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Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel [Kindle Edition]

Max Blumenthal
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In Goliath, New York Times bestselling author Max Blumenthal takes us on a journey through the badlands and high roads of Israel-Palestine, painting a startling portrait of Israeli society under the siege of increasingly authoritarian politics as the occupation of the Palestinians deepens.

Beginning with the national elections carried out during Israel's war on Gaza in 2008-09, which brought into power the country's most right-wing government to date, Blumenthal tells the story of Israel in the wake of the collapse of the Oslo peace process.

As Blumenthal reveals, Israel has become a country where right-wing leaders like Avigdor Lieberman and Bibi Netanyahu are sacrificing democracy on the altar of their power politics; where the loyal opposition largely and passively stands aside and watches the organized assault on civil liberties; where state-funded Orthodox rabbis publish books that provide instructions on how and when to kill Gentiles; where half of Jewish youth declare their refusal to sit in a classroom with an Arab; and where mob violence targets Palestinians and African asylum seekers scapegoated by leading government officials as "demographic threats."

Immersing himself like few other journalists inside the world of hardline political leaders and movements, Blumenthal interviews the demagogues and divas in their homes, in the Knesset, and in the watering holes where their young acolytes hang out, and speaks with those political leaders behind the organized assault on civil liberties. As his journey deepens, he painstakingly reports on the occupied Palestinians challenging schemes of demographic separation through unarmed protest. He talks at length to the leaders and youth of Palestinian society inside Israel now targeted by security service dragnets and legislation suppressing their speech, and provides in-depth reporting on the small band of Jewish Israeli dissidents who have shaken off a conformist mindset that permeates the media, schools, and the military.

Through his far-ranging travels, Blumenthal illuminates the present by uncovering the ghosts of the past—the histories of Palestinian neighborhoods and villages now gone and forgotten; how that history has set the stage for the current crisis of Israeli society; and how the Holocaust has been turned into justification for occupation.

A brave and unflinching account of the real facts on the ground, Goliath is an unprecedented and compelling work of journalism.

Product Description


"There is much in its gruesome vignettes of modern Israeli hypernationalism in action ... heart-wrenching." David Shulman, New York Review of Books "[A] bold, personal and unapologetic book." Salon "Goliath is a particular kind of expose-minded, documentary-broadside journalism whose place we generally recognize and respect... Blumenthal has made a sobering prima facie case that there are extreme forces [within Israel's current political-social dynamics] to be aware of, and reckoned with more fully that American discourse usually does." James Fallows, The Atlantic "Goliath...shows in forensic detail the reality of the Israeli mainstream's embrace blatant racism against Arabs and Africans." Antony Loewenstein, "[A] heart stopper... Goliath is a threat to the Israeli status quo...because it tells too many inconvenient truths." Larry Gross, Director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication "Max Blumenthal's Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel is the most important political and investigative journalist book of 2013." TarheelDem, Firedoglake Reader Diaries "[A] bold and shocking book, presenting persuasively a major theoretical and polemical argument about Israel almost completely at odds with the image most Americans have of it... Even those generally well-informed about Israel and its occupation of the Palestinian territories will have their views challenged by Blumenthal's sharp eye and deadpan factual presentations." The American Conservative "[A] scathing critique of the Jewish State... Supporters of Israel should be encouraged to read this book...As Israel's greatest supporters, American Jews who care at all about the future of the country need to understand what's happening within the borders." The New York Observer "I would like to send a copy [of Goliath] to every Jew I know...This is the sort of book that even if you want to diss it, you can't dismiss it." Charles H. Manekin, Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Center of Jewish Studies at the University of Maryland "Blumenthal's new book offers an unflinching look at the racist reality of Israel that America's establishment media simply does not have the guts to confront." Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada "Brave reporting of a sad, even tragic tale. Makes me wish he wrote for the New York Times." Stephen Walt, Professor of International Affairs at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government "Erudite, hard-hitting, [Goliath has] the potential to influence American public opinion on Israel..." Rayyan Al-Shawaf, Mondoweiss "[Blumenthal is] genuinely interested in the truth, and knows that the truth in politics often lurks in those dark caves of viciousness... [Goliath is] the kind of book that you just open to any chapter and quickly get a sense of both the particular and the whole. You'll find yourself instantly immersed in an engrossing family romance-one part tender, one part train-wreck-and wish you had the entire day to keep reading. Put it down, and pick it up the next day, and you'll have the exact same feeling." Corey Robin, associate professor of political science at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center "A rich, roiling examination of 'the State of Israel during a period of deepening political and societal crisis' ... Blumenthal is an enterprising reporter." Kirkus Reviews "Brash, gritty, personal and close to the ground, this is a report from an Israel and a Palestine we seldom see in the mainstream media. The sharp-edged scenes and portraits in this disturbing book shows why the chances for lasting peace in the region have gone from bad to worse." Adam Hochschild "Armed with a critic's eye and a sharp pen, Blumenthal sets out to document what he regards as the fulfillment of Yeshayahu Leibowitz's darkest prophecy regarding the Israeli occupation. Exposure to the impressions from his journey through the Land of Israel-Palestine might be outrageous, unsettling, often heart wrenching. But those who fear for the image of this land would be well advised to respond to the challenge and to deal with his flowing descriptions of the struggles he witnessed and of the brave souls he met in one of the most divided and conflict-ridden places in the world." Akiva Eldar "Goliath lifts the carefully maintained veil concealing the reality of Israel as it actually is today, a reality that is elided in most reportage from the region... Blumenthal's book is packed with remarkable vignettes illustrating the dangerous path Israel is currently following." Rashid Khalidi "It is about time someone wrote this book. Anyone who thinks he knows what is happening in Israel and its occupied territories will think again after reading this great work." Charles Glass "The only worthwhile, honest discussion of Israel can come from someone who possesses two attributes: fearlessness and expertise. Max Blumenthal wields both in abundance, and the result is an eye-opening and stunningly insightful book about the dramatic plight of a country central to America's political fortunes." Glenn Greenwald "Max Blumenthal lays bare in rich and riveting detail the full, shocking scope and virulence of a cancer, both institutional and popular, which, unchecked, will surely do more to destroy Israel from within than its enemies -- essentially of its own racist and colonialist making too -- from without." David Hirst

About the Author

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author whose articles and video documentaries have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Beast, The Nation, The Guardian, The Independent Film Channel, The Huffington Post,, Al Jazeera English and many other publications. His book, Republican Gomorrah: Inside The Movement That Shattered The Party, was a New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller. He blogs at

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2299 KB
  • Print Length: 514 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books; First Trade Paper Edition edition (1 Oct. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B3M3TPC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #237,660 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible work 26 Dec. 2014
By Poussin
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Max Blumenthal has done an incredible work. I have to say that I am really pleased with the rigour, with which the facts are reported (the book contains a detailed note section with references), and with the writing style. The book is highly readable, and I feel grateful to the author for dedicating so much time and work to writing such a fine piece. Such quality work is not something I come across so often.

For someone like me who is not so familiar with the situation in Israel/Palestine, this book is a must read. It offers a description of a situation that does not get as much media coverage as it probably should, especially given the dependence of Israel on foreign money. Blumenthal immersed himself inside the Israeli society, and thus allows us to see things from the perspective of the locals. This makes the book unique and pretty much unmissable. I also appreciated Blumenthal's historical approach in describing the roots of a conflict that unfortunately does not seem to have much chance to be resolved any time soon.

Overall, this book is the work of a great journalist, that deserves to be read. I would definitely recommend buying it.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Things were pretty bad when I lived there and 26 July 2014
I'm Jewish and have lived in Israel. Things were pretty bad when I lived there and, predictably for a state whose very basis is the racist assumption that Zionist Jews have a right (whether God-given or not) to dispossess Palestinians of their land and human rights, Israel has moved closer to fascism in the intervening years. This book tears away the Zionist propaganda and gives a clear description and analysis of what a monster it has become. I don't just detest Zionism for what it has done to Palestinians, but also for the moral and spiritual destruction it has wrought on Jewish communities. With Gaza currently suffering such horrific, inhuman bombardment, this book helps explain the cause.
On a recent visit to Palestine, the first since I left Israel many years ago, I was shocked and moved by the conditions of Palestinians. I saw how settlers ride horses at and throw stones at Palestinian children, how they throw bottles of urine down onto the narrow streets of Hebron from the houses they have stolen from their Arab owners, so that streets have to be protected with "roofs" of netting. I also met some of the tiny minority of brave Israeli Jews who are prepared to take enormous risks to try to get justice for Palestinians. But, most of all, I was struck by the fact that, as a Jewish visitor, I was welcomed into Palestinian homes, whether in towns, villages or refugee camps. I felt perfectly safe on my own walking around West Bank towns and even if I went into a shop in Jericho, Hebron or Bethlehem and had to resort to using Hebrew because they didn't understand English (making it clear, if they couldn't see from my appearance, that I am Jewish), the total strangers in the shop were helpful and glad that I had come to see and share their conditions.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inside Israel 27 Sept. 2014
By Petra
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In Israel's latest assault on Gaza more than 2000 Gazans were killed, over 500 of which were children. While Palestinian families were mourning their dead, a flag-waving Israeli mob was chanting in the streets of Tel Aviv: "There is no school tomorrow in Gaza, because there are no children left. Ole, ole, ole."

The fanatical hatred emanating from that crowd was chilling and left the viewer wondering what is going on in Israel these days?

Max Blumenthal's book answers that question. It is divided into many short chapters and each chapter is like a piece of a jigsaw that looks at one specific aspect of Israeli and Palestinian life and society. From the arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, an experience in itself, Blumenthal takes us on a journey through Israel and the Occupied Territories. Along the way we meet a broad range of people from all walks of life.

In Haifa, for example, we encounter a young Palestinian woman, who had opened a café which had an easy-going bohemian atmosphere and became a favourite hangout with both, young Palestinians and Israelis. The café had one rule: "No uniforms allowed." However, the café's fate was sealed when one day an Israeli soldier in uniform with a gun slung over his shoulder walked in and demanded a drink.

Then there was the eighty-nine-year-old Holocaust survivor who rented rooms in his house to three Palestinian students. When in December 2010 a group of around 50 state-sanctioned Israeli rabbis issued a religious edict, urging Israelis not to rent to Arabs and other non-Jews, this old man became the target of hate messages, which were regularly pinned to his door, denouncing him as a traitor.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Illuminating; a wonderful read. 1 Feb. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Blumenthal paints a picture of contemporary Israel which exposes the inevitable moral depravity into which the Zionist settler state has become after seven decades of ethnic cleansing, war, occupation, oppression and apartheid. Taking advantage of the relative freedom to move around which his status as an American jew affords him, the book reads like a travelogue of despair, as he reports on his encounters with activists and politicians, oppressors and oppressed, whilst providing enlightening insights into the events and people which have shaped and defined the rogue state in recent years. Brilliantly written, I can guarantee that you will learn so much from this book - the mainstream media simply won't report much of what is covered here. A superb book by a very gifted and principled investigative journalist which I cannot recommend enough.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great work
Published 1 month ago by peter steen lyngsby
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant purchase for my boyfriend. Fast delivery too!
Published 2 months ago by Miss. L
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent and worth reading.
excellent journalistic work. there is a really good and thorough review of the book here:
Published 3 months ago by mr r a shaw
2.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly negative portrayal of Israel
The book has a mono-vision of Israel devoted to displaying as much of the negative about the country as is possible. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Naftali 007
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Book - just essential reading for anybody wishing to ...
Outstanding Book - just essential reading for anybody wishing to understand the current trajectory in Israeli society and politics. Read more
Published 5 months ago by sam
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Excellent, prompt delivery
Published 6 months ago by Saad Jadir
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The book everyone should read
Published 6 months ago by K. Holland
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 6 months ago by alan thomson
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading
YES anything related to Palestine is worth a read and fills in gaps we have about the present situation and suffering of these people.
Published 6 months ago by Ursula Pretzlik
5.0 out of 5 stars It is not surprising that a number of Holocaust survivors have...
This book is excoriating and worrying – packed with compelling detail that makes it hard to put down. Read more
Published 8 months ago by jw
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