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[food]
Below are books of interest on Israel, the Middle East, Israeli authors, and Hebrew English dictionaries (at the bottom). Click on a book cover or Amazon link to read more reviews or to purchase the book at discount.









[book] Defending the Holy Land
A Critical Analysis of Israel's Security and Foreign Policy
by Zeev Maoz
April 2006. University of Michigan Press.
Defending the Holy Land is the most comprehensive analysis to date of Israel's national security and foreign policy, from the inception of the State of Israel to the present. Author Zeev Maoz's unique double perspective, as both an expert on the Israeli security establishment and esteemed scholar of Mideast politics, enables him to describe in harrowing detail the tragic recklessness and self-made traps that pervade the history of Israeli security operations and foreign policy. Most of the wars in which Israel was involved, Maoz shows, were entirely avoidable, the result of deliberate Israeli aggression, flawed decision-making, and misguided conflict management strategies. None, with the possible exception of the 1948 War of Independence, were what Israelis call "wars of necessity." They were all wars of choice-or, worse, folly. Demonstrating that Israel's national security policy rested on the shaky pairing of a trigger-happy approach to the use of force with a hesitant and reactive peace diplomacy, Defending the Holy Land recounts in minute-by-minute detail how the ascendancy of Israel's security establishment over its foreign policy apparatus led to unnecessary wars and missed opportunites for peace. A scathing and brilliant revisionist history, Defending the Holy Land calls for sweeping reform of Israel's foreign policy and national security establishments. This book will fundamentally transform the way readers think about Israel's troubled history.
Zeev Maoz is a professor of Political Science, and former head of the Graduate School of Government and Policy at Tel-Aviv University. He also served as the Head of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies (1994-1997), as the Academic Director of the M.A. program of the National Defense College of the IDF (1990-1994), and as Chairman of the Department of Political Science at the University of Haifa (1991-1994). Prof. Maoz received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Click the book cover above to read more.






[book][book] THE ACCIDENTAL EMPIRE
ISRAEL AND THE BIRTH OF THE SETTLEMENTS, 1967-1977
By GERSHOM GORENBERG
March 2006, Times Books.
After Israeli troops defeated the armies of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan in June 1967, the Jewish state seemed to have reached the pinnacle of success. But far from being a happy ending, the Six-Day War proved to be the opening act of a complex political drama, in which the central issue became: Should Jews build settlements in the territories taken in that war? The Accidental Empire is Gershom Gorenberg's masterful and gripping account of the strange birth of the settler movement, which was the child of both Labor Party socialism and religious extremism. It is a dramatic story featuring the giants of Israeli history-Moshe Dayan, Golda Meir, Levi Eshkol, Yigal Allon-as well as more contemporary figures like Ariel Sharon, Yitzhak Rabin, and Shimon Peres. Gorenberg also shows how the Johnson, Nixon, and Ford administrations turned a blind eye to what was happening in the territories, and reveals their strategic reasons for doing so. Drawing on newly opened archives and extensive interviews, Gorenberg reconstructs what the top officials knew and when they knew it, while weaving in the dramatic first-person accounts of the settlers themselves. Fast-moving and penetrating, The Accidental Empire casts the entire enterprise in a new and controversial light, calling into question much of what we think we know about this issue that continues to haunt the Middle East. Click the book cover above to read more. Writing in The New York Times, Jonathan D. Tepperman, an editor of Foreign Affairs, wrote, "...this the perfect time to look back at how Israel got into this mess in the first place. Generally speaking, there have been two prevailing explanations: one of Israeli innocence, the other of guilt. In the first, the tiny state was forced into war in 1967 and grabbed Gaza, Sinai, the West Bank and the Golan Heights in self-defense, planning to hold them only until they could be safely traded for peace. In the other, Israel used its victory in 1967 deliberately to expand its borders. It disenfranchised the locals, stole their land and settled the territories with religious fanatics. Now Gershom Gorenberg, an American-born Israeli journalist, has produced a remarkably insightful third account. ... he portrays the first two decades after '67 as a melancholy story of inadvertant colonialism. It's a groundbreaking revision that deserves to reframe the entire debate. According to Gorenberg, the Israelis did not quite acquire their colonies as the British were said to, in a fit of absent-mindedness - but just about. In 1967, Israel won an unexpected victory in a war it didn't seek and found itself sitting on new territory three times its original size. But Prime Minister Levi Eshkol was paralyzed by this unhappy prize. He refused either to annex the land (since this would mean either expelling or absorbing 1.1 million Arabs) or to return it (since Israel's 1949 borders were deemed indefensible).Instead, he and his Labor Party successors (Golda Meir and Yitzhak Rabin) pursued a policy of no policy. The tragedy of this dodge, Gorenberg reveals, was that it ended up amounting to a policy anyway, for "stalemate was the soil in which settlements grew." As the deadlocked cabinet dithered, a decisive few - mostly young zealots dreaming of a biblical "Greater Israel" - took action....
.... Gorenberg shows Moshe Dayan, Israel's one-eyed war hero, musing that the Palestinians would end up as grateful colonial subjects like the Togolese; Henry Kissinger overlooking obvious signs of Israel's settlement construction; and Arab leaders rejecting Israel's peace offerings in the faith they'd soon crush it on the battlefield....The book works powerfully on two important levels: as a deeply informative counterhistory and as a mournful reminder of what happens when a democratic government acquiesces in the face of its own militants...by showing the root of the problem - incompetence, not ideology - Gorenberg points to the direction from which an answer may someday emerge.







[book] Dying for Jerusalem
by Walter Laqueur
Sourcebooks. March 2006.
From Booklist: *Starred Review* Laqueur, a veteran historian and journalist, offers a fascinating look at Israel that is part memoir, part history, part commentary. As a 17-year-old in 1938, Laqueur fled Germany and found himself in Israel. Although he has lived elsewhere for much of his adult life, he has regularly traveled to Israel, sometimes spending a few weeks, sometimes working there for years. Perhaps because of this history of coming and going, he is able to look at Israel both objectively and intimately, as visitor and resident. He writes as if he's having a conversation with his reader, and the conversation is wide-ranging: the country's archaeological underpinnings, the evolution of kibbutz life, the lives of the ultraOrthodox, the influence of the Sephardic Jews. Because Laqueur talks with such familiarity on so many topics, readers get both facts and opinions. In the chapter on Jerusalem tourism, for example, Laqueur begins with what the first Baedeker guide (published in 1876) had to say about visiting the city (bring bribes) and goes on to write intriguingly about how tourism has evolved and how visitors react to the city's history, interweaving tensions between the locals and the tourists and examining the fervor that religiosity can evoke, including the Jerusalem syndrome, in which visitors imagine themselves to be people from the Bible. Readers interested in Israel and its history won't want to miss this one (Ilene Cooper).
Shlomo Avineri, in The Washington Post, writes: Walter Laqueur's Dying for Jerusalem ... Its title is a misnomer: While trying to explain why Jerusalem remains such a contentious issue, Laqueur -- with his usual panache as a historian and political analyst -- paints on a much wider canvas.... Laqueur's detailed knowledge of Jerusalem's quarters -- Rechavia and Talbiya, Mea Shearim and Machane Yehuda -- evokes the very aroma of each disparate area. Laqueur starts with his arrival in Jerusalem on Nov. 15, 1938, and the date says it all: His train left Germany just as Kristallnacht descended on German Jewry. Laqueur spent the war years in Palestine (he left in 1955 but has been continually coming back), and he is ever thankful to Zionism and Jerusalem for saving him from the Holocaust. Still, he is ambivalent about some basic tenets of the Zionist movement founded by Theodor Herzl. " 'We are a people, one people,' Herzl had exclaimed in a famous speech in an early Zionist Congress to stormy acclaim, but was it still true?" Laqueur asks, with a bluntness that would make every Zionist uncomfortable. The strengthening of the right wing in post-1967 Israeli politics has made him even more ambivalent, and he obviously has a visceral dislike of the ultra-Orthodox.But for all this, Dying for Jerusalem is a plea for a liberal, open vision of a Jewish state: Its compassion applies equally to Jews and Arabs, and Laqueur's humanism gives the book a bit of an elegiac quality. Hence some of his nostalgia for pre-1948 Jerusalem, when, under the British Mandate, Jews and Arabs did not live exactly peacefully but still lived together, albeit uneasily, under imperial custody.... ... [it ] is fascinating in its erudition and appealing in its humanism. Yet ultimately, like everyone else, Laqueur is flummoxed by the inscrutability of history. Click the book cover above to read more.







[book] HOW TO CURE A FANATIC
By AMOS OZ
Princeton University Press. March 2006.
Internationally acclaimed novelist Amos Oz grew up in war-torn Jerusalem, where as a boy he witnessed firsthand the poisonous consequences of fanaticism. In two concise, powerful essays, the award-winning author offers unique insight into the true nature of fanaticism and proposes a reasoned and respectful approach to resolving the Israeli Palestinian conflict. As an added feature, he comments on contemporary issues--the Gaza pullout, Yasser Arafat's death, and the war in Iraq--in an extended interview at the end of the book. Oz argues that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not a war of religion or cultures or traditions, but rather a real estate dispute--one that will be resolved not by greater understanding, but by painful compromise. As he writes, "The seeds of fanaticism always lie in uncompromising righteousness, the plague of many centuries." The brilliant clarity of these essays, coupled with Oz's ironic sense of humor in illuminating the serious, breathes new life into this centuries-old debate. He emphasizes the importance of imagination in learning to define and respect other's space, and analyzes the twisted historical roots that have led to Middle East violence. In his interview, Oz sends a message to Americans. Why not, he proposes, advocate for a twenty-first-century equivalent of the Marshall Plan aimed at preventing poverty and despair in the region? "What is necessary is to work on the ground, for example, building homes for hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees who have been rotting in camps for almost sixty years now." Fresh, insightful, and inspiring, How to Cure a Fanatic brings a new voice of sanity to the cacophony on Israeli-Palestinian relations--a voice no one can afford to ignore. .Click the book cover above to read more.







[book] PEACE IS POSSIBLE
CONVERSATIONS WITH ARAB AND ISRAELI LEADERS FROM 1988 TO THE PRESENT
by S. DANIEL ABRAHAM
Foreword by former President Bill Clinton

Newmarket. March 2006.
A first-hand personal account of American businessman and Slim Fast founder Danny Abraham's more than 15 years of peacemaking efforts in the Middle East and the reasons he believes peace is possible. For more than fifteen years, entrepreneur Danny Abraham, founder and former chairman of Slim Fast, chose to utilize his considerable resources to facilitate Mideast peace. Together with Utah Congressman Wayne Owens, Abraham made more than sixty trips to the Middle East between 1988 to 2002, meeting with Arab leaders Hosni Mubarak, Hafez Assad, Crown Prince Abdullah, and Yasser Arafat, and Israeli prime ministers Yitzhak Shamir, Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, and Ariel Sharon. Using his business experience with difficult negotiations, Abraham took an active behind-the-scenes role, setting up critical one-on-one meetings between key figures. He urged these leaders to articulate not what they wanted, but what they needed, to make peace, fostering significant advances in the peace process. Since Owens' untimely death in 2002, Abraham has continued to arrange peacemaking meetings on his own. Drawing from meeting transcripts, diary entries, and extensive handwritten notes, Abraham writes in the first person about these extraordinary, often private meetings, giving us rare "you are there" insight into historically significant events. In his pragmatic and hopeful book, he writes, "I am a great optimist, particularly about a region of the world that usually brings out people's most pessimistic inclinations-Israel and its neighbors." Foreword by President Bill Clinton. Click the book cover above to read more.






[book] MAN IN THE SHADOWS
INSIDE THE MIDDLE EAST CRISIS WITH A MAN WHO LED THE MOSSAD
BY EFRAIM HALEVY
April 2006. ST MARTIN'S PRESS.
Israel's Mossad is thought by many to be one of the most powerful intelligence agencies in the world. In Man in the Shadows, Efraim Halevy-a Mossad officer since 1961 and its chief between 1998 and 2002-provides an unprecedented portrait of the Middle East crisis. Having served as the secret envoy of prime ministers Rabin, Shamir, Netanyahu, Barak, and Sharon, Halevy was privy to many of the top-level negotiations that determined the progress of the region's struggle for peace during the years when the threat of Islamic terror became increasingly powerful. Informed by his extraordinary access, he writes candidly about the workings of the Mossad, the prime ministers he served under, and the other major players on the international stage: Yasir Arafat, Saddam Hussein, Hafiz al-Assad, Mu'amar Gadhafi, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush. From the vantage point of a chief in charge of a large organization, he frankly describes the difficulty of running an intelligence agency in a time when heads of state are immersed, as never before, in using intelligence to protect their nations while, at the same time, acting to protect themselves politically. Most important, he writes fiercely and without hesitation about how the world might achieve peace in the face of the growing threat from Islamic terrorist organizations.
In this gripping inside look, Halevy opens his private dossier on events past and present: the assassination attempt by the Mossad on the life of Khaled Mashal, now the leader of Khammas; the negotiations surrounding the Israeli-Jordan Peace Accord and its importance for the stability of the region; figures in the CIA, like Jim Angleton and George Tenet, with whom he worked (Halevy even shares his feelings about Tenet's abrupt resignation). He tells the truth about what the Mossad really knew before 9/11. He writes candidly about assessing the threat of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the region and beyond, and what this spells for the future of international stability and survival. He touches on the increasing visibility of the CIA in the Middle East and openly shares his misgivings about both the report of the 9/11 Commission and the Middle East road map to peace that was pressed on all sides of the conflict by the U.S. government. He looks at the terrorist attacks in Madrid and London and their far-reaching effects, and states the unthinkable: We have yet to see the worst of what the radical Islamic terrorists are capable of. Click the book cover above to read more.






[book] THE NIMROD FLIPOUT
by ETGAR KERET. Translated from Hebrew
April 2006. FSG.
Already featured on This American Life and Selected Shorts and in Zoetrope: All Story and L.A. Weekly, these short stories include a man who finds equal pleasure in his beautiful girlfriend and the fat, soccer-loving lout she turns into after dark; shrinking parents; a case of impotence cured by a pet terrier; and a pessimistic Middle Eastern talking fish. A bestseller in Israel, The Nimrod Flipout is an extraordinary collection from the preeminent Israeli writer of his generation. Click the book cover above to read more.






[book] [book] Lonely Soldier
The Memoir of an American in the Israeli Army
by Adam Harmon
JUNE 2006. Presidio Press
Adam grew up in NH and graduated from American University in 1989. Ever since visiting Israel as a teen in 1984 with his Jewish teen tour, he planned to move to Israel. He is an American citizen and an Israeli soldier. In this book, he recounts his service with the IDF. Harmon moved to Israel and joined the military. Without family in the country, he was designated a chayal boded, or lonely soldier. One of the few nonnatives to become an Israeli paratrooper-and already an "old man" in a country where service is compulsory after high school- Harmon describes the tough training and strict standards that define the Israeli combatant. From the very first push-up to ambushes in Lebanon and operations in the West Bank, readers march alongside Harmon and discover the value of having retsach bi'anigh (murder in your eye) and learn why "time is holy." The Israeli military culture surprised Harmon. It was very different from the one he expected to find. As within the U.S. military, Israeli soldiers avoid punishment only by being perfectionists, but the Israeli military has an unusually high regard for individualism. Commanders rely more on achieving consensus than on issuing orders; and every soldier is free to disobey an order he finds immoral. Over the next thirteen years, Harmon was in the ranks of a military that was adapting to ever-changing threats. In 1990 killing was always used as a last resort, but by 2002 targeted assassinations were employed to "decapitate" terrorist gangs. Harmon's own wish for a separate Palestinian state never wavered, but his dismay at the increasing violence by Palestinians, desperate to achieve independence, mirrors the growing belief in Israel that a true rapprochement is not on the horizon. Lonely Soldier, completed as Israel was beginning to disengage from Gaza, is a unique and thrilling glimpse into a revered yet misunderstood institution that is integral to Middle East peace. Click the book cover above to read more.






[book] Let It Be Morning
by Sayed Kashua, Miriam Shlesinger (Translator)
June 2006. Grove Atlantic
In his debut, "Dancing Arabs," Sayed Kashua established himself as one of the most daring voices of the Middle East. In his searing new novel, a young Arab journalist returns to his hometown - an Arab village within Israel - where his already vexed sense of belonging is forced to crisis when the village becomes a pawn in the never-ending power struggle that is the Middle East. Hoping to reclaim the simplicity of life among kin, the prodigal son returns home to find that nothing is as he remembers: everything is smaller, the people are petty and provincial. But when Israeli tanks surround the village without warning or explanation, everyone inside is cut off from the outside world. As the situation grows increasingly dire, the village devolves into a Darwinian jungle, where paranoia quickly takes hold and threatens the community's fragile equilibrium. With the enduring moral and literary power of Camus and Orwell, "Let It Be Morning" offers an intimate, eye-opening portrait of the conflicted allegiances of the Israeli Arabs, proving once again that Sayed Kashua is a fearless, prophetic observer of a political and human quagmire that offers no easy answers. Click the book cover above to read more.







[book] WHAT ISRAEL MEANS TO ME
EDITED by ALAN DERSHOWITZ
JULY 2006. WILEY.
From Publishers Weekly: "Harvard law professor Dershowitz is out to defend Israel again"this time, with a little help from his friends. In this volume, some 80 writers, scholars and journalists, many of them prominent figures, most of them Jewish, contribute short pieces about the meaning of Israel in their lives. The breadth of authors is impressive, from Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota and the Rev. Pat Robertson to the actresses Natalie Portman (Jewish, born in Israel) and Christina Applegate (not Jewish, visited Israel). As might be expected, many of the pieces emphasize the writer's emotional connection to the Jewish state. Some are prone to hyperbole (former Cabinet member William Bennett counts himself "among the millions of Americans who see America's fate and Israel's fate as one"), while others are overly sentimental. But to Dershowitz's credit, the collection includes selections from more nuanced and critical thinkers. Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts points out the importance of Israel as a haven for Palestinian gays and lesbians, while noting that Israel has a way to go in ridding itself of homophobia. Some authors oppose Israel's existence or, like Israeli politician Shulamit Aloni and American Jewish activist Michael Lerner, are critical of Israeli policy in the West Bank, in essays that may expand the readership for this collection beyond the usual pro-Israel suspects."
Includes Erica Jong, Jonathan Kellerman, Barney Frank, Tovah Feldshuh, David Harris (AJC), Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, Larry King, David Mamet, Michael B. Oren, and many more. Click the book cover above to read more.








[book] HOW ISRAEL LOST
THE FOUR QUESTIONS
by Richard Ben Cramer
May 12, 2004. Simon and Schuster
Cramer's book is divided into four questions about the conflict ("Why do we care about Israel?", "Why don't the Palestinians have a state?", "What is a Jewish state?", and "Why is there no peace?") modeled after the questions asked at a Passover seder. But you may say, "DAYENU" ENOUGH ALREADY.. but you would be wrong. Cramer is fresh and a great read, and funny as well. PW writes, "Cramer, who won a Pulitzer in 1979 for Middle East reporting, divides his book into four parts, dealing with four questions on the model of the four questions asked by children at the Passover seder. He blends up-to-the-minute events of the Palestinian uprising with memories of his time as a Middle East correspondent in the late 1970s and early 1980s for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Cramer is great at telling an anecdote, whether about his visit as a correspondent to an Arab village where he learns about both hospitality and honor, or about a recent visit to an Israeli family that he finds instructive regarding Palestinians' inability to reconcile themselves to a Jewish presence. When it comes to prognosis, Cramer shoots straight from the hip in giving advice to both sides. He's of the "plague on both of their houses" school ("I should have told [the mother of a dead Palestinian militant] the same thing I would have told Sharon: ...you can't make a nation... based on whom you hate, or how many of them you kill"), and he's equally dismissive of Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon, although he seems to come down harder on the Israelis for failing to recognize the Arab world's need for honor." Click the book cover above to read more.







[book] JERUSALEM BESIEGED
FROM ANCIENT CANAAN TO MODERN ISRAEL
By ERIC H. CLINE
October 2004, University of Michigan Press.
A MUST READ
The City of Peace has seen 118 conflicts in four millennia. Eric Cline, the Associate Professor of Ancient History and Archeology at GWU in Washington DC, chronicles the 4000 year old struggle over Jerusalem and put the battles and conflicts into context. He refers to ten major conflicts in and around Jerusalem, the Jews (Bayt ha-Miqdash, ha-Kodesh), Romans (Aelia), Moslem (Iliya, al-Maqdis, el-Qodesh, el-Quds), Crusader (French Franks and later ones), Byzantine, Ottoman, Western, Arab, and Israeli fights over the land, and cites how the battles of the past have influences the propaganda/truth of today. Even under Moslem rule, Shiites, Sunnis, Fatimids (followers of Fatima, daughter of the Prophet), and new Central Asian converts to Islam fought of the city, which by then reported to the capital of Ramla. Professor Cline avoids polemics, and in light of the current conflict in Iraq and elsewhere, a military POV book on the Middle East is unique and interesting. Most excitingly for our readers, Cline debunks many of the current myths and he disproves the currently chic denial of a Jewish historic attachment to the city. Includes over 80 pages of notes, 400 pages, 10 color illustrations, and countless maps. Cline has participated in seventeen seasons of excavations and surveys in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Cyprus, Greece, Crete, and the United States, and is currently a Senior Staff Archaeologist at the ongoing excavations of Megiddo. A former Fulbright scholar, Dr. Cline has advanced degrees from Dartmouth College, Yale University, and the University of Pennsylvania. Click the book cover above to read more.




If you like the book above, see also:
[book] CRUSADES
THE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY
Christendom - Islam - Pilgrimage - War
Edited By Thomas F. Madden
2004, University of Michigan Press.






[book] BREAKING RANKS
REFUSING TO SERVE IN THE WEST BANK AND GAZA STRIP
By RONIT CHACHAM
The Other Press; 2004
In a series of moving and provocative conversations, nine members of the Israeli Defense Force tell why they refused to serve in the West Bank and Gaza. The "Refuseniks" describe their risky moral decision against the background of what is perhaps the most volatile conflict in the world today: the ISraeli-Palestine struggle. Their individual choices and their collective activism have generated intense debate in Israel and the international community, from the leading Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz to a segment on 6o Minutes. In a sociocultural mosaic of the refusenik movement and the political context in which it arose, these men recount their individual family backgrounds and beliefs. Dedicated to the welfare of their country and its religious heritage, they outline their concerns for the future of Israel. As they tell their stories of personal struggle, they also raise the disturbing and highly controversial issue of human rights abuses in the occupied territories. These searching personal accounts of existential choice offer new perspectives on some entrenched ideas about the situation in the Middle East. The testimony in Breaking Ranks is essential background for a full understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The refuseniks illuminate the inner workings of Israeli society by challenging what it most reveres, offering a new moral framework that reinforces a sense of belonging to Israel. In this time of grave crisis in the Middle East, with no solution in sight to repair the utter collapse of the peace process, these voices offer a message of hope in their commitment to their society and nation. Click the book cover above to read more.






[book] The Path to Geneva
The Quest for a Permanent Agreement, 1996-2004
by Yossi Beilin
Akashic Books; (May 15, 2004)
From the early days of the secret Oslo talks through the recent crises and new developments in Israel and Palestine, Yossi Beilin has been at the center of it all. This book highlights his intensive and historic meetings with President Clinton, Ehud Barak, Shimon Peres, Hosni Mubarek, King Hussein of Jordan, and Madeleine Albright, as well as Beilin's crucial connections with such seminal Arab leaders as Yasser Arafat, Saeb Erikot, Faisal Husseini, and the first Prime Minister of "Palestine," Abu Mazen. The Beilin-Mazen agreements are the basis of the current "road map" to Middle East peace. The reader is carried with Beilin to Bill Clinton's Oval Office, Mubarek's Cairo, Hussein's Amman, and many other centers of global power -- becoming privy to historic encounters and the surprising details of those negotiations, both public and secret. In The Path to Geneva, we learn how Beilin came to be this world leader in search of peace, how he overcame all the inherent difficulties, how he interfaced with world leaders, and how he sees a solution to this ancient problem that creates a fair resolution for all sides. This book is an extremely important and inspiring document, giving hope via pragmatism and the personal will of a dedicated, brilliant diplomat and visionary participant in this most challenging of arenas. Click the book cover above to read more.






[book] NEGOTIATING OUTSIDE THE LAW
WHY CAMP DAVID FAILED
By RAY HELMICK, S.J.
with Forward by Jesse Jackson
Pluto Press; (October 2004)
Helmick, a mediator and Jesuit, gives his opinion on why Camp David failed to bing Arafat and Barak into a signed agreement, namely that scant attention was given to international law. Helmick argues that in looking at what will be needed to bring about a renewed peace process, attention should be given to the radical disparity of power between the sides. This is unlikely to be overcome so long as the underlying supposition to negotiations is that possession is granted by superior military force, with the result that everything is Israel's to give or not give as Israelis will choose. The alternative is to base the negotiation on a supposition of the rule of international law, which could only obtain if that were the expectation of the United States. Such a supposition would not disadvantage either side, Israeli or Palestinian, both of whose rights would command respect. Click the book cover above to read more.






[book] BAD NEWS FRM ISRAEL
By GREG PHILO and MIKE BERRY
Pluto Press; 2004)
Authors argue that the television media misinforms the public about the Israel Palestine conflict. The analyze how television portrays the conflict, portrays the parties, how it shows casualities and discusses motivations and rationales. Click the book cover above to read more.

If you like the book above, you may also enjoy...
Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli Palestinian Struggle by Mazin B. Qumsiyeh, who also heads the Palestine Right to Return Coalition (a tour de'forse, said Naseer Aruri; and an erudite work, said Dr. Hanan Ashrawi)
Or JEWISH Fundamentalism in Israel. New Edition by israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky, with positive blurbs from the late Edward Said and Noam Chomsky








[book] DEFENDING ISRAEL
A STUDY OF HER BORDERS AND A PLAN TOWARD PEACE
MARTIN VAN CREVELD
October 2004. St Martins
Israel is a tiny country. From tip to toe, it stretches 260 miles long but is only 60 miles at its widest point. Since the days of the British mandate, the question of "defensible borders" for the Jewish state has always been problematic. Yet considering the larger picture of what has happened in the Middle East over the last 25 years -- the peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, the weakening of Syria as a result of the collapse of the USSR, the smashing of Iraq by the U.S -- Israel is, militarily speaking, stronger than ever before. The greatest remaining threats are terrorism and guerilla warfare; and those, this book argues, are best dealt with territorial concessions. This is a compact, incisive study that is certain to draw attention. Creveld (Moshe Dayan, etc.) argues effectively for Israel's withdrawal from the occupied territories-unilaterally, if necessary-on the grounds that it will make Israel more secure. A history professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, he details the change in Israel's military thinking after its 1967 victory in the Six-Day War and claims it's time to change once again. Creveld proposes a "military revolution": more mobile forces and a more decentralized command system that will be more capable of countering terrorist threats. This should be accompanied by a withdrawal from the Palestinian territories, he contends, which are sapping Israel's military and moral superiority at levels that far outweigh their economic and ideological value. While he admits that an Israeli withdrawal will not completely rid the country of terrorism, he asserts that it will likely take away some of the motivation for suicide bombers. Click the book cover above to read more.




[book] FRATRICIDE IN THE HOLY LAND
A PSYCHOANALYTIC VIEW OF THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT
by AVNER FALK
November 2004. Wisconsin.
The unconscious aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Two ethnic groups fight over the same land. Falk explores the unconscious aspects of the struggle and lost opportunities, using large group psychology, nationalism, psychogeography, suicidal terrorism, and psychobiographies of Sharon and Arafat. Click the book cover above to read more.









[book] BETHLEHEM ROAD MURDER
A Mystery by Batya Gur
December 2004. HarperCollins.
Click the book cover above to read more.









[book] Occupied By Memory
The Intifada Generation And The Palestinian State Of Emergency
by John Collins
December 2004. NYU PRESS.
Occupied by Memory explores the memories of the first Palestinian intifada. Based on extensive interviews with members of the "intifada generation," those who were between 10 and 18 years old when the intifada began in 1987, the book provides a detailed look at the intifada memories of ordinary Palestinians. These personal stories are presented as part of a complex and politically charged discursive field through which young Palestinians are invested with meaning by scholars, politicians, journalists, and other observers. What emerges from their memories is a sense of a generation caught between a past that is simultaneously traumatic, empowering, and exciting-and a future that is perpetually uncertain. In this sense, Collins argues that understanding the stories and the struggles of the intifada generation is a key to understanding the ongoing state of emergency for the Palestinian people. The book will be of interest not only to scholars of the Middle East but also to those interested in nationalism, discourse analysis, social movements, and oral history. Click the book cover above to read more.







[book] ARROWS IN THE DARK
DAVID BEN GURION, THE YISHUV LEADERSHIP
AND RESCUE ATTEMPTS DURING THE HOLOCAUST
by TUVIA FRILING
December 2004. Wisconsin.
Analyzes the efforts to aid and rescue Jews by the Jewish community of Palestine. Click the book cover above to read more.








[book] THE JEWISH RADICAL RIGHT
REVISIONIST ZIONISM AND ITS IDEOLOGICAL LEGACY
by ERAN KAPLAN
December 2004. Wisconsin.
The lasting effcts of Reviosionist Zionism on Israel today. The Revisionists of the 1920/1930s under Ze'ev Jabotinsky offered a different view of Jewish history and a vision of the future. The author views the Revisionists in light of other right wing movements of the 1920s. Click the book cover above to read more.








[book] Two Nations Under God
Why Should America Care About Israel and the Middle East
by Tom Doyle
July 2004. Broadman and Holman.
Why Evangelical Christians in America should care about Israel... The author writes: "Israel is the place, and the Jews are the people that God promises to love unconditionally forever. This produces an enormous amount of tension with the region. The nations of the world are given an opportunity to bless or curse God's chosen covenant people. Their choice decides the health of the nation and determines its destiny. Though off to a shaky start, America made a conscious effort to bless Israel and since that time has enjoyed the promised blessing of God. This has resulted in the United States soaring to the top of the most favored nation list in all of recorded history." Click the book cover above to read more.









[book] Why Care About Israel
How the Jewish Nation Is the Key to Unleashing God's Blessings in the 21st Century
by Sandra Teplinsky
July 2004. Chosen Books / Baker Publishing Group.
A woman who was born Jewish writes for fellow Christians on why they should support Israel in order to bring a messianic age. Click the book cover above to read more.









[book] Israelis and Palestinians
Why do they fight? Can they stop?
by Bernard Wasserstein
Yale University Press; (September 1, 2003)
Israelis and Palestinians offers a startlingly new interpretation of the historical and contemporary realities of the conflict in the Middle East. Bernard Wasserstein challenges the conventional view of the struggle as driven primarily by irrational ethnic and religious hatreds. Instead he focuses on largely neglected forces-including population, fertility rates, labor, and environmental pressures-that have shaped politics in the region over the last century, and which will inevitably determine its future. Wasserstein argues that Israelis and Palestinians live today in "Siamese twin societies"; however much they may wish to, neither side can escape the impinging presence and influence of the other. Demographic, economic, and social imperatives are driving Israelis and Palestinians toward mutual accommodation. At a time of diplomatic impasse and escalating bloodshed, Wasserstein offers a realistic and persuasive basis for optimism






[book] THE PLACE WILL COMFORT YOU
STORIES
by NAMA GOLDSTEIN
May 2004. SCRIBNER
Is Nama Goldstein the new Grace Paley??
PW writes: "Set in Israel and suburban America, this funny, moving debut collection mines the rich complexities of cultural dislocation in the idiom of in between. "I know -- I understand with the full feeling of living life -- that you can be of one place and another, not at all the same," says the bilingual third-grade narrator of "The Conduct for Consoling." Goldstein, an American who grew up in Israel, writes eloquently of the longing for home, evoking the material differences between her two countries with a few telling details: a certain breakfast cereal, a prime-time television program or a tiled floor. America both entices and disturbs the Israeli children in "A Pillar of a Cloud," who glimpse it through a visiting cousin casually offering a Sloppy Joe sandwich to an Arab worker. In scenes like these, Goldstein depicts a loaded situation with unexpected originality through her artfully off-kilter syntax and whimsical characters, both insightful and self-deluded. In "A Verse in the Margins," Goldstein conjures the misguided high school teacher Mr. Durchschlag in a single sentence: "With every unclish wink to every blush of theirs the world revolved more steadily, the proper ratio of this to that restored." Even the most limited characters in these eight stories are likable: Shulee, the rebellious Israeli teen in "The Roberto Touch," remains sympathetic though she behaves badly on a school trip. As generous as it is unsentimental, this resonant collection captivates and provokes. Click the book cover above to read more.







[book] THE CASE FOR ISRAEL
by Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School
August 2003. Wiley
Written in Alan Dershowitz's characteristic hard-hitting style, The Case for Israel defends Israel and its basic right to exist, to protect its citizens from terrorism, and to protect its borders from hostile enemies. This timely, impassioned, closely argued, and controversial analysis sets the record straight, addressing the accusations leveled against Israel (even by liberal Jewish critics) by responding with hard facts and documentation.
Writing in The New York Times's Book Review, Ethan Bronner wrote, "The sentiments and arguments in Dershowitz's book are strikingly parallel to Lozowick's. But he has organized his case in a more pointed fashion by dividing it into 32 short chapters headed by questions (''Is Israel a racist state?'' ''Is Israel the prime human rights violator in the world?'') that reflect views typical of Israel's critics. Each chapter is then devoted to tearing down the position. Dershowitz, one of the nation's most accomplished litigators and the author of numerous books on both law and the Jews, knows how to construct an argument. He helps himself here by choosing accusers and accusations that are extreme -- Noam Chomsky, who claims that the United States and Israel are the prime sources of evil in today's world, is a favorite. Dershowitz is especially effective at pointing to the hypocrisy of many of Israel's critics. For example, nearly every Arab state relegates Jews to a far inferior position than that of non-Jews in Israel (Jordan explicitly bars Jews from citizenship), yet no criticism of those practices is ever heard. China's occupation of Tibet has been longer, more brutal and less justified than Israel's of the West Bank and Gaza, yet the United Nations has never condemned China or recognized the Tibetans' right to self-determination. There are many such well-argued points made in this book." Click to read more.






[book] Right to Exist
A Moral Defense of Israel's Wars
by Yaacov Lozowick
September 30, 2003. Doubleday
In July 2000, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat refused to negotiate a peace offer made by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak at Camp David. At the end of September the Palestinians then launched their second intifada, an outbreak of terrorism in the heart of Israel's cities that continues to this day. The unprecedented violence drove Barak from office and brought to power the feared hard-liner Ariel Sharon. In RIGHT TO EXIST, Yaacov Lozowick, an Israeli historian, describes his evolution from a liberal peace activist into a reluctant supporter of Sharon. In making sense of his own political journey, Lozowick rewrites the whole history of Israel, delving into the roots of the Zionist enterprise and tracing the long struggle to establish and defend the Jewish state in the face of implacable Arab resistance and widespread international hostility. Lozowick examines each of Israel's wars from the perspective of classical "just war" theory, from the fight for independence to the present day. Subjecting the country's founders and their descendants to unsparing scrutiny, he concludes that Israel is neither the pristine socialist utopia its founders envisioned, nor the racist colonial enterprise portrayed by its enemies. Refuting dozens of pernicious myths about the conflict-such as the charge that Israel stole the land from its rightful owners, or that Arabs and Jews are locked in a "cycle of violence" for which both bear equal blame-RIGHT TO EXIST is an impassioned moral history of extraordinary resonance and power.
Writing in The New York Times's Book Review, Ethan Bronner wrote, "...Lozowick, who is Israeli and an observant Jew, has written the more personal book [than Dershowitz's]. He spent his life disdaining Sharon, yet voted for him in 2001 out of a sense of desperation. A historian by training, Lozowick is best when discussing the surprising twists of the Jewish past. The Jews, he writes, ''started as a nation with a religion, went on to become a religion with a nation, then spent centuries as a religious community that looked more like a nation than any of the societies surrounding it.'' The book examines Israel's conflicts, starting with the war of independence and ending with the current intifada, and defends Israel's positions morally and politically (although Lozowick is highly critical of the 1982 Lebanon war). It is largely persuasive but contains more than one occasion of overreaching. He states that there is no ''cycle of violence,'' only one-sided aggression since Israel simply fights back against Palestinian terrorists. This ignores the daily aggression that the 36-year occupation entails -- the roadblocks, the searches, the confiscated land."
"...Those seeking to rebut the most scurrilous charges against Israel would do well to read either one. In the end, both authors acknowledge that there can be only one solution -- two states living in mutual respect, divided essentially along the 1967 borders. But it can come only from acceptance of Israel's legitimacy. As Lozowick puts it, ''True peace without the settlements would be preferable to almost any alternative, if only someone would offer it to us...."' Click to read more.


[book] THE ISRAELIS
ORDINARY PEOPLE IN AN EXTRAORDINARY LAND
by Donna Rosenthal
October 2003. Free Press
In the style of Smith, "The Russians" and Barzini's "The Italians", Rosenthal (former Jerusalem Post reporter), explores the people of Israel. Click to read more.








[book] DANCING ARABS
A novel by SAYED KASHUA
Grove paperback May 2004
The debut novel by 28 year old Arab-Israeli Sayed Kashua has been praised around the world for its honesty, irony, humor, and its uniquely human portrayal of a young man who moves between two societies, becoming a stranger to both. Kashua's nameless antihero has big shoes to fill, having grown up with the myth of a grandfather who died fighting the Zionists in 1948, and with a father who was jailed for blowing up a school cafeteria in the name of freedom. When he is granted a scholarship to an elite Jewish boarding school in Jerusalem, his family in the village of Tira rejoices, dreaming that he will grow up to be the first Arab to build an atom bomb. But to their dismay, he turns out to be a coward devoid of any national Arab pride; his only ambition is to fit in with his Jewish peers who reject him. He is more Israeli than the average Israeli; he acts as a Jew. Like a pinocchio. He changes his clothes, his accent, his eating habits, and becomes an expert at faking identities, sliding between different cultures, schools and languages, and eventually a Jewish lover and an Arab wife. Maybe he can be the first Arab Israeli Prime Minister, or maybe today he will be a bomber. With refreshing candor and self-deprecating wit, Dancing Arabs brilliantly maps one man's struggle to disentangle his personal and national identities, only to tragically and inevitably forfeit both. Click the book cover above to read more.







[book] Death as a Way of Life
From Oslo to the Geneva Agreement
by David Grossman
Paperback May 2004
What went wrong after Oslo? How can Israelis and Palestinians make peace? How has the violence changed their lives, and their souls? For the last ten years, David Grossman, one of Israel's great fiction writers, has addressed these questions in a series of passionate essays and articles, writing not only as one of his country's most respected novelists and reporters, but as a husband and father and peace activist bitterly disappointed in the leaders of both sides. Appearing for the first time in America, these pieces show us the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the inside and in the moment. They are indispensable reading for anyone who wants to understand the roots and results of the fighting today. Click to read more.






[book] RAID ON THE SUN
INSIDE ISRAEL'S SECRET CAMPAIGN THAT DENIED SADDAM THE BOMB
by RODGER W. CLAIRE
April 2004, Broadway
From the earliest days of his dictatorship, Saddam Hussein had vowed to destroy Israel. So, when France sold Iraq a top-of-the-line nuclear reactor in 1975, the Israelis were justifiably concerned-especially when they discovered that Iraqi scientists had already formulated a secret program to extract weapon-grade plutonium from the reactor, a first critical step in creating an atomic bomb. The reactor formed the heart of a huge nuclear plant situated twelve miles from Baghdad, 1,100 kilometers from Tel Aviv. By 1981, the reactor was on the verge of becoming "hot," and Israeli Prime Minister Begin knew he would have to confront its deadly potential. He turned to Israeli Air Force commander General David Ivry to secretly plan a daring surgical air strike on the reactor-a never-before contemplated mission that would prove to be one of the most remarkable military operations of all time. Written with the full and exclusive cooperation of the Israeli Air Force high command, General Ivry (ret.), and all of the eight mission pilots (including Ilan Ramon, who became Israel's first astronaut and tragically perished in the shuttle Columbia disaster), Raid On the Sun tells the extraordinary story of how Israel plotted the unthinkable: defying its U.S. and European allies to eliminate Iraq's nuclear threat. In the tradition of Black Hawk Down, journalist Rodger Claire re-creates a gripping tale of personal sacrifice and survival, of young pilots who trained in America on the then-new, radically sophisticated F-16 fighter-bombers, then faced a nearly insurmountable challenge: how to fly the 1,000-plus-kilometer mission to Baghdad and back on one tank of fuel; he recounts Israeli intelligence's incredible "black ops" to sabotage construction on the French reactor and eliminate Iraqi nuclear scientists; and he gives reader a pilot's-eye view of the action on June 7, 1981, when the planes roared off a runway on the Sinai Peninsula for the first successful destruction of a nuclear reactor in history. Click the book cover above to read more.




[book] Growing Up Palestinian
Israeli Occupation and the Intifada Generation
by Laetitia Bucaille
May 2004. PRINCETON STUDIES IN MUSLIM POLITICS series
PW WIRTES: French political scientist Bucaille faces a daunting task-humanizing the Palestinian fighters who are involved in almost-daily violence against Israel- and to her credit, she mostly succeeds, tracing the lives of several of the young men known as the shebab, who are on-the ground fighters in the three-and-a-half-year-old second intifada. In interviews and vivid descriptions, Bucaille brings to light their worldview-one in which hopelessness has fueled violence, and the violence fuels hopelessness. The Palestinian fighters she interviews tell her that they do not oppose the state of Israel. But the lives of the fighters are only part of Bucaille's investigation. Along the way, she traces the recent history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including the failed Oslo peace process. She sees that process as having been doomed from the beginning. The accords "gave the Palestinians nothing but the bastard status of autonomy over most of Gaza and a small area of the West Bank." It did, however, create a new set of dynamics in Palestinian society, as the return of Yasser Arafat and his coterie created a new wealthy class and, after initial euphoria, led to resentment among those Palestinians who had fought in the first uprising, from 1987 to 1993. The author is frank in depicting these fault lines in Palestinian society, although she generally leans somewhat to a pro-Palestinian stance. While those who are strongly pro-Israel will be put off by this, readers wanting a look at the lives of young Palestinians and their society will be hard-pressed to find a better book.
Click the book cover above to read more.







[book] INEXTRICABLY BONDED
Israeli Arab and Jewish Writers Re-Visioning Culture
by Rachel Brenner
December 2003. University of Wisconsin Press
Despite the tragic reality of the continuing Israeli-Arab conflict and deep-rooted beliefs that the chasm between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs is unbridgeable, this book affirms the bonds between the two communities. Rachel Feldhay Brenner demonstrates that the literatures of both ethnic groups defy the ideologies that have obstructed dialogue between the two peoples. Brenner argues that literary critics have ignored the variety and the dissent in the novels of both Arab and Jewish writers in Israel, giving them interpretations that embrace the politics of exclusion and conform with Zionist ideology. Brenner offers insightful new readings that compare fiction by Jewish writers Amos Oz, A.B. Yehoshua, David Grossman, and others with fiction written in Hebrew by such Arab-Israeli writers as Atallah Mansour, Emile Habiby, and Anton Shammas. This parallel analysis highlights the moral and psychological dilemmas faced by both the Jewish victors and the Arab vanquished, and Brenner suggests that the hope for release from the historical trauma lies-on both sides-in reaching an understanding with and of the adversary. Drawing upon the theories of Walter Benjamin, Jacques Lacan, Sigmund Freud, Emanuel Levinas, and others, Inextricably Bonded is an innovative and illuminating examination of literary dissent from dominant ideology. Click to read more.






[book cover, click here] The Israeli Diaspora
by Stephen J. Gold (Michigan State University)
2002
In this fascinating study based on extensive field work in the major Israeli communities of New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris and Sydney, Steven J. Gold looks at their reasons for leaving: existing links abroad, political and economic dissatisfaction at home and in the case of the Sephardim or Israelis of non-European origin often a feeling of being treated as second class citizens. The author discusses the tensions, compromises and satisfactions involved in their relations with Israelis who have not left and with the Jewish and non-Jewish communities in the countries in which they settle. The end result is a major contribution to the study not just of the Israeli diaspora but also to our wider understanding of migration and transnational identity. Click to read more.






[book cover, click here] War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning
by Chris Hedges
June 2003, paperback
As a veteran war correspondent, Chris Hedges has survived ambushes in Central America, imprisonment in Sudan, and a beating by Saudi military police. He has seen children murdered for sport in Gaza and petty thugs elevated into war heroes in the Balkans. Hedges, who is also a former divinity student, has seen war at its worst and knows too well that to those who pass through it, war can be exhilarating and even addictive: "It gives us purpose, meaning, a reason for living." Drawing on his own experience and on the literature of combat from Homer to Michael Herr, Hedges shows how war seduces not just those on the front lines but entire societies, corrupting politics, destroying culture, and perverting the most basic human desires. Mixing hard-nosed realism with profound moral and philosophical insight, War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning is a work of terrible power and redemptive clarity whose truths have never been more necessary. Click to read more.






[book cover] Support Any Friend
Kennedy's Middle East and the Making of the U.S. Israel Alliance
by Warren Bass
May 2003. Oxford University Press. They were three of the most memorable figures of the twentieth century: David Ben-Gurion, Israel's indomitable founding father; Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser, the charismatic Arab nationalist; and the young and dynamic John F. Kennedy. Now Warren Bass illuminates these three extraordinary men and their diplomatic struggles at the height of the Cold War, offering stunning new insights into the origins of today's Middle East. The Kennedy period, Bass writes, was no "mere place-marker between Suez and the Six Day War, between the martial frostiness of Dwight Eisenhower and the Texas warmth of Lyndon Johnson." He shows how Kennedy sought greater influence in the Arab world, offering more foreign aid and a new diplomatic overture to Nasser, the Arab world's leading radical. For a while, Kennedy and Nasser engaged in a rich personal correspondence. But the rapprochement was cut short by Nasser's impulsive intervention in Yemen's civil war, which led Kennedy to deploy fighter jets in Saudi Arabia as a warning to Egypt. Meanwhile, Kennedy made the first major U.S. arms sale to Israel, providing it with advanced Hawk anti-aircraft missiles--a crucial policy shift that marks the origins of America's alliance with the Jewish state. But Kennedy also feared that Israel would get the bomb and demanded that Ben-Gurion open his secret nuclear reactor to U.S. inspectors, leading to a grave confrontation. Ultimately, Israel agreed to inspections--but continued its nuclear weapons program under the cover of intense secrecy. Drawing on meticulous research, Warren Bass paints a fresh, elegant portrait of the pivotal presidency that helped create the modern Middle East. Click the book cover to read more.







[book cover] Death as a Way of Life
Israel Ten Years After Oslo
by David Grossman, Haim Watzman (Translator)
May 2003. Farrar Straus & Giroux. A Personal Chronicle of the Last Ten Years from a Leading Voice of Israeli Dissent. What went wrong after Oslo? How can Israelis and Palestinians make peace? How has the violence changed their lives, and their souls? For the last ten years, David Grossman, one of Israel's great fiction writers, has addressed these questions in a series of passionate essays and articles, writing not only as one of his country's most respected novelists and reporters, but as a husband and father and peace activist bitterly disappointed in the leaders of both sides. Appearing for the first time in America, these pieces show us the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the inside and in the moment. They are indispensable reading for anyone who wants to understand the roots and results of the fighting today. Click the book cover to read more.







[book cover] After Jihad
America and the Struggle for Islamic Democracy
by Noah Feldman, Professor, NYU School of Law
March 2003. Farrar Straus & Giroux. What comes after jihad? Outside the headlines, believing Muslims are increasingly calling for democratic politics in their undemocratic countries. But can Islam and democracy successfully be combined? Surveying the intellectual and geopolitical terrain of the contemporary Muslim world, Noah Feldman proposes that Islamic democracy is indeed viable and desirable, and that the West, particularly the United States, should work to bring it about, not suppress it. Encouraging democracy among Muslims threatens America's autocratic Muslim allies, and raises the specter of a new security threat to the West if fundamentalists are elected. But in the long term, the greater threat lies in continuing to support repressive regimes that have lost the confidence of their citizens. By siding with Islamic democrats rather than the regimes that repress them, the United States can bind them to the democratic principles they say they support, reducing anti-Americanism and promoting a durable peace in the Middle East. After Jihad gives the context for understanding how the many Muslims who reject religious violence see the world after the globalization of democracy. It is also an argument about how American self-interest can be understood to include a foreign policy consistent with the deeply held democratic values that make America what it is. Click the book cover to read more.







[book] THREE HOMELANDS
Memories of a Jewish Life IN Poland, Israel and America
by Norman Salsitz with Stanley Kaish

December 2002. Wow what a story. He recreates his lives in these three places, including how he escaped the nazis, lived in the woods, and passed as a Catholic after the war and raised in the ranks of the Polish National security force, helping Jews along the way.









[book] Real Jews
Secular Versus Ultra-Orthodox
The Struggle for Jewish Identity in Israel
by Noah Efron (Bar Ilan University)
May 27, 2003. Basic Books. Virulent anti-Semitism is alive and thriving in Israel. The Israeli brand of anti-Semitism pits secular Jews against fervently Orthodox Jews. Writing from his unique vantage as a Tel Aviv resident, Noah Efron examines the discomfiture and spleen that some secular Jews feel when confronted with their ultra-Orthodox brethren. He recounts the difficult history of the ultra-Orthodox in Europe and Palestine, and examines their role in Israel, a country obsessed with and conflicted about what it means to be a Jew. Despite political, economic, cultural, and religious reasons for the tension between the two groups, little can explain the ferocity with which the Orthodox are loathed today, or the shocking rhetoric that many secular Jews use to denounce and ridicule them. This chilling and disturbing book documents the terrible details of an animosity based partly on fact and partly on a fantasy that threatens the future of Israel. Click to read more.







[book] The Virtual Kibbutz
by Ellis Shuman.
April 2003. Ellis Shuman, a native of Sioux City, Iowa, immigrated to Israel in 1972, served in the IDF and was a founding member of Kibbutz Yahel. He is now Editor in Chief of the online daily newsmagazine Israel Insider. Ellis lives with his wife and three children on Moshav Neve Ilan. Pioneers created a kibbutz filled with idealism decades ago. Decades later, the kibbutz is not the same. Its members' idealism has changed. Can the community still be considered a kibbutz? In this debut collection of stories, the author introduces you to kibbutz residents challenged with adapting to new realities. Along the way you'll see how kibbutzniks face up to the violence of the Intifada, cope with the Internet, and struggle to have more control over their lives. Meet a clown who uses magic to heal the wounds of terror victims, a veteran dairy worker who has difficulties bidding farewell to an albino cow, a farmer who must decide what to do with the prize money of a lottery, and a reporter who is researching comedian Jerry Seinfeld's kibbutz past. These are the stories of Israel's unique society, of the changes and dilemmas it faces, and of the hopes, challenges and dreams of those who continue to call the kibbutz their home. Click to read more.







[book] Soldier's Life: Inside the Israeli Army
by Xeriqua Garfinkel
Exploration Society Press. In the months leading up to Operation Defensive Shield, Xeriqua Garfinkel was the only photographer permitted to travel with units of the Israeli army. Her objective was to put a human face on the young men and women who risk their lives daily defending the Jewish homeland. In this deeply affecting collection of photographs, culled from the thousands taken during her stay, we meet the new inductees and the seasoned veterans, the artillery men and the border patrol officers, the mechanics and the combat soldiers. The dramatic reproductions are enhanced by text explaining the origin, evolution, and current workings of the Israel Defense Forces. Deborah ROsenbloom wrote: "Garfinkel wrote a letter to the IDF explaining her project and the IDF granted permission and helped make the arrangements. Garfinkel's goal was to humanize the soldiers who are often demonized by the media but at the same to portray them without editorial comments and without imposing her own point of view, a goal at which she succeeds. What does come through is Garfinkel's respect for people who serve their country, ``it is the highest sacrifice one can make,'' she said. Garfinkel chose to document the Israeli military for several reasons. Her previous trips to Israel had made her acutely aware of the young soldiers who are so visible throughout the country, she was unaware of any other such project, and she is fascinated by the military... Her photos include the first days of newly-inducted soldiers, disabled veterans undergoing physical therapy at the Beit Halochim, and a funeral for a member of the Bedouin Desert Patrol Battalion who was killed by Hamas shortly before his wedding day. (Garfinkel was the only female at the cemetery since as women, even the mothers and wives of the deceased, are not permitted at Bedouin funerals. Being American and a journalist, no one stopped her.) She accompanied soldiers on guard duty in the Golan and she was allowed to photograph soldiers training for hand-to-hand combat (Krav Maga) at the Wingate Institute." Click to read more.







[book] Adjusting Sights (Tiyum Kavanot)
by Haim Sabato, Hillel Halkin
April 2003. tobypress.com Just as the owner of th fig tree knows when it is time to gather in the figs; the owner of this website knows when a great book come along; and this is that book.
Adjusting Sights was the surprise winner of Israel's Sapir Prize in 2000. Adjusting Sights means to adjust yourself so that you pray with intention (kavana), the way you readjust your focus, and it is also when you do to align the gun sights in a tank. Masterfully translated by Hillel Halkin, Sabato, a former tank corpsman, has a wholly original, deeply literate and religious voice, comparable only to SY Agnon. The tragedy of war and the loss of a close friend in battle cause the author to write about this modern war (Yom Kippur War, 1973) from a deeply personal perspective. Sabato uses his writing to bring together all the coordinates of his life, juxtaposing the frenzy of war and the pain of friends killed with references to prayers and Talmudic passages creating a fascinating examination of religious belief in an extreme situation. All along, the moon changes its phases, from Yom Kippur to Kislev. When the Yom Kippur war erupts in 1973, Haim is called up, along with his friend Dov. Haim is from Egypt, Dov from Romania; Haim is a gunner, Dov is his loader. Haim's tank is attacked, his commander is deafened. Dov, in a separate unit is killed. Haim must try to investigate is best friend and study partner's death. Sabato is actually Rabbi Sabato of the hesder Yeshiva Birkat Moshe of Ma'ale Adumim (Jerusalem area). He is the great great grandson of the former Chief Rabbi of Halab (Aleppo, Syria). Watch in 2003 for the film based on this book. Click to read more.







[book] Welcome to Heavenly Heights
a Novel by Risa Miller

January 2003. PW writes: For Orthodox Jews, Israel is not merely a country, but "the Land of Israel, the biblical promised portion"-in other words, "home." The families in Miller's first novel are mainly immigrants from the U.S. who now live in a small settlement in an embattled area outside Jerusalem, motivated by the conviction that it's their responsibility to reclaim the land of the biblical patriarchs. Miller convincingly portrays the faith that leads people to leave their comfortable homes in American suburbs and relocate to a dangerous place where car and bus bombs are always a threat, and random shootings are common. The plot follows several women, all residents of one apartment house, over the space of a year of changing weather, national crises and dramatically altered lives. Enlivened by Miller's fresh and spirited eye for imagery, the narrative builds a web of cumulative quotidian details that convey the culture shock of primitive living where water supplies are chancy, construction is often shoddy, the bureaucracy is overwhelming, and men stow their weapons in the foyer of the shul, next to the stack of prayer books. The characters are nicely nuanced, but quick shifts in chronology sometimes impede the narrative flow. In the end, the psychological landscape is the most impressive part of this often engrossing novel. But outside of portraying the settlers' fundamental religious convictions, Miller never really develops the other side of the argument-that the West Bank communities are provocative to their Arab neighbors. In the end, readers must decide for themselves whether the appealing characters are idealists or zealots, "heroes or just plain crazy," as one character muses.




[book] The Battle 100
The Stories Behind History's Most Influential Battles
by Michael Lee Lanning
May 2003. A ranking of the battles that have shaped history and changed our world. The Battle 100 ranks the world's most important battles from ancient times to the present according to their influence. In dramatic narrative style, this military history evokes and describes each significant battle, providing commentary on who won, who lost and why. The Battle 100 also includes an evaluation of the battle's influence both on the outcome of its war and on the society of the time. The Battle 100 covers the entire spectrum of recorded military history, from Megiddo in 1479 BCE. to Desert Storm in 1991. A map of each of the 100 battle sites assists the reader's understanding of the action and its results. Click to read more.







[book] Portraits of Israelis and Palestinians
For My Parents
by Seth Tobocman, Eric Drooker (Introduction)
May 2003. During the summer of 2002, Seth Tobocman taught art to children in a village outside of Ramallah. He had contradictions to resolve over his celebration of the Six Day War as a kid. To explain his purpose to his parents, lifelong Zionists, he sent them 20 pages from his sketchbook of the trip. These charcoal drawings, as presented in this book, strip away the historical, religious, and political complexities to reveal the stark humanity of both sides, and pare the dialogue to its essence: How to recognize and respect each other's humanity. Tobocman serves of slices of life of Palestinians and Israelis, not bombing victims, bombers, or shrapnel hit victims, but riding buses, visiting doctors, shopping, playing and praying. Click to read more.







[book] I Saw Ramallah
by Murid Barghuthi, Translated by Ahdaf Soueif, FOreward by Edward Said, Ellen R. Shapiro
2003. Paperback. Winner of the Naguib Mahfouz Medal. The first narrative of Palestinian poet. A memoir, an autobiography. The bridge that Barghouti crosses as a young man leaving Jordan's West Bank in 1966 to study in Cairo is the same bridge he used to cross back in 1996 to Israel's West Bank, after 30 years away. This is a story of homelessness and home. He writes of being denied human rights both at home and abroad. Edward Said writes of this work, "One of the finiest existential accounts of Palestinian displacemnt." Click to read more.







[book] The Occupation of Justice:
The Supreme Court of Israel and the Occupied Territories
(Suny Series in Israeli Studies)
by David Kretzmer, Hebrew University Professor

2002. SUNY. The Occupation of Justice presents the first comprehensive discussion of the Supreme Court of Israel's decisions on petitions challenging policies and actions of the authorities in the West Bank and Gaza since their occupation during the 1967 Six-Day War. Kretzmer addresses issues including: the basis for the Courts jurisdiction; application and interpretation of the international law of belligerent occupation; the legality of civilian settlements and highway construction; and security measures such as curfews, deportations and housing demolitions. While pertaining to a specific political and legal context, this case study has broader implications regarding how courts in democratic countries act in times of conflict and crisis. It shows that at such times domestic courts tend to close ranks with the executive branch against those elements that are perceived as external threats to society.






[book cover click me] The Elections in Israel, 1999
(Suny Series in Israeli Studies)
by Alan Arian (Editor), Michal Shamir (Editor)

2002. SUNY. This volume highlights Israel's 1999 elections, in which the prime-ministerial race between incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak ended with Barak winning by the biggest landslide ever in Israel. Although some observers interpreted these results as a fundamental shift in public opinion, there is little evidence to support this. The book shows how old patterns funneled into a new system of voting produced the 1999 results, where a weak candidate (Barak) bested a wounded prime minister (Netanyahu) abandoned by most of his political allies. Leading social scientists from Israeli and American universities, using a variety of approaches and coming from diverse intellectual traditions, address topics including the emergence of political blocs, strategic voting, and split ticket voting. In addition to major party performance, special interest parties-who did better than ever in 1999-are also discussed, such as the haredi, ultra-orthodox, non-Zionist Shas, the anti-haredi secular Shinui, two parties appealing to former Soviet émigrés and Arab parties.






[book] AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE GARDEN OF EDEN
By YOSSI KLEIN HALEVI

September 2001. Morrow. Legend says that the entrance to the Garden of Eden was located at the Machpelah, the Hebron burial site of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob and Leah; the pilgrimage site of Jews and Moslems; the mosque and makeshift synagogue; the "doubling" oneness site that encompasses several conflicting faiths. It is here that Palestinian Peugeots and Jewish Mitsubishis could meet. It is here that the author embarks on a journey into opening one's heart. The author is known for his book, "Confessions of a Jewish Extremist", and for being the subject of the 1985 award winning documentary "KADDISH". An American-born Israeli Jew, raised by a survivor in isolationist Brooklyn, he is a contributor to the NYT Op-Ed page, The Jerusalem Report, and TNR. He didn't support occupation, nor did he support the crumbling Oslo Plan. He did not want to be an self-confident oppressor or a fool. What was he to do? Meditation and prayer? Maybe meeting his fellow spiritual seekers among Israel's 800,000 Moslems and 200,000 Christians would succeed in finding a new path to peace. Beginning in early 1998, at the cusp of the Millennium, Yossi spent two years in dialogue with other spiritual seekers; most were on the fringe, some might even be seen as delusional (but it is a start). Those two years allowed for experiences that, sadly, cannot be repeated today without potential calamity. Yossi expanded his sacred time to include their holiday celebrations. Could faith, which in Israel is a force of division and conflict, be a source of healing? Could the religions that had conflicting claims on the land be viewed as reinforcing the area's holiness? Halevi, who did not know the difference between the Assumption and the Annunciation, between Id el-Fitr and Id ed-Adha, who knew more about Buddhism than his sister faiths, met with Sufis, Monks, Nuns, Imams, and Sheiks in mosques, monasteries, grottos and cloisters. There was a little skepticism, and some commonality; there was resentment, there is honesty. In Part 1, Ramadan abd Id Eil-Adha, the author, residing in French Hill, tries to incorporate the muezzin's call to prayer from neighboring Anata into his daily prayers. Can the minaret be a lighthouse in the rocky seas of the West Bank, or is it a megaphone of hate? He seeks out Sheikhs, Sufis and other Moslems; some center on death, others on love and life. He explores whether people can focus on the unifying messages of the religions rather than debating the conflicting details. In Part 2, Lent, Easter, and Christmas, Yossi seeks out nuns, monks, Christians and Catholics, Armenians and Ethiopians. Can he learn silence, can they learn not to convert this perfidious person, can they no longer judge each other by their people's worst traits? In Part 3, Feast of the Transfiguration and Lailat al-Miraj, and the Epilogue, Yossi must confront and struggle with his worst anxieties, doubts and fears.






[book] DIVIDED JERUSALEM: THE STRUGGLE FOR THE HOLY CITY
By Bernard Wasserstein

September 2001. Yale University Press
Bernard Wasserstein is professor of history at the University of Glasgow in Scotland UK. But more importantly, he is President of the Jewish Historical society of England. This book offers a history of diplomacy regarding the city of Jerusalem, a holy city whose holiness has grown and diminished in each generation. The solution of the book, a separation of political and religious control a la Oslo.





[book cover] The Complete Idiot's Guide to Jewish History and Culture
by Benjamin Blech

Paperback: 352 pages. 1998. For 5,758 years, the Jewish people and their culture survived and prospered, despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles such as the Egyptian enslavement, the destruction of the two temples in Jerusalem, the Spanish Inquisition, Russian pogroms, the Nazi Holocaust, and continued anti-Semitism today. This Complete Idiots Guide contains easy-to-follow coverage of all of Jewish history, including profiles of Biblical, religious, and political leaders such as Abraham, Moses, King David, and Golda Meir. The last part of the book focuses on understanding the Jewish influence on American and world culture, with insights into: the Yiddish and Hebrew languages; theater; art; literature; comedy; film; television; and more. You're no idiot, of course. You know that Judaism began with Abraham and that Moses led the children out of slavery in Egypt. But when it comes to knowing who Elijah, Esther, and Judah Maccabee were, and their significance to Judaism, you feel like you've been wandering in the desert for 40 years. Don't feel Jewish guilt just yet! The Complete Idiot's Guide to Jewish History and Culture provides you with a complete, authoritative account of the Jewish people--from Abraham, Moses, and King David to Golda Meir, Menachem Begin, and Yitzhak Rabin.






[book] The Days : His Autobiography in Three Parts (Modern Arabic Writing)
by Taha Hussein, E. H. Paxton, Hilary Wayment (Translator), Kenneth Cragg (Translator)

2001. For the first time ever, the three-part autobiography of one of modern Egypt's greatest writers and thinkers is available in a single volume. The collection includes An Egyptian Childhood (1929), The Stream of Days: A Student at the Azhar (1939) and A Passage to France (1973). He is the dean of Egyptian Literature, who died in 1973 in Cairo





[book] THE BUS DRIVER WHO WANTED TO BE GOD: AND OTHER STORIES
By Etgar Keret

October 2001. St Martins.
Over twenty short, popular, absurd Israeli stories about life in Israel and elsewhere. Maybe it is the translation or the cultural difference, but some of the stories start out with great promise and ideas and just fizzle out into absurdity rather than comedy. Pleasingly the stories are short, each about five pages long. There is the one about a woman who runs a grocery at the gate to Hell in Uzbekistan, or the story about the man named Goodman who becomes a badman in Texas. The title story is about an obsessive bus driver who tries to stay on time and who doesn't open the doors for late passengers (why should 30 people lose 30 seconds each so one person doesn't have to wait an additional 15 minutes). But one of his passengers has a disease that makes him late, and he has finally found the love of his life, and cannot be late to the Dolphinarium to meet her. Will the bus driver wait? There is the story about the flight attendant who falls for a passenger. In "Uterus", the narrator tells the story of his mother who had her uterus removed. It was so beautiful, it was placed in a museum, and when the narrator grew older and had his own family, he would take his children to visit their grandmother's uterus. In "Shoes", a young boy gets a gift of German-branded sneakers a few weeks after commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day; he is conflicted. In "Pipes", a young student's single wrong answer on a test gets him pegged as suffering from perceptual disorders, forcing him to go to trade school, where he learns that it isn't the smart and strong people who first learned to use clubs, it was the weak and abused. In a story about "Alon Shemesh", Alon is absent from school, so his friend takes his homework home to him. The next day that friend is absent, and one by one, as others take the homework to the absent students, they too disappear. And then the teacher goes to make a sick call on the boys... The collection includes stories from Keret's other books: Pipelines, and Missing Kissinger.






[book] One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate by Tom Segev.
Hardcover - 592 pages (November 2000). Tom Segev's acclaimed works, 1949 and The Seventh Million, overturned accepted views of the history of Israel. Now Segev explores the dramatic period before the creation of the state, when Britain ruled over "one Palestine, complete" (as noted in the receipt signed by the High Commissioner) and when its promise to both Jews and Arabs that they would inherit the land set in motion the conflict that haunts the region to this day.
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[book] The Divided Economy of Mandatory Palestine (Cambridge Middle East Studies, 11) by Jacob Metzer
Hardcover - 304 pages (July 1998) Cambridge Univ Press.
Based on over two decades of research. It studies NOT only the Zionist (urban-modern) economy, but the neglected Arab-Palestinian (rural-traditional trending to modernization and growth) macro economy as well. Both economies are viewed together under the umbrella of the Mandate, using the historical modernist-positivist dual-economy framework. You will be surprised by the power of the private economy as compared to the Yishuv / Histadrut one. It surprisingly shows how urban the Jewish economy was, even though the posters say that people were farmers. Metzger includes data on dispossession of Palestinian landowners. He also redefines "aliyah" in terms of immigration. He also disproves in the last chapter that the Zionist economy was colonial. It wasn't since it used its own capital, labor and materials
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See also, Citrus in Bloom, Private Enterprise in the Jewish Yishuv 1890-1930 by Professor Nahum Karlinsky.


[book] CONSTRUCTING BOUNDAIRIES
Jewish and Arab Workers in Mandatory Palestine (Suny Series in Israeli Studies) by Deborah S. Bernstein

Paperback - 336 pages (May 2000) State Univ of New York Press. A study of labor groups in Mandatory Haifa. The first part is an introduction to pre-State Israel and Haifa's spatial and demo development. The second part explores relations between Jewish and Arab workers in construction, industry, the harbor, and the railway. Was there cooperation or separatism among labor? Did Jewish employers of labor prefer Arab workers since they were cheap? What was the effect of Histadrut protests of these employers? What were labor organizing activities like in Haifa in the 1920s and 30s? what did the Histadrut do to try to improve the conditions of Arab workers? Why did Arab and Jewish labor organizations keep their members separate?
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[book] THE FAMILY ORCHARD. A novel (The Family Paradise/Eden, hint hint)
by Nomi Eve

Hardcover - 352 pages (September 26, 2000) Knopf. This is Eve's first novel about a pardess, a very sexual pardess. A multigenerational saga. Six generations of a Jewish family from 1837, when Yochanan and Esther marry in Turkish Ottoman Palestine, through the creation of the State of Israel. Although a postmodern, magical fiction, it is nearly autobiographical. A completely unique view of kosher sexual affairs is included also.
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[book] ISRAELIS AND THE JEWISH TRADITION
An Ancient People Debating Its Future.
By Rabbi David Hartman.

October 2000. Yale Univ Press. 192 pages. Is Judaism a text-interpretive tradition that one can participate in without committing to halachic rituals? How should secular Israelis seek meaning in their lives without having to join the ranks of the haredim. Hartman contributes to the topic by raising the issue of demythologizing the Jewish people, that a relationship with god does not require the acceptance of specific haredi rituals, traditions, worldviews, and histories. Hartman also analyzes the opposing views of the messianic, redemption-revelation focused Halevi and the Aristotelian, rationalist focused RamBam. This naturally leads to the ideas of Israeli peace with or without land compromises. .
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[book cover] A Little Too Close to God: The Thrills and Panic of a Life in Israel by David Horovitz
Hardcover - 320 pages (May 2, 2000) Knopf. Isn't it fabulous to hold a dual citizenship? Readers of The Jerusalem Report, and listeners to the BBC and NPR will be familiar with David Horovitz. But this isn't a story by a Thomas Friedman(NYT) or a David Shipler(WP). This is by a reporter who lives and is raising his family in Israel, a country where for every two Jews there are three cell phones. He shows Israel in all its hues, no matter how embarrassing or life-affirming. The book opens with London born Horovitz talking about his weekly lunches at a restaurant that gets blown up by a terrorist. He wonders, are the settlers wrong to live in very safe enclaves, while he lives in a dangerous Jerusalem? Do priorities change when you have 3 kids? With British/US and Israeli citizenship, should his family just leave for the good of the kids? When David Horovitz emigrated from England to Israel in 1983, it was the fulfillment of a dream. But today, a husband and a father, he is torn between hope and despair, between the desire to make a difference and fear for his family's safety, between staying and going. But then again, Israel is like heroin to an addict. The people and the politics are so passionately bi-polar, where every decision is perceived to mean life or death. Another day in Lebanon can mean the death of a father, son, cousin, or neighbor. Even the most tabloid newspaper contains pages of political and military analyses. In this candid book, Horovitz confronts the heart-wrenching question of whether to continue raising his three children amid the uncertainty and danger that is Israeli daily life, or move with his American born wife. Along the way, he describes Israel as it enters the 21st Century, a post Zionist state that is highly politicized and fragmented, but yet a country in which everyone feels like one big dysfunctional family. A country where two PM's, the President, the spiritiual leader of Shas, and the Justice Minister are all under investigation. A country where you will be cursed at by other drivers, but they will go out of their way to help you if you have a problem, even stopping a bus to donate blood. A people who will freak out in paranoid fear upon touring Jordan, yet flirt over the top upon meeting some Jordanian guys when the bus breaks down. He provides a clear, balanced discussion between himself and his brother-in-law, an American-born Orthodox West Bank settler. Who is the naïve one, who is the cynic, the reader can decide. This is a unique personal story (through the eyes of a Western highly politicized immigrant) of his successes, failures, mistakes, prejudices, and life experiences, and as a reporter and editor for The Jerusalem Report.




[book cover] Coming Home To Jerusalem: A Personal Journey by Wendy Orange
Hardcover - 320 pages (June 2000) Simon and Schuster. Israel always felt a part of Wendy's family growing up in upper middle class Long Island. Her grandfather died while giving an impassioned fund raising speech during the Six Day War in 1967. Her grandmother died the night after the Yom Kippur broke out. Her parents died during the period of the Lebanon War. Wendy Orange, a divorced, single parent, psychologist and teacher, visited Israel for the first time in 1990 for an academic conference. She was in her 40's, between jobs, newly divorced; so after a week or two in Jerusalem, she made aliyah. It was her first visit, and she knew no Hebrew, very little Jewish history, or Israeli political culture. Oh god, did my blood boil when I started reading this book. Must Israel be the haven for all those in midlife crisis? Why do these people who know nothing think they can stay two weeks at the King David Hotel and pen a column. But in the words of Tevye the Milkman, "if you've..." well never mind. This is my own problem, so let's get back to the book. This lack of knowledge didn't stop her from becoming the correspondent for TIKKUN magazine from 1991-1997.
But seriously, join her as she lands in Israel with her two daughters, finds a place to live, feels both euphoric and disassociated, moves in to the King David, finds another place to live, looks for work, finds an Ulpan, falls madly in love, makes friends, meets the intelligentsia and the cab drivers, and has an affair with her cab driver and protector. Over her 6 years there, she imparts a feeling of what it's like to live in Israeli society and be a "part" of the peace process.




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[book] MARTYRS CROSSING by Amy Wilentz
Simon and Shuster. March 2001. Amy is the former Jerusalem correspondent for The New Yorker, and a specialist on Haiti. In this novel, the border checkpoints between Israel and the PA have been closed after two bus bombings in Israel. A young Palestinian woman, who wants to get her 2 year old asthmatic son to a hospital in Israel, begs a checkpoint soldier for permission to enter Israel. This is not just any mother. It is the wife of a jailed Hamas terrorist, Hassan Hajimi. Lt Ari Doron calls his superiors many times, trying to gain admittance for Marina and her son Ibrahim. But as he does, Marina's child dies. The answer was no. Lt Doron, who strives for truth, is plagued with guilt and seeks absolution in Ramallah. Colonel Daniel Yizhar is assigned to his case for crisis management. The Palestinian politicians, like Ahmed Amr, clothed in corruption, use this case as a cause du jour at the expense of The Cause. The street calls for "the solider." Into this mess arrives Doctor George Raad from the USA. The child's grandfather and a successful cardiologist (cast Edward Said in the role). Is he right or an anachronism? Is there room for his dissent in the PA? Click to read more extensive descriptions of the plot.







[book] THE FOOD OF ISRAEL TODAY By Joan Nathan
Random House. March 2001. With 300 recipes, two pages of suggested Israeli restaurants, two web sources for ingredients, and nine suggested menus, Nathan shows the diverse cuisines of Israel's sabras and immigrants. THIS IS ISRAELI CUISINE, not Sephardic or Ashkenazi cuisine, that is being eaten in Israel. Includes turkey schnitzel, quick kibbutz apple cake, eggplant salad, and halvah chocolate cake. Includes Transylvania Green Bean Soup, a dessert salami (made of cookies) and the Chocolate Cake recipe from the American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem. It includes over a dozen poultry recipes, including Doro Wat, a spicy chicken of Ethiopian Jews and Hamim, an overnight chicken dish with cloves, spaghetti, cumin, cinnamon, and cardamom. Ms Nathan felt compelled to write this 400 page book on the night Itzhak Rabin was assassinated (Nov 4, 1995). Three decades ago, she lived in Israel for three years and worked in Jerusalem for Mayor Teddy Kollek for over two years (where Nathan co-wrote her first cookbook). The book is in the style of her earlier American Jewish Cooking book, namely, each recipe is preceded by an oral history, and there are histories, classic photos, and stories between the recipes. For example, to complement the recipe for Shakshuka, the reader learns about the Doktor Shakshuka restaurant in old Jaffa and its owners. For the burekas recipe, we read about eating burekas at Jerusalem's city hall in the Seventies. While discussing the Friedman's farm in Rosh Pina, we get lots of farm recipes. A recipe for Kaiserschmarrn is coupled with an old picture of Beit Ha'Pancake's roadside gas station and a story about the search for the dish's Viennese roots. In addition to salad, tahina, and hummus recipes, Nathan lists 19 of the best places for hummus from Jerusalem to Akko to Haifa. Plus 12 happening places for falafel. There are 23 salads, including Hamutzim (pickled vegetables). Some of my favorite recipes are Mish Mish Apricot Jam (with cinnamon stick); Egyptian Coconut Jam; Triple Citrus Marmalade (coupled with a story on Etrog picking); Israeli Onion Jam (from Neot Kedumim), a guide to how to make your own Za'atar spice; Carmelized green Olives; Shortcut Potato Burekas; Marhooda; Bulgur Patties from the Black Hebrew community in Dimona; and a Revisionist Haroset (from Hemda Friedman). The Palestinian Fruit Soup uses cinnamon stick. There is a Bukharan style Tomato Gazpacho and Bulgarian Eggplant Soup with Yogurt. Speaking of Za'atar, Nathan includes the recipe for Abouelafia's Sunny Side Up Za'atar Pita Pizza (if you haven't had it in Jaffa, either buy the book or fly ElAl to the bakery immediately). Speaking of soup, she has the Hummus Soup recipe from Keren Restaurant, as well as Aramaic Chicken Soup, and the Goulash Soup recipe from Fink's Bar (on King George at Ben Yehudah mall). The Olive Bread recipe uses black and green olives and oregano. The Mahlouach recipe is from Nahlaot, and the Chocolate Bread recipe is from Lehem Erez Komarovsky. The Jerusalem Kugel recipe is heavy on the pepper and the Barsch is Uzbeki style from Holon. There is Yotvata Potato Mushroom Casserole from Kibbutz Yotvata (and all you thought they made was milk), and the 16 fish dishes include Khremi, a Libyan style fish from Beit Shikma; Ima Sharansky's gefilte fish; and Chef Steinitz's Salmon Trout dish (Dan Hotel, Eilat). One more can one want? Oral recipes and oral histories results in oral gratification.


[book] THE FOOD OF ISRAEL
Authentic Recipes from the Land of Milk and Honey
Periplus World of Cooking Series by Sherry Ansky, Nelli Sheffer (Photographer)

Hardcover - 144 pages. The land of Israel is not only a land of Milk and Honey, but a land of seven main ingredients: olives, figs, dates, pomegranates, grapes, barley and bulgur wheat. Jerusalem-born, Ansky is the food writer for Israeli's MA'ARIV newspaper. The book open with 30 pages of essays on the nature of Israel cuisine, and is followed by 3 pages of descriptions of ingredients. Each recipe is faced by an alluring sensuous picture of the dish that comes close to a work of art. Recipes include five eggplant salads, hummus, falafel, fatoush, shakshouka, Jerusalem kugel, patira, pastelicos, Etrog jam, Jerusalem Hamin, kibbeh, and Mussakhan (chicken with sumach and onions). Soups include a version of matzo ball, a kibbeh soup with beets and turnips, and lentil soup. Recipes for the Yemenite breads of malauach and Jachnun are included, in addition to recipes for lachma, and chickpeas with squid (well, maybe it isn't a kosher cookbook). Three exceptional recipes are Hraymi (a garlic halibut) which is the gefilte fish of the Sephardim; Leek Patties and Meat Cutlets in a lemon sauces; and Lamb Kebabs. Some recipes are from Israel's most famous restaurants and chefs.
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[baba sali]













[book] HOUSE OF WINDOWS
Portraits from a Jerusalem Neighborhood by Adina Hoffman

September 2000. Adina and Peter Hoffman moved to Israel a decade ago. She is a film critic for The Jerusalem Post. Filled with interesting stories of an American in Jerusalem, and the characters who make up her neighborhood. Great section on her fight to save some trees that a religious school wants to cut down
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[book] PALESTINES CHILDREN.
Returning To Haifa and Other Stories
By Ghassan Kanafani. Translated by B. Harlow and K. Riley

September 2000. The Zionist hating author died 28 years ago in 1972 when his car exploded. He was the spokesperson for a militant terrorist group. This is a collection of 14 of his classic stories, including "Returning to Haifa" about a Palestinian family who flee Haifa, forgetting their infant. The infant is raised by a Jewish family, and he joins the Israeli army. Said and Safiyya return to Haifa in 1967 and the apartment to meet the family and their biological son, Khaldun. Can you spell vitriol.
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[book] The Jewish State : The Struggle for Israel's Soul by Yoram Hazony
Hardcover - 400 pages (Spring 2000) Basic Books. An intellectual history of Israel. Hazony, 36, a former advisor to Israeli PM Netanyahu, and the President of the SO CALLED NON PARTISAN Shalem Center, reports on the evils of the post-Zionists who advocate the movement towards a post-Jewish secular State of Israel, a state that is not based on the ideals of the Labor-Zionists. Will this Israel become a relic, studied by historians? Are the intellectual elites to be vilified for wanting Israel to be a normal state and not a Jewish state? Are those who want Hatikva, The Law of Return, and the glory of Israeli revised, changed or trashed, so that non-Jewish citizens do not feel like outsiders in their own state or History reflect more truth, merely shamed by their Jewishness? I mean, was Martin Buber anti Jewishness? Get real. BUT WAIT. If you don't like his attitudes, let me point out that the book provides an enlightening history of the evolution of the Zionist state. On an additional note, Hazony, like many authors, chooses those events that support his hypothesis and ignores those events that would complicate his views. While his book has been read this Summer by many in the American Jewish community, his writings in Israel have been as popular as Abba Eban and Peres running on a joint ticket. Some have written that Hazony tends to viciously malign anyone with whom he disagrees. It was reported that Professor Michael Walzer, upon meeting the author when Hazony was a Princeton undergrad at a Hillel event, said Hazony had the makings of a potentially dangerous demagogue. This was during the period that Hazony was enamoured with the thoughts of Kach and Rabbi Meir Kahane. Click to read more.
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Oh, I think this book is Mister Hazony's favorite...
[book] Memory for Forgetfulness: August, Beirut, 1982 by Mahmud Darwish, Translated by Ibrahim Muhawi
Paperback - 182 pages. Univ California Press. Darwish was banned from Israel and its territories for nearly thirty years. He now resides in Ramallah. A national poet of Palestinians, Israeli Education Minister Yossi Sarid recommended that his poetry be required reading in Israeli high schools. This nearly brought down Ehud Barak's government in March 2000. Interested in finding out what his poetry is like?? Read this book. For example:
It is time for you to be going / Live wherever you like, but don't live among us / It is time for you to be going / Die wherever you like, but don't die among us/ For we have work to do. Darwish says this doesn't refer to making Jews leave Israel however. Click to read more.
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[bookcover] HIS BROTHER'S KEEPER.
ISRAEL and DIASPORA JEWRY IN THE Twenty-first Century
by Yossi Beilin.
Hardcover 272 Pages, Schocken (August 23, 2000). Should the Jews of the 6,000 strong Jewish community of Omaha Nebraska be able to set policy on the relationship between the American and Israeli Jewish communities? Or should only the Orthodox and major metro Federations hold that role? After fifty years of donating hundreds of millions of dollars to Israel, do Diaspora Jews fells smugly superior to their Israeli cousins? Should they continue this smugness? Is it false? Should Israel or New York be the center of Jewish life? Should American Jews forget about sending money to Israel and fund American institutions instead? Does Israel really need the UJA? The JNF? The Jewish Agency? Isn't it time to outgrow the babysitter and cut the umbilical? Beilin is an Israeli Minister in the government's of Rabin, Peres, and Barak. He is one of the father's of the Oslo Accords. This is his prescription for renewed relations between the Jewish communities of the United States and Israel. What cooperation is required to aid both communities? Can Israel help America's Jewish community halt assimilation and outmarriage? Click to read more reviews of this book.
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[book] TOUCHING PEACE: FROM THE OSLO ACCORD TO A FINAL AGREEMENT by Yossi Beilin.
August 2000. My isn't Justice Minister Beilin prolific this Fall? Did you know that before Rabin was assassinated, it was agreed that the Jerusalem suburb of Abu Dis would become the capital of the new Palestinian state? Beilin, an Israeli Minister, was an architect of the Oslo Accords in 1993, between Israel and the Palestinian representatives. This is the behind the scenes blow by blow story of what happened in Norway, and how the accords came about. The last chapter offers an analysis of the internal Israeli politics that have taken shape since Oslo, and what still needs to be addressed. Click the book cover above to read more.




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[book] King Hussein. A Life on the Edge by Roland Dallas.
Hardcover - 320 pages 1st Fromm edition (September 1999) An astute political bio on the late King, a moderate in an immoderate neighborhood, who took power at age 198 in 1953. Includes stories on his relations with Israel, the US, and Britain, and the Arab regimes, and is most interesting in its analysis of the strife between Arafat and Hussein.
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[book] The Transformation of Palestinian Politics. From Revolution to State-Building by Barry Rubin
Hardcover - 288 pages (October 1999) Harvard Univ Pr. Rubin, the Deputy Director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, and a specialist on the PLO, Israel, and Iraq, gives a comprehensive overview and analysis of the movement of the PA from movement to a state of pluralistic arbitrary dictatorship. Who are the ruling elites? Clerics or revolutionaries? Or Bankers? But do the positives outweigh the negatives? This is a must read for anyone following the Mideast.
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[book] Israel: A Photobiography by Micha Bar-Am, Thomas L. Friedman, Harris, Elon, Constance Herndon
$40, but you get 30% off. Hardcover-200 pages (February 1998) Simon & Schuster. What can I say? Micha Bar-Am is my favorite Israeli photographer. When I saw his recent show at the ICP Museum in NYC, I was drawn to the photo that he uses for this book's cover. There, in a development area, are Israeli flags drying on a clothes line in preparation for Independence Day celebrations. Truly, a picture can communicate so much. But this book is not just of Bar-Am's work. It includes some of the best of Robert Capa and others. In the words of A. M. Rosenthal, "The second best way is to travel through those years and see them through the eyes of somebody who has done all that - as in this book by Micha Bar-Am, Israel's best-known photographer in war and peace, a man with a mind that matches the depth and range of his photography." Now if only I can snag a signed print :-)
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