"Offers a fresh look and a unique perspective on conflict transformation and nonviolent activism in contemporary Israel/Palestine."--Véronique Dudouet, Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict Management
"Hallward’s emphasis on ‘peace work rather than peace words’ offers outstanding insights on the small galvanizing groups whose labors often lead the way in major social change."--Mary E. King, author of A Quiet Revolution
Almost invisibly, numerous activists are presently engaged in ongoing, nonviolent efforts to build peace and bring about an end to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Beginning in 2004, after the mainstream peace movement collapsed, Maia Hallward spent most of a year observing the work of seven such groups on both sides of the conflict. She returned in 2008 to examine the progress they had made in working for a just and lasting peace. Although small, these grassroots organizations provide valuable lessons regarding how peacebuilding takes place in times of ongoing animosity and violence.
By raising awareness of these groups’ existence, Hallward provides a much richer investigation of available options for peacemaking in Israel, which is otherwise dominated by violence and armed strategies. Challenging the official diplomatic presumption that peace is about working out lines on a map, she relocates the question into social, cultural, political, and geographic contexts that affect people’s daily lives.
In the end, Struggling for a Just Peace offers a critical look at the realities on the ground, focusing on what has been successful for groups engaged in working for peace in times of conflict and how they have adapted to changing circumstances.
Maia Carter Hallward is assistant professor of political science and international affairs at Kennesaw State University in Georgia.
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