Even if Glick’s were indisputably the right course of action, the constant aggressiveness is off-putting. The choir won’t...

THE ISRAELI SOLUTION

A ONE-STATE PLAN FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Can peace ever come to the Middle East? Not with the implacable parties involved, one wing of which informs this unyielding polemic.

Jerusalem Post senior contributing editor Glick, who is based in Jerusalem, announces early on that the Palestinian demand that Jewish settlers leave Israeli-occupied territories is inherently “anti-Semitic.” Why? Apparently because any opposition to any act by any Israeli constitutes anti-Semitism. Moreover, the two-state solution that the United States has long explored and more recently endorsed, a solution now being brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry, “requires Israel, America’s closest Middle East ally, to transform itself from a powerful nation, capable of defending itself from infiltration and invasion, into a strategic basket case that survives at the pleasure of its enemies.” Glick’s arguments about the illegitimacy of the Palestinian government and the desire of all right-thinking Palestinians to live in Israeli-style (if not Israeli) democracy have a sometimes-familiar ring, reminiscent of the belief of U.S. hawks in Vietnam that inside every Vietnamese was an American screaming to get out. Whatever the case, it doesn’t take the author long to play the Hitler card (“The main factor that motivated the Arabs to support the Nazis was not British actions in the Mandate. It was Jew hatred”), nor to insist that the American government has been mesmerized by the Palestinian cobra into “fundamental misunderstandings of the Palestinian reality,” leading to the apparently misbegotten view that the Palestinians might just deserve national self-determination. But give them the vote, she warns, and they’ll do just what Arabs do: choose Islamist candidates and their “totalitarian ideology.”

Even if Glick’s were indisputably the right course of action, the constant aggressiveness is off-putting. The choir won’t mind the preaching, but the arguments here aren’t likely to sway many other readers.

Pub Date: March 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-34806-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Crown Forum

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2014

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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Not an easy read but an essential one.

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HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST

Title notwithstanding, this latest from the National Book Award–winning author is no guidebook to getting woke.

In fact, the word “woke” appears nowhere within its pages. Rather, it is a combination memoir and extension of Atlantic columnist Kendi’s towering Stamped From the Beginning (2016) that leads readers through a taxonomy of racist thought to anti-racist action. Never wavering from the thesis introduced in his previous book, that “racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas,” the author posits a seemingly simple binary: “Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.” The author, founding director of American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center, chronicles how he grew from a childhood steeped in black liberation Christianity to his doctoral studies, identifying and dispelling the layers of racist thought under which he had operated. “Internalized racism,” he writes, “is the real Black on Black Crime.” Kendi methodically examines racism through numerous lenses: power, biology, ethnicity, body, culture, and so forth, all the way to the intersectional constructs of gender racism and queer racism (the only section of the book that feels rushed). Each chapter examines one facet of racism, the authorial camera alternately zooming in on an episode from Kendi’s life that exemplifies it—e.g., as a teen, he wore light-colored contact lenses, wanting “to be Black but…not…to look Black”—and then panning to the history that informs it (the antebellum hierarchy that valued light skin over dark). The author then reframes those received ideas with inexorable logic: “Either racist policy or Black inferiority explains why White people are wealthier, healthier, and more powerful than Black people today.” If Kendi is justifiably hard on America, he’s just as hard on himself. When he began college, “anti-Black racist ideas covered my freshman eyes like my orange contacts.” This unsparing honesty helps readers, both white and people of color, navigate this difficult intellectual territory.

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-50928-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: One World/Random House

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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