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The Holocaust Is Over; We Must Rise From its Ashes [Hardcover]

Avraham Burg
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

31 Oct 2008
The Israeli opinion maker and former Speaker of the Knesset offers a radical exploration of modern day Israel and advances the controversial notion that if it is to live in peace with its neighbors it must overcome the trauma of the Holocaust.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (31 Oct 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230607527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230607521
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 17 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 414,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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'Short of being Prime Minister, Burg could not be higher in the Zionist establishment.' - David Remnick, The New Yorker 
'...a compelling mix of polemic, personal memoir, homage to his parents and meditation on Judaism.' - Donald Macintyre, The Independent
'This is an important book by a very courageous man... In Burg's view Israel must move beyond Hitler's poisoned legacy; Jews and Israelis must stop invoking the memory of the Holocaust in paranoid self-justification at every turn. If they cannot or will not do this, the Middle East will never see peace and Israel has no future.' - Tony Judt, bestselling author of Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 and Professor at New York University

'This fascinating and thought-provoking book should be read by every person who cares about Israel. Burg's central theme is that Israeli leaders use the memory of the Holocaust in ways that are warping the country's soul, creating unnecessary fear, and making it impossible to achieve peace with the Palestinians.' - John J. Mearsheimer, bestselling author of The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy and Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago

'It is by turns incisive and hard-hitting...It is also extremely important.' - The Jewish Daily Forward

Book Description

The acclaimed Israeli opinion-maker's bold statement about the future of Jewish society in the world

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Controversial Book by a respected insider 10 Mar 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
No real answers in the second half of this book but the beginning is an important look at the differences in the two approaches to dealing with problems inside of Israel and preserving Israel in the future. It is a powerful read written by an important man who was involved in Israeli government at the highest level for years.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well-meaning but confused 24 Aug 2009
I bought this book thinking that this would be a radical approach to the future of Israel and Jewish thinking. In fact it is a very nice but rather jumbled approach to Avraham Burg's thinking about any number of topics. Frankly I doubt it would have been published were he not such a major character on the Israeli stage. There is little in this book any liberal minded person can disagree with. He speaks of 'a new Judaism', but much of what he talks about already exists in any number of the progressive streams of Judaism - perhaps not so well known in Israel. He talks of moving away from a victim culture - the supposed theme of the book, but fails to really develop this idea so the reader is left wondering what exactly his blueprint for the future is. He spends a lot of time lionising his father, who was clearly a great man, but, particularly towards the end of the book he starts to ramble, attempting to interpret a dream his father has on his sickbed.

A lot of the ideas he writes about are vague and, in some cases, such as his idea for an international religious authority,rather nave. I enjoyed reading the book, it is written in a fairly relaxed style but if anyone is looking for a more in-depth analysis, this is not really the book for them.
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1.0 out of 5 stars NONSENSE ABOUT THE MIDDLE EAST 26 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I would recommend this item only to committed anti zionists who need more encouragement in their anti zionist fanaticism. I have thrown the book into my rubbbish bin.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brave and courageous book 7 Mar 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Avraham Burg has been brave enough to put down in words for all to see his views on the way that Israel uses the Holocaust in many ways to create identity and to justify many of its actions. He asserts that rather than use the Holocaust as an exucse for victimhood and backward looking thinking, it can be used to build peace with neighbours and the lessons learned from it to be used to a positive effect rather than the negative one which since the creation of Israel acts to the detriment of Israelis, Jews worldwide and Palestinians.He speaks of Judaism as it ought to be, as a religion of strong ethics and human rights. His writing is very powerful indeed and for that reason I am keeping this review simple as I cannot express myself in a way that can do this book justice. Read it and you will see for yourself.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Holocaust: For or against? 8 July 2011
In the foreword to the English edition of his book, Burg mentions a conversation with a man criticizing him for speaking out against the Holocaust. He replied, asking whether it would be better to write in support of the Holocaust. These two brackets form the enclosure the author finds himself in and from which he wants to free both himself and the Jewish people, because he feels that it is impossible for a people - or indeed for the world as a whole - to lead a meaningful life while always looking backwards.

Obviously, such a perception is very disappointing for any honest man, and Burg realizes that if he were to go on forever feeling that he and his people are nothing but victims and therefore exempt from any other obligations, Hitler, would in the end have won out, by isolating the Jews. He does not want the Shoah to become the central pillar of the Jewish religion because this would - and does - lead the Jews to a confrontational attitude toward the rest of the world, anything happening might thus be construed as an attack on the Jewish people and would bring about possibly unwarranted defensive measures. He cannot accept the idea that the Shoah should be more present than God in the religious life of a person or a nation, as this would deprive the Israelis of any alternative to the use of force in dealing with opponents. For him, the country developed only muscles, not a common soul and this even makes the integration of non-European Jews into the new state more difficult and thus deprives Israel of this valuable natural bridge towards its Arab neighbours.

Burg deplores the fact that the American Jewry has allowed itself to be aligned to a single issue: maintaining and strengthening Israel.
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