Marc Gopin offers a groundbreaking exploration of Arab/Israeli peace partnerships: unlikely friendships created among people who have long been divided by bitter resentments, deep suspicions, and violent sorrows. In Bridges Across an Impossible Divide, Gopin shows how the careful examination of their inner spiritual lives has enabled Jewish and Arab individuals to form peace partnerships, and that these partnerships may someday lead to peaceful coexistence. The peacemakers in this book have no formal experience in conflict resolution or diplomacy. Instead, through trial and error, they have devised their own methods of reaching out across enemy lines. The obstacles they face are unimaginable, the pressure from both sides to desist is constant, and the guilt-ridden thoughts of betrayal are pervasive and intense. Peace partners have found themselves deserted by their closest friends, family members, and neighbors. Bridges Across an Impossible Divide tells their stories - stories not of saints, but of singular people who overcame seemingly unbeatable odds in their dedication to work toward peace with their estranged neighbors.
Gopin provides insightful analysis of the lessons to be learned from these peacebuilders, outlining the characteristics that make them successful. He argues that lasting conflict and misery between enemies is the result of an emotional, cognitive, and ethical failure to self-examine, and that the true transformation of a troubled society is brought about by the spiritual introspection of extraordinary, determined individuals.