The Thin Green Line
From Intractable Problems to Feasible Solutions in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Xlibris, 2005
ISBN 1-4134-3450-9 (cloth); 1-4134-3449-5 (paper)
Introduction to the book:
by Rinah Sheleff, Raanana, Israel
This book was written during the first half of 2003 and was sent to the publisher on June 10, the night before the author, Leon Sheleff, suddenly died of a heart attack following his lecture at a conference in Jerusalem.
My husband's life—as a youth in South Africa, a professor of law and sociology at Tel Aviv University, and a social activist—was devoted to social justice and human rights at every level. He wrote extensively on such diverse topics as altruism, tribal law, generational conflict, criminal law, capital punishment, torture, conscientious objection and civil disobedience, alcoholism among indigenous peoples, democratic elements in Judaism, and Jewish-Christian relations throughout history. He was a co-founder of Ad Kahn, a university-based movement calling for the right of Palestinians to an independent state, long before the Oslo and Geneva initiatives. He was also the defense lawyer in the court-martial of Gadi Algazi, the first soldier to be tried for refusing to serve in the occupied territories.
Many events have taken place since Leon's passing, such as the death of Yasser Arafat, the election of Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) as head of the Palestinian Authority, and Arik Sharon's promulgation of a plan to evacuate Gaza. Nevertheless, The Thin Green Line still provides a much-needed "atlas" (to borrow the author's word) for understanding the background to the complexity of the peace initiatives, both past and present, as well as guidelines for tackling such thorny problems as the status of Jerusalem, the right of return, and the process of reconciliation.
It is my hope that members of the Israeli and Palestinian peace camps will find support and guidance in this book, to help them in their pursuit of a just and lasting peace.