THE CASE FOR ISRAEL by Frank Gervasi


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Cases for Israel"" have ranged from Sartre's perplexed defense to the aggressive polemics of Abba Eban (who introduces this book). Mr. Gervasi- has long been in touch with beleaguered Israel; he presents a cogent brief. Deficiencies: it doesn't state or explicitly refute the arguments which necessitate a ""pro"" case. His inattention to the military side of the June war is excusable, even welcome; but he ignores Egyptian unpreparedness and policy disputes within Israel, emphasizing the vocal belligerencies of the former. England, then Moscow, are the villains; U.S. policy is never explored, including military aid to pro-Western Arabs, partly because Mr. Gervasi tends to lump ""Arab leaders"" together. However, the bulk of the book is Israeli history, thorough and well-paced: it details the continuities of struggle against willful neighbors and sellout by the big powers, and it implies a range of ironies--Jews flourished in Arab communities from Maimonides' time to the early days of the British Mandate.... In the '20's, Arabs accused Israelis of bolshevism.... Current history includes an excellent chapter on the refugee problem; the author demonstrates that it has been exaggerated and exploited by the Egyptians. Unlike some cases, Gervasi's advocacy does not rest on Nazi monstrosity, and it tries harder than many to explore possible solutions. A readable, valuable work, quite different from any of the others recently received, and probably more permanent.

Pub Date: Oct. 27th, 1967
Publisher: Viking