The Israel/Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) of the Presbyterian Church (USA) has generated a tsunami of controversy with the recent publication of Zionism Unsettled: A Congregational Study Guide (available from the AET Bookstore), a lavishly illustrated 74-page book accompanied by a DVD, which provides a wealth of information and provocative questions for discussion in book clubs and church and synagogue groups. Among the savage condemnations of this book is the review by Rabbis Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerstein on the Fox News website which bears the title “Why is U.S. church sending Jews to the trash-heap of history?” It accuses the authors of “poisoning attitudes among its members toward their Jewish neighbors,” and exhorts members of PCUSA to abandon their church.
Michael Dumper opens his latest book on Jerusalem with the important question, “Why another book on Jerusalem?” Given the plethora of literature on the Holy City and its context within the larger Palestinian conflict, the question is valid. Interestingly, Dumper justifies Jerusalem Unbound, his third book on the city, by citing his recent work on the interdisciplinary project titled “Conflict in Cities and the Contested State,” which has pulled together scholars in sociology, architecture, urban studies, engineering and political science to cultivate new perspectives on Jerusalem as an urban space. The results, claim Dumper, influenced his desire to write another book on Jerusalem, this time focusing on it as a divided city with competing and contesting borders.