This book displays incredible closed-mindedness. I've read plenty of books about Israel. Some say Israel is right to defend the lives, liberty, and property of its citizens. Some say it isn't. But until now, every one of them has given some semblance of a justification for its stance. This book is an exception. It simply takes it as a given that Israel is Wrong with a capital W. It was Wrong for it to incur the wrath of the Arabs. It was Wrong to build illegal homes on Sacred Arab Land. For Adam and Moodley, it is not necessary to give some bogus history of the Middle East to defend such a conclusion. To them, it is simply Truth. To me, it is simply a Lie that can be stated in ten seconds but takes years of work to expose. That's one of the powers of lies: they destroy in seconds what civilization has taken years to build up.
The authors pretend to be reasonable. They are nothing of the sort. They boast about having talked to all sorts of Jews and Arabs. But they have learned nothing from them. They repeat some of the arguments they have heard. But they do not understand them at all. They sympathize with those who are being hurt on both sides of the conflict, without once doubting that the Israelis are Wrong.
It never occurs to the authors that in a just world, in peacetime, the Israeli Jews would simply buy up 20,000 or 40,000 or 60,000 square miles in the Middle East and make it bloom, improving the economy of the area. And that no one would challenge the ability of Israel to stand on its own feet, treat its own citizens properly, or hold on to its own land. It is beyond their imagination to picture, as I do, Israel as a Bantustan, with racist Arabs refusing to let Jews pollute neighboring nations by buying homes and living there.
Nor, in their closed-mindedness, do the authors realize that many rational people see Israel as being entitled to its land. Instead, they imply that the only people who could think such thoughts are closed-minded zealots who are "beyond rational persuasion."
When antizionists shout down Zionist speakers on campuses, the authors complain that opposing such bullying would "ban all discussions" and shirk "rational, analytic debate where it should be encouraged." They insist that the logic of Zionism requires that Arabs be second-class citizens in Israel, if not completely expelled. That's nonsense, of course. Zionism is simply human rights, and what they say is its opposite.
The authors come up with contradictory arguments about demography, saying that Jews can't be a majority in little Israel but then dismissing the idea that an Arab "right of return to Israel would threaten its Jewish majority!
The authors discuss the idea of shaming people into acting morally. I wonder if the National Socialists in the early 1940s could have shamed the Slavs, Jews, Roma, and others into killing themselves. Somehow, I doubt it. Moreover, I even more strongly doubt that such actions would have been moral.
The authors regard Israel as a fluke of nature, created by pogroms, slaughters, and so on. It does not occur to them that Jews were going to flock to the Levant as soon as it became possible for them to do so: emancipation as the cause of Israel just escapes them.
The authors say that there are good and bad things about Zionism. And that "Zionism" ought not be a term of opprobrium! But I wonder what the good things might be when simply acquiring land is considered by them to be an act of displacing Arabs!
I have never seen the case in favor of terrorism made so loudly internationally as it has been for Yasir Arafat and his gang of thugs. But the authors complain that their case is represented poorly in the Western media!
Adam and Moodley argue in favor of a Truth (and Reconciliation) Commission. I strongly agree. I think they display their closed-mindedness by not even dreaming of what it might discover. They are right that it would find that some Arabs were expelled from their homes in 1948. It might discover plenty about what the Arabs did to the Jews, of course, but I wonder if they realize just what this might mean. They do say that it would find that there was indeed a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem long ago. Good for them. But there is so much more. And, oh yes, they even say that being Christian is not necessary for reconciliation. As a Pagan, I'm glad to learn that!
The authors display shock that anyone with liberal credentials could support the Israeli fence which had to be put in place to defend the lives of Israelis against suicide bombers. They wonder how 83% (of Israeli Jews, presumably) can support defending the lives of their fellow Jewish citizens, even those who live in Ariel or Maale Adumim. I, in turn, wonder how Adam and Moodley can deny that Israel has a duty to defend those lives, and I would feel the same way even if I thought that Israel ought to cede Ariel and Maale Adumim to the Arabs.
If the Levantine Arabs had been represented by Mandela, not Arafat, would there have been peace? I have no idea. But I'm sure that having a thug like Arafat lead the Arabs precluded peace. The authors say that even Mandela could not have brought peace. And they conclude that Israel is unwilling to have peace while the Arabs lack the capacity to achieve it. This conclusion is total nonsense. If enough people believe it, maybe we'll avoid peace for a very long time.
This book is simply awful.