DIALOGUE WITH ISHMAEL: Israel's Future In the Middle East by Aubrey Hodes

DIALOGUE WITH ISHMAEL: Israel's Future In the Middle East

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Hodes begins with a simplistic, chauvinistic picture of a ""clash between civilizations,"" the Arabs being ""problem-perpetuators"" and Israelis ""problem-solvers,"" and recommends that the latter help ""Westernize"" the former. But the rest of the book is more sensitive and sensible; is Hodes frosting his basic ideas or revising them? He neglects Israeli discrimination against the majority of non-European Jews which ought to relate to his other themes; but in general his account of internal developments is exceptionally full and edifying. He scolds Ben-Gurion for the blind anti-Arab posture which helped produce ""a whole generation of Israelis. . . without understanding of Arab history and culture""; yet many sabras, he claims, feel a kinship with the Arabs. That sabra warrior Dayan is invidiously compared with General Allon, ""subtler, more sophisticated, humane,"" etc. The prehistory of the June war moves in parallel fashion from undifferentiated comments about ""the Arabs"" to valuable outlines. A solution depends on Israeli regional participation as a Mid-Eastern nation, as well as Arab acknowledgement that Israel is there to stay. Israel must choose between new land and new people, meanwhile administer new territories in conformity with Judaic ethics, deal ""piecemeal"" with the Arab nations, quash nuclear-weapons trends--and above all remember that there isn't much to look forward to unless peace comes. The author is a Jew from South Africa now living in Israel. The book is a narrower, more detailed, equally valuable complement to Yuri Avnery's Pax Semitica (1968--p. 624).

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1968
Publisher: Funk & Wagnalls