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David Dolan examines roots of the Arab-Israeli conflict

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Daily, sometimes hourly, news shows remind Americans of the constant Arab-Israeli conflict, so it seems most would have an accurate understanding of the issue. Author David Dolan, however, finds that many Americans are unclear about the relationship between Israelis and Arabs.

“One can easily walk away from the TV screen scratching his head in confusion,” said Dolan, author of “Holy War for the Promised Land: Israel at the Crossroads,” published by Broadman & Holman Publishers, the trade book division of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Dolan moved to Israel in 1980 where he has reported for Voice of Hope radio, based in southern Lebanon, covered stories for CBS and worked for CBN Radio and Television in Jerusalem. Moody Radio Network and other outlets in the United States carry programs on which Dolan can be heard.

“I had a bit of wanderlust,” Dolan said about his decision to go to Israel. “I wanted to see the world, and that seemed like a great place to start. My faith was centered there.”

Dolan described Israel and the surrounding areas as a journalist’s dream. “It’s a story with many rich elements to it,” he said.

While in Israel, Dolan frequently spoke to students at Jerusalem University College, formerly known as the Institute for Holy Land studies. JUC is an extension campus for more than 100 Christian universities, and the American students asked Dolan where they could find a book — preferably with a Christian slant — to clarify the Arab-Israeli conflict.

“I looked for a book to recommend to them, but I couldn’t easily find one,” Dolan said. “So I decided to write one of my own.”

Holy War for the Promised Land is Dolan’s attempt to explain why things are the way they are in the Middle East.

“I felt that the Islamic element in the Middle East conflict was not understood well enough by readers in the West,” Dolan said.

To understand the Arab-Israeli strife, people must understand the religious fuel that fires the storm, Dolan said. Many secular authors and journalists paint a picture of the conflict that excludes the religious element, thereby ignoring the main factor: the tension between Muslims and Jews.

“One thing that is clear to me is that at its core the Arab-Israeli conflict is about whose god is God,” Dolan said. “Whose writings are true? The issue of whose faith is valid is at the heart of the conflict.”

The book examines the history of the conflict and the current situation from a biblical viewpoint. Dolan’s life story also is included in the book, with anecdotes and personal accounts of experiences he’s had in Israel. “It makes it a little less daunting to read,” Dolan said.

Many people have told Dolan they appreciate his book because of the comprehensive index. “They’ll hear something on the news and pick up my book to remind themselves what the reporter is talking about,” the journalist said. “I’ve been pleased to receive many positive compliments on it from many well-read people.”
“Holy War for the Promised Land” is available at LifeWay Christian Stores or online at lifewaystores.com. (BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: HOLY WAR FOR THE PROMISED LAND.

    About the Author

  • Leslie Ann Shoemake