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Many different types of Zionists will be antagonized by this strange book. Polish's two central premises are these: ""The argument of the vulnerability of the (Diaspora) is no longer tenable...the concept of the centrality of the state of Israel is invalid...antiquated...perverse."" Unfortunately, he incorrectly interprets what this concept is. On the one hand, he claims that the whole world is in peril of sudden outbursts of sadistic terror such as the genocide attempts of World War II. On the other hand, he maintains that the position of scattered clusters of Jews is nowadays as safe as that of any other group in the world. To support this theory, he cites Blalik's contention that the Diaspora of modern times is not completely involuntary, especially for the Jews of America and other strongholds of freedom. Rabbi Polish misses in his analysis what is the central belief of many Zionist supporters: the position of Jews in the modern Diaspora is stronger than it was before 1948 by virtue of the existence of Israel as a sovereign country with a position of honor among nations of the world. Whether or not a Jew living in comparative security wishes to move to Israel, he and his neighbors share the knowledge that Israel exists, not only as a haven, but as a nation. The author admits that Judaism ""has always rebelled against historical determinism""; however, he has set forth a medley of contradictions marking him as a target for criticism from all but few irresponsible diehards among both Jews and Gentiles. Subtitled A Search for Meaning in Jewish History, this book has not found that which it was seeking.

Pub Date: May 12th, 1960
Publisher: Abelard-Schuman