The Pruning Fork Tackles Israeli-Arab Conflict in New Book


RYDE, Australia — The Pruning Fork is a new book by Arthur Hagopian, former journalist and foreign correspondent (AP, Reuters, The Canberra Times etc.)  in which he visualizes the end of hostilities between Israelis and Palestinians after the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement.

“No more war,” the two sides now pledge, putting to an end over 60 years of internecine bloodshed that has seen thousands of Arabs and Jews (and members of the Holy Land’s Christian population), killed and sounded and countless disenfranchised.

The main, implausible, architect whose monumental efforts have succeeded in bringing the two sides to the negotiating table, is the 99th Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Mihran Pakradian.

A genocide survivor himself, he knows full well the meaning of human suffering and deprivation.

Cast out into the searing, inhospitable Syrian desert, he is saved from perdition by another young survivor whose later heroic efforts to defuse an errant missile cause him to lose his eyes.

But the horrors the two have been subjected to, fail to make a dint in the profound core of compassion that nests in their breast, and they enter the service of the Armenian Church in Jerusalem.

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But Pakradian will continue to suffer, his purgatory exacerbated by the unwelcome machinations of a foolhardy girl.

While the cast of characters is entirely fictitious, a few of them are based on real people, their names and identities camouflaged.

Some of the events mentioned in the book did occur. The 1915 Armenian Genocide, the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, the Six Day War, the introduction of glasnost and perestroika into the moribund functions of the Armenian Patriarchate, the errant missiles that landed in the Convent of St James, all did take place.

In the 1990s archaeologists unearthed a Church of the East monastery on the Emirate Gulf island of Sir Bani Yas, the setting for the discovery of the fictional manuscript.

Happily, the famous 6th CE fauna and flora mosaic originally located in Jerusalem’s Musrara quarter, has been re-located in the Edward and Helen Mardigian museum in the St. James Convent.

Archaeologists found another mosaic, a “medallion” from around the same period, its colors still as vivid as when it was first laid down by Yevsdat the priest.

There exists a legend, based most likely on documentary evidence, of a meeting between Abraham, the first Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, and the Prophet Mohammed whose protection he was seeking for his community, or milleh.

Other books by the author, also published by Amazon, include “The Cobblestones of Jerusalem,” “Gentle Rain” (reflections on Zen, Sufism and Christian mysticism), “The Glassmaker’s Daughter” fantasy, and some children’s books.

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