ISRAEL: The Beginning and Tomorrow by Hal Lehrman

ISRAEL: The Beginning and Tomorrow

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As a well known writer for the magazine Commentary, Lehrman has an awareness of the many sided Israel problem and of the need to establish a facsimile of democracy in Palestine. The first part of the book is a discussion of the present day social and economic set up of Israel and the problems therein. Parliament and parties, the judicial system, the melting pot characteristic, church versus state, education, the influence of foreign investments on the state's economy and the threatening advantage of ""labor capitalism""- the Histadrut, over private enterprise, are a few of the topics. Some of Lehrman's emergent views are:- there is a task of westernizing to be done on the confused mixture of western ideas and inmate eastern habits; there are shortcomings of religious orthodoxy of rigid Zionism as against the more liberal elements of Ben Gurion's Mapai party; conditions tend to turn the real necessity of Israel into bread rather than a solving of political ideology; much of the salvation of Israel lies in the amount and manipulation of foreign investment. The Histadrut, socialist elements of the Mapai, red tape and productivity controls, not to mention the Arabs who decry Russian influenced elements yet promote them by stopping up investment and productivity, are all a long drag on the needed development of private enterprise. It has both the far left, the far right and the frightened, angry Arabs to deal with. Following are some sketches and impressions dealing with every day life and at the last, an appraisal of the U.S. point of view and the ultimate clash between bonds and philanthropy as methods of financing Israel. An interesting, fast moving and well informed study.

Pub Date: Dec. 26th, 1951
Publisher: William Sloane