Mark Braverman , author of Fatal Embrace: Christians, Jews, and the Search for Peace in the Holy Land, will be presenting at Westminster Presbyterian Church on Sunday, Oct. 31, at noon. It is free and open to the public. Dr. Braverman’s roots are in the Holy Land-his grandfather was born in Jerusalem, and emigrated to the United States as a young man. Growing up in the United States, Dr. Braverman was reared in the Jewish tradition, studying Bible, Hebrew literature, and Jewish history. He has visited Israel frequently, and lived on a kibbutz for a year as a young man.

Trained in clinical psychology and crisis management, Dr. Braverman devoted his professional career to working with groups and individuals undergoing traumatic stress. Over the years, he became increasingly concerned about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and its unchecked settlement activity.

Returning to the Holy Land in 2006, he was transformed by witnessing the occupation of Palestinian land and by encounters with peace activists and civil society leaders from the Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities. Dr. Braverman now devotes himself full-time to his work for a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In his writing and speaking he focuses on the role of religious beliefs in the current discourse on Israel/Palestine, the role of the faith community in advancing the cause of peace, and the issue of interfaith relations.

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In his new book, Fatal Embrace: Christians, Jews, and the Search for Peace in the Holy Land (SynergyBooks | February 2010 | 978-0-9840760-7-9 | Paperback | $16.95), Dr. Braverman explains how the Jewish yearning for safety and self-determination and the Christian effort to atone for centuries of anti-Jewish persecution have combined to suppress the dialogue needed to bring about peace in historic Palestine. He offers bold, fresh insights on the realities of the conflict from his unique Jewish perspective, offering up the controversial opinion that standing up for justice for the Palestinian people is not anti-Semitic. The book concludes with a call to action, specific steps needed to bring about a just peace, and resources for further study. Fatal Embrace features a foreword by noted Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann.

Dr. Braverman holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, a master’s degree in education from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from Boston University. He is a cofounder of Friends of Tent of Nations North America, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting peaceful coexistence in historic Palestine. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions-USA, the advisory committee of Friends of Sabeel North America, and the advisory council of the Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace.