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Blood and Religion: The Unmasking of the Jewish and Democratic State Hardcover – 20 Apr 2006

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Pluto Press; First edition. Hardback. edition (20 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745325564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745325569
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.9 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

Timely and important … by far the most penetrating and comprehensive [book] on the subject to date. … This work should be required reading. (Nur Masalha, Director of Holy Land Studies, St Mary’s College, University of Surrey, and author of The Politics of Denial (2003))

An original and powerful book. (Ilan Pappe, Senior Lecturer in Political Science at Haifa University, and author of A Modern History of Palestine (2004))

Very impressive … Some of his findings will astound even the knowledgeable reader. (Salim Tamari, Director of the Institute of Jerusalem Studies)

About the Author

Jonathan Cook is a former staff journalist for the Guardian and Observer newspapers. He has also written for The Times, Le Monde diplomatique, International Herald Tribune, Al-Ahram Weekly and Aljazeera.net. He is based in Nazareth.

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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By R. Kohli on 21 Mar. 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some bits are repetitive but you get the feeling this is because he is passionate about his subject and knows his stuff.

I'm sure we'll all agree that the phrase we hear about Israel all too often is "the only democracy in the middle east." Well this book destroys that assertion and has of plenty of quotes, figures and references to back it up. Some of the quotes by Israeli leaders (who are portrayed as peace wanting men in our Western media) are frankly disgusting but most of all suprising because we are never told of these quotes in our media; probably because of fear of being labelled anti semitic.

The book shows the essense of Zionist thinking when it comes to the Palestinians and it is essentially racist with respect to the leadership of Israel. The comparison to the South African apartheid is probably the most apt and there is brief comparison between the two which more than anything makes the reader question their own double standards with regards to views on Israeli racists and their Afrikaner couterparts. I certainly did and I think many people who only get their information from watching the TV, will also.

The author certainly doesn't goad one into thinking negatively of the Zionist agenda but more often than not when presented with the evidence your mind sways that way. You never get the impression that you are being manipulated which is quite refreshing especially if you've watched Fox news or read the Sun (sorry Rupert).

One thing you will pick up from this book is that the rules governing the debate on Israel/Palestine are set by Israel but this book certainly goes a long way in my mind to redressing the balance.
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68 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Kivanc Emiroglu on 26 Feb. 2007
Format: Paperback
Jonathan is a British freelance writer who lives in Nazareth and chooses to stay independent in order not to be constrained in his reporting content and by biased approach of the mainstream media towards Israel-Palestine conflict. I found that refreshing and unique!

This book talks in detail about the life of Israeli Arabs and Palestinians in the occupied territories mainly after the second intifada, which started after the former Prime Minister Sharon visited the Temple Mount. In order to describe the roots of the problems, Jonathan goes back in history and reminds us the origins of the conflict. Jonathan has a couple of arguments that form the basis of this book.

The first argument is that Israel was formed as and is still a democratic state for Jewish citizens but a non-democratic state for non-Jewish citizens. The laws differ for Jews and non-Jews in the areas of citizenship, marriage, tax breaks, asset ownership, military service, public service, and state-citizen relationship. As all of us know, inequality between citizens has created everything but peace in many countries. If this argument is true, I find the approach of Israeli government racist!

The second argument is that the conflict is rooted in Israel's non-ending efforts for capturing more land and water sources as well as in winning the fight of numbers (demography). If this argument is true, I find the approach of Israeli government imperialistic!

The third argument is that the mainstream media, mainly in the US, positions the roots of the conflict as a religious fight between the Jews and the Muslims hence Israel's need for extreme security measures.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Anthony J. Geha Yuja on 27 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback
It is always a pleasure and a refreshing experience to read Jonathan Cook's eloquent and balanced articles,compared to the nauseating distortions and lies of the so called mainstream media coverage of what is going in the Middle East and on the never ending turmoil in the Holy Lands. What are glaringly missing are the working/living conditions and plight of the Palestinians confronting Israel's sadistic occupation with its high tech and deadly weaponry supplied with US taxpayers money.

In this book Nazareth based Cook uncovers the myth about Israel's so called democracy for Jews only since non Jews are blatantly discriminated against in so many wicked ways particularly the Palestinians living under Israel's brutal occupation scores of whom are regularly killed, their civilian infrastructure and their livelihoods destroyed and their elected representatives arbitrarily arrested with no recourse to any democratic civilian justice system.

The truly civilized world needs more talented and principled writers like Jonathan Cook who promote dialogue and peace and who are not afraid of speaking truth to power and taking considerable risks to uphold the rule of law and condemn Israel's relentless human rights abuses and war crimes against entire non Jewish populations in the Occupied Territories.

Blood and Religion is a breath of fresh air in the midst of nauseating pro-Israeli narrative in media coverage of Israel and Palestine and is recommended for reading by anyone interested in understanding the root problem at the heart of the Israeli Palestinian conflict: an illegal and brutal occupation.
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