FAREWELL ISRAEL! by Ephraim Sevela


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The Israel that Ephraim Sevela laments in Farewell, Israel! is not the political state but a state of mind. Sevela, a Soviet-Jewish dissident who emigrated to Israel in 1971, wrote the book in '75--two years prior to the recent political demise of the country's long-standing Labor government--intending it primarily as a bitter indictment of Israeli socialism. Pointing to the racial tension between ""black"" Jews from North Africa and the Ashkenazi (European) establishment; to the disillusionment among Israeli youth who ""openly deride. . . the ideals of the pioneers""; to his own disappointment at not being able to find work in his field (as a filmmaker), Savela concludes adamantly that socialism is at fault. There is no logical thread to his argument and, though no one would deny that the country faces serious socio-economic problems, the real culprit in Farewell, Israel/is the author's utopian delusion. ""We Russian Jews invented an Israel of our own,"" he writes, ""it became the embodiment of those expectations which had remained unfulfilled in the USSR. . . . [We] gave up everything for the sake of a dream. . . ."" Dreams are infallible, countries are not. The book is best read as a tragic essay in self-deception.

Pub Date: Oct. 13th, 1977
Publisher: Gateway Editions, Ltd. (620 West Washington St., South Bend, Indiana 46625)