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Open Secrets: Israeli Foreign and Nuclear Policies: Expansionism and Israeli Foreign Policy [Hardcover]

Israel Shahak
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 Feb 1997
‘Shahak has the courage to to say what most Israelis do not dare to say and definitely do not want to hear ... [He] is a knowledgeable insider who builds his argument carefully on the best information ... The lessons to be drawn from what Shahak tells us are self-evident ... Open Secrets and Jewish History, Jewish Religion are two remarkable, powerful and provocative studies offering a penetrating examination of Israeli strategic foreign policies and Jewish religion and history.’ London Review Of Books

‘As a critic of Zionism and as an opponent of Jewish exclusivity, Israel Shahak is special. He possesses in-depth knowledge of Israeli society, Jewish culture and the history of his people. His humanitarian concerns and commitments are extensive; his work as a human rights campaigner ... is enormous ... Shahak provides insights [in Open Secrets] that are often far more penetrating than what has been written by others ... Little of the information and few of the insights in Open Secrets can be found in other books that focus on Israel and the Middle East ... Open Secrets is an excellent book for required reading in History, political science and/or international affairs courses in which there is consideration of Israel in the Middle East.’ The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

'Outstanding ... A must not only for the Palestinians, but for anybody interested in Israeli politics' The Jerusalem Times

‘Offers readers an interesting insight into the mentality of the Zionists, based largely on Hebrew sources which non-Jews are unable to access.’ Crescent International

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Pluto Press (20 Feb 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745311520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745311524
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 31.7 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,863,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

‘Shahak has the courage to to say what most Israelis do not dare to say and definitely do not want to hear ... [He] is a knowledgeable insider who builds his argument carefully on the best information ... The lessons to be drawn from what Shahak tells us are self-evident ... Open Secrets and Jewish History, Jewish Religion are two remarkable, powerful and provocative studies offering a penetrating examination of Israeli strategic foreign policies and Jewish religion and history.’ --London Review Of Books  ‘As a critic of Zionism and as an opponent of Jewish exclusivity, Israel Shahak is special. He possesses in-depth knowledge of Israeli society, Jewish culture and the history of his people. His humanitarian concerns and commitments are extensive; his work as a human rights campaigner ... is enormous ... Shahak provides insights [in Open Secrets] that are often far more penetrating than what has been written by others ... Little of the information and few of the

About the Author

Israel Shahak was a resident of the Warsaw Ghetto and a survivor of Bergen-Belsen. He arrived in Palestine in 1945 and lived there until his death in 2001. He was an outspoken critic of the state of Israel and a human rights activist. He was also the author of the highly acclaimed Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel (Pluto Press 1999) and Jewish History, Jewish Religion (Pluto Press 1994).

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Painful reading. 29 Sep 2009
Format:Paperback
This makes painful but crucial reading for all interested in understanding Israeli security concerns and religious ideology that has contributed to a State that is at once both defensive and offensive in nature. He airs painful little known Israeli Policies- in the 80's the Israelis had hoped to transfer Palestinians with Saddams cooperation to occupy Irans Oil rich province of Khuzestan, after an Iraqi victory.
There is a detailed account of the Agenda of right leaning Radicals who feel historically cheated by Churchills failure to honour the integration a substantial portion of Jordan into the fledgling state of Israel. Therefore from the outset we can understand an Israeli perspective which is genuinely aggrieved historically, as much as it may be the aggressor in other issues. The disturbing features of Rightist Policies are clearly expansionist. A state is envisaged that would ultimately extend from the Suez Canal all the way to Baghdad- a Historically Jewish City by the Rightists reckonings. This is an important and overlooked book that exposes much of what Arabs already know about Israel, that there is an expansionist core element that do seek far greater territory than the Dovish elements of Israeli society will condone. It is a book that should actually assist in problem solving, since it makes clear that in Israel too there are Religious extremists, as there are in the Islamic world and Christian one, but that there are genuinely moderate and liberal viewpoints to moderate and push through effective peace building in the Middle East.
This book has never been so timely as the issue of WMD again is coming to the top of the international Political agenda. Israels place in this is central, as are their security concerns, as are that of the rest of the Middle Easts, and this books spells out very explicitly why the Arab and Persian world still has much to fear from a Nuclear Israel despite the focus being on the obverse.
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66 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Devastating glimpse of apocalypse soon. 4 Sep 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
To call this book an expose would be silly. Everybody knows that Israel has a (secret) stockpile of THE ultimate weapons of mass-destruction. The reasons for the reluctance of public figures to avoid this universally known truth would fill libraries, no doubt. What this book brings into focus is the frightening reality that many players in the Israeli establishment, military and otherwise, see the use of such weapons as an inevitable response to any military setback which might under other circumstances necessitate a soul-searching peace-seeking negotiation with a military counterpart. How near such a response has been is a disgraceful indictment of all things American Pie. Don't read this book if you treasure your Reader's Digest/CNN/Disneyworld kindergarten version of the heroic struggle for Israel. More of us must listen to the few truly heroic voices - like Shahak's - before the removal of this Millenium colonial tyranny becomes even more difficult. Shame and forgiveness. Peace and unity. May the peace and tranquility of God descend upon us all. Amen.
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3 of 45 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Distorted 1 May 2005
By RL
Format:Paperback
I couldn't finish this. I made up the mistake of actualy knowing something about the subject and living in the place before reading this. I suppose the title says it all "Expansionism and Israeli Foreign Policy" Expand into what? -Iran? The book is written with one biased viewpoint in mind but worse are the factual errors and scaremongering. It's almost positing a conspiracy theory about Israel wanting to take over the world. You would never guess this book was talking about only country in the Middle East with a full democracy consisting and equal rights for women and homosexuals. The whole context was removed throughout. Save your money and your time.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
112 of 132 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Devastating glimpse of apocalypse soon. 4 Sep 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
To call this book an expose would be silly. Everybody knows that Israel has a (secret) stockpile of THE ultimate weapons of mass-destruction. The reasons for the reluctance of public figures to avoid this universally known truth would fill libraries, no doubt. What this book brings into focus is the frightening reality that many players in the Israeli establishment, military and otherwise, see the use of such weapons as an inevitable response to any military setback which might under other circumstances necessitate a soul-searching peace-seeking negotiation with a military counterpart. How near such a response has been is a disgraceful indictment of all things American Pie. Don't read this book if you treasure your Reader's Digest/CNN/Disneyworld kindergarten version of the heroic struggle for Israel. More of us must listen to the few truly heroic voices - like Shahak's - before the removal of this Millenium colonial tyranny becomes even more difficult. Shame and forgiveness. Peace and unity. May the peace and tranquility of God descend upon us all. Amen.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The more things change, the more they stay the same 26 July 2006
By JL - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The more things change, the more they stay the same. The current Israeli war against Hezbollah and Hamas once again points out the futility of wars against ideas. The "war on terrorism" has no particular targets or goals and so, like the "war on drugs," it will fail. Israel may be able to assassinate today's independent-minded Arab leaders, but more will arise tomorrow. Short of killing everyone that is not a Jew, Israel will continue into the future to face opposition to its current behavior in Palestine.

Middle Eastern politics, particularly when it involves Israel, is a complete mystery to most Americans. Reading the late Dr. Israel Shahak's "Open Secrets" is certainly enlightening. The book is a series of essays published at least 10 years ago. Re-reading this book, one assumes that it was written within the last six months. Especially relevant is the essay "Israeli foreign policy - 1994." War then (as it is now) was not initiated by the government but by those really in change - "army generals, intelligence seniors and high officials." The government and Prime Minister rubber-stamp decisions that have either already been implemented or approves operations when the troops have already started shooting. Thus, the current war is merely the policy of a clique with an agenda and not the expressed wishes of the people. With a media fully supportive of the government line and the only superpower on earth supplying unconditional military and political support, the people's attitude may be easily obtained after-the-fact. Ten years ago, Israel knew little about Hezbollah. Since Hezbollah has not yet capitulated in the current round of violence, it is likely that the level of knowledge today has not changed.

No less relevant are observations concerning what is known today as the "war on terrorism": "the more vague a given state's concept of the sources of terrorism, the more its intelligence can be faulted for incompetence... [B]ecause those authorities ... want to find "proofs" of what they have already assumed (intelligence work is bound to suffer)." Throughout history the same lessons appear over and over again, yet contemporary leaders are either genuinely oblivious or cynically ignoring these lessons.

Dr. Shahak cites numerous Israeli media reports, in line with government opinion, that agitate for war against Iran ("since the spring of 1992"). Thus, once the smallest pretext arises, Israel will be more than ready to start war. This is extremely detrimental to American interests, since a significant amount of oil flows from the Persian Gulf. American Jews are doing their part to line-up American support for an Israeli-Iranian war. Although Israeli media reports may sound fantastic (for example, a Palestinian state would align with an Iran armed with nuclear weapons), the pronouncements come from those who make policy, as Dr. Shahak points out, thus, should not be taken lightly. Americans can't remember past last Tuesday; it is crucial that they review their history. In this respect, Dr. Shahaks book is an extremely useful memory aid.
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Democracy in the Middle East 13 Feb 2003
By James - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The late Jewish author, Israel Shahak, explains in great detail the interconnections between U.S. and Israeli policies in both the middle east and Latin America and how these policies affect both countries and the world.
Consider the current situation with North Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan... this book is prophetic. This book details why China and North Korea will talk to Israel when negotiating indirectly witht he United States. If ever there was a time to understand the web of communications between countries such as North Korea, Syria, China, Israel, Columbia and others, now is it. I read this book over a year ago, and now come back to write a review because of its renewed importance in light of recent developments (2003).
Read about Saddam Hussein's failed attempt to make peace with Israel, and more! Long before 9-11, this book WARNS its readers of the serious terrorist threat that would come out of Afghanistan! Prophetic. A book that details information with such accuracy, makes predictions that come to realization, is certainly a book worthy of information-hungry men and women the world over.
Going back and re-reading this book is like a visit with Nostradamus. I HIGHLY recommend this book as it will provide you with a strong understanding of what's behind U.S. moves on Iraq, relative silence towards North Korea and more.
5.0 out of 5 stars Frightening 12 April 2014
By Stephen J. Bogdan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Shahaks's epilogue is worth the book in and of itself. Shahak is brutally honest and he is to be commended for his candor. There is truth and commentary herein which is exceedingly rare.
9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another interesting read 3 May 2003
By J. Kloepping - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A wonderful book, but without an extensive backround in the subject it is difficult to judge its accuracy. Good to have at hand when listening to the latest dispatches from the Middle East. Guaranteed to earn you concerned glances from your friends when they spot it on your bookshelf!
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