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Why Blame Israel?: The Facts Behind the Headlines [Paperback]

Neill Lochery
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 April 2005
A recent poll revealed that over half of Europeans think Israel poses the biggest threat there is to world peace? above the infamous 'axis of evil' countries or the USA. The Israeli government's tough response to Palestinian insurgency has made it a pariah state in the eyes of many. Is this at all fair? Neill Lochery, an impartial expert on Israel and the Middle East, attempts to get to the truth about Israel and the bloody conflict with the Palestinians.

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Why Blame Israel?: The Facts Behind the Headlines + View from the Fence: The Arab-Israeli Conflict from the Present to Its Roots
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Icon Books; New edition edition (7 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840466243
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840466249
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 12.6 x 19.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 522,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"A superb book" -- Mail on Sunday

"A timely, erudite study that deserves to be read". -- Good Book Guide

"Incisive, informed, well-written. An unusually fair and accurate account from someone who is neither Jew nor Arab." -- Tom Gross, CNN, Sunday Telegraph and Wall Street Middle East Commentator

"Neill Lochery shows a remarkable insight into the minds and actions of the main players". -- Jewish Telegraph

About the Author

Neill Lochery is married with two children, and is currently Lecturer in Modern Israeli Politics and Director of the Centre for Israeli Studies, University College London.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Important information 11 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Outlined like a small encyclopedia of FAQ, important issues regarding the Middle East conflict are given in-depth analysis. Alas, the book is already 10 years old. Please keep writing, Mr.Lochery!
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely informative and easy-to read 17 Jun 2004
As someone who follows the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with great interest, I have become weary of books which have an obvious bias or agenda towards one side or the other. I was therefore very pleasantly surprised by Neill Lochery's book, which is not only balanced but also provides many new insights and ideas.
The book is written in a simple question and answer format, and addressed all of the major issues of contention between the two parties. Refreshingly, Lochery is unafraid either to assign blame or give praise to both sides where needed. This makes a pleasing change from the norm, where too many commentators seem to believe that there can only be room for one narrative, and that if you are in favour of one side you must always find fault with the other.
In short, this is a comprehensive yet very easy-to-read book. If you would like to learn more about the Palestinian- Israeli conflict, this should be the first book you buy.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Both sides should be heard 15 Jun 2004
By Lynn
I would be interested to know from the reviewer above which 'experts' have dismissed this book as 'propaganda'?
The author, Neill Lochery, is one of the most respected experts in this field working for a leading London university. To make such a simplistic comment as 'this is Israeli propaganda' underlines the very reason why this book is so necessary - to redress the balance of information available on this conflict.
Israel is persistently portrayed as an unprovoked aggressor in this conflict, a view the world at large seems happy to go along with. Lochery makes the, seemingly, unwelcome assertion that it is perhaps the way in which the conflict is reported that creates this impression. He suggests that often biased reportage has created a distorted view of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
He illustrates his argument with well-research episodes where the facts have been misrepresented by the media to emphasis Israel violence whilst portraying Palestine as an innocent. Lochery reminds us that there are two sides to this self-perpetuating cycle of violence and retribution in which neither side is free of blame.
No one can state with any authority what the truth of the matter is. However, both sides have a right to have their voices heard. It is up to the informed reader to make up his mind. And you cannot consider yourself informed if your mind is closed to what you do not want to hear. You cannot dismiss a book as bad just because it does not echo your own opinions.
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24 of 35 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
In this seemingly never ending and extremely bloody saga, there is so much clever political 'spin' and such a great deal of vilification and hate directed at Israel by much of the world press and by the entire non-Jewish Middle Eastern population.
It is good to read a clear and well defined history and factual analysis which clearly redresses the balance and shows Israel in a different light as a truly democratic and industrious state which has endured decades of hostility and still lives in constant fear of its very survival.
The scene is set to change again after Arafat's death and it will be interesting to read Lochery's views in his next book - strange in a way that this was never contemplated in this book! Hindsight is a wonderful thing!!
Let us hope that Arafat's death and the changes which follow may provide a key to unlock the door to a permanent solution for peace in the Middle East.
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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Detailed history up to 2004 6 May 2006
With events moving so fast in the Middle East, this book is already outdated with regard to its possible scenarios for the future and the hopes based on the Geneva Accords of 2003. Even the Postscript to this paperback edition is a bit irrelevant now that both the election victory of Hamas and the Iranian nuclear threat have entered the arena. It does, however, provide a thorough history of the conflict up to the year in question.

The narrative starts with the failed Camp David talks of year 2000 but throughout, it deals extensively with the history of Israel from the 19th century onwards, including the British Mandate, the Holocaust and the 2nd World War. The birth of Israel, the Palestinian refugee exodus and the role of the UN are also examined in detail.

Chapter 3 looks at international relations, how Israel's alignment with the West came about, and its relations with its neighbours. The next chapter: The Second Republic, discusses Israel in the 1960s, including cultural change, the 1967 war and its aftermath, the Yom Kippur war and Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria.

Chapter 5 goes into great detail about developments in Israeli politics in the 1980s, a decade that encompassed the National Unity Government and the Lebanon war, whilst chapter 6 investigates the 1990s. This includes sections on the arrival of the immigrants from the then imploding Soviet Union, the nature of the Israeli economy and a discussion of secular versus religious rights.

The next chapter analyses the failed Oslo peace process. The passage titled The Culture Of Language And The Meaning Of War is of special interest.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Better titled: "BLAME IT ALL ON EVERYONE BUT ISRAEL"
This is an ideal read if you want to learn the hard line right wing pro Israeli view. Far from being "the facts behind the headlines" as promoted, the book comprises SELECTIVE... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Mike Harvey
1.0 out of 5 stars A pretence of unbiased reporting laid bare.
There are so many inaccuracies and downright falsehoods in this book, it is hard to know where to start. Read more
Published on 23 Oct 2009 by RepublicanStones
5.0 out of 5 stars Attempts to explore the facts behind the headlines,
"Why Blame Israel" by Neil Lochery attempts to get to the bottom of some of the persistant prejudices and untruths about Israel , and it's war against Arab terror , and to explore... Read more
Published on 3 May 2008 by Gary Selikow
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction to the Mid-East conflict.
I initially purchased this book on the premise that it investigated the role and coverage of the media in relation to the Arab/Palestinian - Israeli conflict. Read more
Published on 12 July 2005 by M. D Roberts
4.0 out of 5 stars The truth finally...
Finally a book that puts into words what Jews throughought the world are feeling. Israel has been buffeted from every croner of the globe for the last 40 years because of their... Read more
Published on 17 Nov 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the blurb
For a book that is billed on the sleeve as from an author 'outside the fray', the following excerpt from Dr Lochery's CV (found elsewhere) immediately suggests one should regard... Read more
Published on 5 July 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars No-brainwashing. Guaranteed
Two anonimous reviwers have already rated it with one star, but each of them with opposite arguments. Each claimed it was propaganda for the other side. Read more
Published on 23 Jun 2004 by "cafonsof"
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all people interested in understanding
This book is clearly written and covers an extremely emotive subject with a surgical degree of calm and reasonned thought. Read more
Published on 23 Jun 2004 by Emma
1.0 out of 5 stars Hardly facts behind the headlines
Unfortunetly this books offers exactly the opposite of it what it claims to do. Anyone wishing to look at the Israeli and Palestinian conflict without true understanding of the... Read more
Published on 21 Jun 2004 by Mr. P. Mullins
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