Hans Habe is a veteran novelist who's not afraid to let loose. This book describes his first visit to Israel (in 1970), the...

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PROUD ZION: The Chosen Land or the Racist State?

Hans Habe is a veteran novelist who's not afraid to let loose. This book describes his first visit to Israel (in 1970), the last preserve of sanity for ""an extremist moderate"" like himself. Girls are ""still capable of blushing"" and students ""want to learn, not to lecture."" Orthodox influences are distasteful -- ""Israel's new morality needs new weapons"" -- but Israel is unmistakably the Holy Land. ""God has not notified us of any change of address,"" and Jerusalem must be ""an indivisible Jewish city."" Anti-Semitism persists around the world and critics of Israel sustain it. No other nation has ever willingly returned war-gained territories, and why should Israel, the beleaguered Goliath-fighter -- especially when the United Nations is ""financing training camps for war"" among Palestinian refugees. Habe takes every opportunity for anti-Communist interjections, but ironically he uses an argument of Marx to justify Israeli sway over the Palestinians -- that colonialism can uplift backward peoples. A return visit in 1972 is briefly noted: interviews with Golda Meier, ""the last great lady"" with ""El Greco hands, gentle yet strong,"" and Moshe Dayan. . . ""Thousands of years of Jewish wisdom lie in his words."" As for Habe himself, a certain sharp Central European worldliness makes this more than a fulsome tract.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 1973

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1973