2002 Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land - Study Guide Part 3, Chapter 17 Summary & Analysis

David K. Shipler
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Chapter 17, entitled "The Sin of Love," touches upon the most sensitive subject in the Arab-Jewish conflict. Israel keeps no statistics on intermarriages. They are illegal and must be conducted outside the country; when one of the partners converts, the ceremony is recorded as taking place between two co-religionists. Rumors on the subject, however, abound. Right-wing Jews use scare tactics to dissuade any contact. Shipler is able, however, to find many happily married Arab-Jewish couples, but he usually disguises their identities at their request.

There is no middle ground in Israel between Arab and Jewish societies, so couples must decide in which camp to live. Knowing that what they do is an act of defiance against bigotry, they are buoyed, but they endure opposition that taxes their relationships.

Almost all mixed marriages involve Arab men and Jewish women. Jewish women suffer more overt opposition from their...

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