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About the Book

Holy Land, Whose Land?  Modern Dilemma, Ancient Roots is a thinking person’s primer. It makes digestible the complexities of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and explores as well the wider-world implications of volatile Holy Land Issues.

As Dorothy Drummond takes her readers through four thousand years of history – from Abraham to the present--gradually the realization builds: It is with strong and deeply held feelings that two peoples today are pitted against each other in agonizing conflict over a piece of real estate no bigger than the state of New Jersey. Indeed, the disputed Old City of Jerusalem, site of the ancient Temple Mount (known by Muslims since 638 A.D. as the Haram al-Sharif), and site of pilgrimage for Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike, is in itself only one square mile in extent.

Part I lays out the conflict as it exists in the Holy Land today, with chapters on the beginning of the Israeli State, on Palestinian refugees, on Jewish settlements in Palestine, and the ongoing struggle for a Palestinian state.

Part II traces the history of the Holy Land, the origins of the three monotheistic faiths rooted there, and the twists and turns of geopolitics that have repeatedly shifted the region’s “ownership.”

Part III, titled “In the Vortex,” details the wider world implications of the struggle between Israelis and Palestinians, not only in the Middle East and Islamic countries outside the Arab sphere, but in the West as well.


The author is even-handed, leaning sometimes toward the Israelis, sometimes toward the Palestinians, but refusing to stand uncritically with either side. Zaineb Istrabadi, Associate Director of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at Indiana University, notes that  “Holy Land, Whose Land?” [presents] the importance of the Holy Land to Jews, Christians, and Muslims without prejudice.” Aharon ben Anshel, writing in The Jewish Press, concludes, “Without being…partisan [Drummond] introduces almost all the players and presents all the scenes of history that have resulted in the conflict that is causing so much bloodshed today in the region.”

As readers follow the author in unraveling complex Holy Land threads, they have help along the way: thirty-three maps, nineteen photos, graphs, a side-bar chronology, an extensive glossary, sources, and index.