Tyler ably demonstrates how a culture of preemptive warfare and covert subversion is isolating Israel and alienating it from...

FORTRESS ISRAEL

THE INSIDE STORY OF THE MILITARY ELITE WHO RUN THE COUNTRY--AND WHY THEY CAN'T MAKE PEACE

A scathing look at the belligerent mindset of Israel’s elite, from David Ben-Gurion to Benjamin Netanyahu.

Since its founding in opposition to Arab hostility, Israel remains “in thrall of an original martial impulse,” writes former Washington Post and New York Times journalist Tyler (A World of Trouble: The White House and the Middle East—from the Cold War to the War on Terror, 2008, etc.). The native-born Israelis, sabras (“the new Jews, no longer a caricature of passivism, dependence, and weakness, but a people determined to take its fate into its own hands”), represented best in such figures as defense minister Moshe Dayan, grew up on cooperative farms, sparring with local Arabs over turf, reading the Bible not for religious instruction but as a “manual for war,” and becoming radicalized while serving in the army. The new militarism superseded the romantic notions of Zionism’s founding. By the mid-1950s, Ben-Gurion began urging for immediate escalation of Israel’s military might in response to Egyptian leader Nasser’s arms spree from Russia. Dayan, Ariel Sharon, Abba Eban, Menachim Begin, Yitzhak Rabin, Golda Meir and others were enlisted in Ben-Gurion’s new offensive-thinking policy, a call for an expansion of the Jewish state through preemptive strikes. Tyler attributes much of Ben-Gurion’s new “activist strategy” to his impending retirement, deep-seated anxiety about his “weak-sister” successor and need to galvanize the support of the Israeli people. There has been a high price for this militarism—e.g., the Six-Day War, War of Attrition, border reprisals, Yom Kippur War and the current subverting of Iran’s nuclear program by secret assassinations and bombings. The tragic result of this military folly, writes the author, is Israel’s inability to generate effective diplomatic channels and alternatives for peace.

Tyler ably demonstrates how a culture of preemptive warfare and covert subversion is isolating Israel and alienating it from its founding as a progressive and humanistic state.

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-374-28104-5

Page Count: 576

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

Custer died for your sins. And so, this book would seem to suggest, did every other native victim of colonialism.

Inducing guilt in non-native readers would seem to be the guiding idea behind Dunbar-Ortiz’s (Emerita, Ethnic Studies/California State Univ., Hayward; Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, 2005, etc.) survey, which is hardly a new strategy. Indeed, the author says little that hasn’t been said before, but she packs a trove of ideological assumptions into nearly every page. For one thing, while “Indian” isn’t bad, since “[i]ndigenous individuals and peoples in North America on the whole do not consider ‘Indian’ a slur,” “American” is due to the fact that it’s “blatantly imperialistic.” Just so, indigenous peoples were overwhelmed by a “colonialist settler-state” (the very language broadly applied to Israelis vis-à-vis the Palestinians today) and then “displaced to fragmented reservations and economically decimated”—after, that is, having been forced to live in “concentration camps.” Were he around today, Vine Deloria Jr., the always-indignant champion of bias-puncturing in defense of native history, would disavow such tidily packaged, ready-made, reflexive language. As it is, the readers who are likely to come to this book—undergraduates, mostly, in survey courses—probably won’t question Dunbar-Ortiz’s inaccurate assertion that the military phrase “in country” derives from the military phrase “Indian country” or her insistence that all Spanish people in the New World were “gold-obsessed.” Furthermore, most readers won’t likely know that some Ancestral Pueblo (for whom Dunbar-Ortiz uses the long-abandoned term “Anasazi”) sites show evidence of cannibalism and torture, which in turn points to the inconvenient fact that North America wasn’t entirely an Eden before the arrival of Europe.

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0040-3

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

more