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on 2 April 2007
Alan Hart is a former BBC Panorama and ITN Middle East correspondent with a vast first-hand knowledge of the subject. He knew, and interviewed, many of the main players in the Israel-Palestine conflict on all sides (Golda Meir, Yasser Arafat and other PLO leaders, Moshe Dayan, Nasser, King Hussein of Jordan - the list is long). Yet no publisher, major or minor, dared to publish this book for fear of offending the powerful Zionist lobby whose knee-jerk reaction to any criticism is to fling out the charge of "anti-Semitism".

Thus, like T.E. Lawrence before him, Hart had to publish his book himself (the task almost bankrupted Lawrence). It would seem that "Zionism: the Real Enemy of the Jews" is a book that some powerful people obviously don't want you to read. That was reason enough for me to purchase a copy! And I am very glad I did.

Hart establishes that Zionism is a SECULAR phenomenon: a classic European colonial, political IDEOLOGY. Judaism is a religion. Thus, Zionism and Judaism are not the same thing, but opposites. And many of the European Zionists colonising Palestine were foreign nationals who had converted to Judaism in Europe with no historic links to Palestine. As a result, many of them are not even racially Semitic whereas Arabs are Semitic.

This two volume work is a monumental history of the Israel-Palestine conflict with unique insights into many of the happenings in this region and also in US and European politics. Its comprehensive scope is breathtaking. Hart is critical of the Zionists, but he is also scathingly critical of many Arab regimes and US and European politicians too. He quotes from many anti-Zionist Jews--including the more far-sighted members of Israeli Military Intelligence. An example is Jehoshafat Harkabi, the longest serving Director of Israeli Military Intelligence, who responded to Hart's earlier book, "Arafat: Terrorist or Peacemaker?", by writing a work of his own which was critical of Zionism's policy of seeking to impose its will on the Arabs by brute force.

It is its many-sided approach which makes Hart's book essential reading for anyone with an interest in Middle Eastern politics.

Hart documents the behind the scenes arm-twisting of the powerful, well-financed US Zionist political lobby since the 1940s. And he establishes that it actually succeeded in dictating US Middle Eastern policy during many presidential administrations--especially via the corrupt, pork-barrel politics of the Democratic Party.

Hart's style of writing is engaging and accessible--it is written in an entertainingly earthy, no-nonsense way--spiced with more than a dash of ridicule and scorn. Hart does not suffer fools gladly and he doesn't mince words either when it comes to exposing political folly, mendacity and corruption. He nevertheless comes across as deeply humane and fair-minded. The book is a masterpiece of even-handedness, humanity and compassion. He manages to produce a work that is both rigorous and substantiated, but is also a good read--almost like a novel. Hart's communication skills gained while serving as a broadcaster are evident here.

Hart recounts his own contribution to diplomatic efforts to solve the Israel-Palestine conflict with the support of some leading Jews e.g. Marcus Sieff of Marks and Spencers. It was an attempt to get Arafat and the Israelis talking directly to each other on the assumption that Shimon Peres would be elected to power. This initiative was sabotaged by the election of of ultra-hawk Menachem Begin. However, the Oslo agreement had its beginnings in this initiative.

One of Hart's many themes is that Israel has never at any point in its existence been at threat from the front-line Arab states. This was a myth generated by the Zionist propaganda machine to frighten Israelis and diaspora Jews into supporting Israel's adventures and aggressive expansionism. Hart establishes that from 1948 onwards Israel had the upper hand in terms of military hardware, air power and capability. It was from the beginning a well financed First World nation of European colonialists facing an essentially feudal Third World Arab nation. And some of these European Zionists carried with them some of the European racism towards Arabs. Hart refers to (US Jewish writer) Lenni Brenner's classic book: "Zionism in the Age of the Dictators" which documents the collaboration between Zionists and Hitler and Mussolini. And one of the most astonishing revelations of Hart's book is that Ben Gurion and the Zionist lobby opposed and sabotaged President's Trueman's proposal to allow all European Jewish Holocaust victims to be given sanctuary in the USA after World War 2. This was because Ben Gurion needed them for his colonial project in Palestine.

Even if you disagree with Hart's conclusions, it is worth buying the book for the wealth of unique information contained within these weighty volumes.
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on 16 July 2006
Wow what a comprehendible account! Hart has really done literature justice and the countless of Israeli and Palestinians who have suffered and those continuing to suffer. Whatever your political allegiance to the current political crisis in the middle-east, this book is a must read for those who genuinely want an honest, non-Jewish and non-Muslim, historical and contextualised understanding of the Palestinian- Israel conflict. Whether you are an astute academic or a high school student this book is really easy to read as it is aimed for all without being patronising or over sensationalised in its vocabulary.

Writing in a novel format this book is far from fiction. There are references to all sources used so if you are unsure about any particular facts you can easily confirm them via Google (watch out for devious sources on the internet though). The book even goes as far as providing a workable solution to the conflict (something our so-called leaders have failed to do). They key message here is that the hype that Israel's existence is under threat is a myth (not that I completely agree) but Hart puts a compelling argument forward nevertheless. He argues that by Israel maintaining that its existence is under threat it will give them a carte blanche licence to kill and maim, and therefore to not bother with peace, current facts actually support his theory.

For people who want an unbiased version of the world's worst conflict and those who are really interested in seeing justice prevail and for all those who do not want to be exposed to another terror attack, read this book please. There will be, inevitably, claims by the Zionist lobbies that this is just another anti-Semitism piece of rabble, but you will be doing yourself a disservice if you fall for that claptrap. I now have so much respect to the unheard voices of the Jewish people who really do have the key to peace in the region, by making Israel see that's its worst enemy is itself.
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on 14 February 2007
Alan Hart has written a greatly needed book (Vols 1 & 2). He offers a factual account and not one suited to a particular taste. Hart is able to give an insider's account as he was a correspondent from Jerusalem and a witness to the 1967 war, and more importantly, because he also was a secret peace mediator who held private talks with the leaders on both sides. The details he therefore is able to provide are not ones you would find published in books on this conflict. They are the result of one on one talks with the key players.

This is a must read for anyone wishing to learn about the facts, mentalities of the politicians, and what the future could hold - if people, "the citizens of nations", and not their governments, got informed and pursued justice. This book is definitely a first step in that direction.

Hart has a message for Jews and non-Jews and he appeals for REASON and not violence - calling him a propagandist is a mere display of a person's own bias. He is not in favor of apocolyptic scenarios (by extremists from either side) but rather of a genuine just and peacful future for those involved in the conflict and the world at large.

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on 6 July 2006
This book was an excellent read and is a clear presentation of the politics of the Israili and palestine conflict - It is worth noting that this book is NOT anti Jew and this is clearly illustrated by the authors relationship with many prolific jewish indviduals- this book should be read by anyone interested in global political affairs to get an enlightened perpective a complex topic
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on 20 February 2012
This book provides a Superb Counter Narrative to the daily propaganda rolled out across the West.

Given its topic one would think it be the most important issue of this age to get to grips with for any citizen of the world after all Israel is the flint that is likely to set off WWIII.

The facts in this book are layed out clearly, concisely and immediately distill the core understanding and mis understandings of this conflict.

I recommend to anyone who has ever sat there and never got a satisfactory answer to why Israel and Palenstine has always been a problem. I remember being a young buy and asking my father and not getting a satisfactory response. That same response has played out my whole life until now. It always seems like something is missing whenever this topic is raised.

Much Kudos to Alan Hart for having the courage to stand up and be counted. I will do my best to start spreading the seeds of counter narrative to all who I know.
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on 3 March 2008
I have always struggled to understand the conflict in the Middle East. It touches me deeply and i feel great sorrow without really understanding the history. I wanted clarification and an unbiased account of what went wrong in Palestine.

I saw an interview of Alan Hart, where he was explaining how he struggled to get this book published. That was encouraging enough for me, someone obviously didn't want the truth getting out, which made me want to know the truth more than ever.

I have to admit i did find some of the reality of information hard to swallow, and it did upset me for days. To think such injustice could be carried out with the blessings of those who we regard as our protectors, and morally guided leaders, could in fact be so morally bankrupt was alarming.
I had been living in a rose tinted world and suddenly the world sucks! There were moments i was ashamed of our British history, we had betrayed them!

Overall this was an excellent book, which i would highly recommend to all, if you can read Harry Potter, you can read this!
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on 19 November 2005
An engaging, thought provoking and talented publication from a journalist and Middle East correspondent for more than 30 years.
A correspondent for ITN’s News At Ten and the BBC’s Panorama programme.
His ability to see things from both perspectives in a fair and impartial manner. Easy to read, absorb and extremely well written. Many of us know that Zionism is the real stumbling block to peace but few have the courage to say so in such a forthright manner.
If you're interested in Middle East politics and want to get to the route causes, there is no better book.
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on 22 February 2014
I've read quite a few books on the history of modern Israel and the Palestinian conflict so I'm not quite a beginner in this area. I found the book easy to read and by and large factually accurate. What was most helpful to me personally was Alan Hart's detailed coverage of the American angle; his quite believable analysis of American domestic politics and how Zionists, both Christian and Jewish were able to ruthlessly manipulate events to their own advantage. He also raises interesting questions about the death of James Forrestal. Alan Hart does not pull any punches when it comes to criticising the negative effect of Zionist fanaticism, but the work is tempered with an acute understanding of why Zionists behaved as they did, especially after WW2, in their unrelenting drive to found a "safe haven" for themselves, never mind how many Christians, Muslims and non-Zionist Jews had to suffer in the process. Hart is clearly passionate about his subject, but this is nowhere near some of the polemical books that are out there, both pro and anti-Israel. Well worth a read.
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on 26 July 2007
An excellent overview of history and a very compelling read. Don't be put off by those who suggest this book is biased simply because it confronts the facts head on. It does so from a genuine concern in the plight of the Middle East, of the Jewish 'soul', and humanity in general.
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on 29 January 2016
I really didn't want to put this book down until I'd finished it, which is the first time I've had this experience with a non fiction book. My purpose in reading this was to find out how, prior to the foundation of Israel, the Zionist lobby functioned, and the role of Britain in this tragedy after the Balfour declaration. My questions were largely answered in respect of Britain's role, and the machinations of the Zionists were largely uncovered. I did think Hart was rather kind about Truman, but his assessment was nonetheless objective and suitably qualified. The book is written in a journalistic style, but researched in the manner of a historian - Hart also brings his own long experience reporting on the Middle East to bear, and his conclusions are almost impossible to refute. It really is essential reading for anyone wishing to know the truth about the Zionist project.
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