: A Shahid's Daughter Speaks Out by Nonie Darwish


CHAPTER 5: The Mental Health Situation for Palestinians Today by Abdel hamid Afana


CHAPTER 6: Coping with Terror: Lessons from Israel by Danny Brom


CHAPTER 7: A Bomb on the Bus by Yonah Dovid Bardos


CHAPTER 8: Cries for Help: A Palestinian Social Worker's Story by Nahida AlArja


CHAPTER 9: Lost Paradise: Trauma and Martyrdom in Palestinian Families by Elia Awwad


CHAPTER 10: The Impact of Israel's Wall on Palestinian Mental Health by Nisreen Boushieh


CHAPTER 11: Terror in Jerusalem: Israelis Coping with "Emergency Routine" by Ruth Pat-Horencyk


CHAPTER 12: Israelis and Palestinians Speak Out About Violence and Peace: Public Opinion Polls 2000-2006

by Vani Murugesan


CHAPTER 13: Terror at Home and Abroad: Israeli Reactions to International Incidents of Violence by Judy Kuriansky, Lisa Bagenstose, Michele Hirsch, Avi Burstein and Yahel Tsaidi


PART 2: Psychosocial Issues in the Conflict


CHAPTER 14: Humiliation or Dignity in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict by Evelin Gerda Lindner and Neil Ryan Walsh


CHAPTER 15: Breaking the Cycle of Revenge in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict by Gary Reiss


CHAPTER 16. Obstacles to Asymmetry: Personal and Professional Lessons in Israeli-Palestinian Crisis and Reconciliation by Isaac Mendelsohn


CHAPTER 17: Collective Identity Terror in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and Potential Solutions by Ibrahim Kira


CHAPTER 18: In Search of My Identity: The Value of Humor About the Arab Israeli Conflict by Ray Hanania


CHAPTER 19: Caught in the Middle; Identity Conflicts in Arab Adolescents in Israel by Salman Elbedour, Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie, Persephone Brown, Qun G. Jiao


PART 3: Women and Children Caught in the Conflict


CHAPTER 20: Anguish of Israeli Women Against the Backdrop of the Intifada by Joyce Brenner


CHAPTER 21: The Effect of Conflict and Militarization on Palestinian Women by Amal Abusrour


CHAPTER 22. The Emotional Impact of the Intifada on Palestinian Youth: Implications for Finding the Path to Peace

by Jeff Victoroff


CHAPTER 23. Feeling 'Safe": An Israeli Intervention Program for Helping Children Cope with Exposure to Political Violence and Terrorism by Michelle Slone and Anat Shoshani


CHAPTER 24. Demonization of the "Other" and Tools to Transform Foe to Friend by Ofra Ayalon


PART 4: Therapeutic and Educational Efforts for Understanding, Coping and Reconciliation


CHAPTER 25: Awaiting the Wounded: A Doctor's Story by Avraham Rivkind


CHAPTER 26: Challenges Of A Young Palestinian Clinician During the Intifada by Roney Srour


CHAPTER 27: Healing the Wounds of War in Gaza and Israel: A Mind-Body Approach by James S. Gordon


CHAPTER 28: InShallah, Family, Gender Roles and Other Issues Affecting Mental Health and Therapy for Palestinian

Arab-Israelis by Alean Al-Krenawi and John Graham


CHAPTER 29: Ordinary Madness of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict by Jerry Lawler


CHAPTER 30: Making Paper Flowers Bloom: Coping Strategies to Survive the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict by Judy Kuriansky


CHAPTER 31: Weathering the "Perfect Storm": Moving Beyond Intractability of the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict by Heidi Burgess and Guy Burgess