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Conscience of a Conservative
Conscience of a Conservative
by Barry Goldwater
Edition: Paperback
Price: 4.13

1.0 out of 5 stars Conservatives have no conscience, 6 July 2014
This book is not impressive given its near-scriptural reputation among conservatives, and is every bit the match of a contemporary political convention speech in terms of both puff and pabulum. There is practically no analytic depth on any of the numerous topics he (or, rather, his ghostwriter, L. Brent Bozell--see the front matter) forwards, and much of the book isn't even an argument, but just a recitation of assertions which are only weakly interrelated, if at all.


A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples
A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples
by Ilan Pappe
Edition: Paperback
Price: 21.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The truth hurts, 8 Jun 2014
A History of Modern Palestine is a thoroughly enlightening, in-depth, unbiased analysis of the land that is known now as Israel and the Occupied Territories. It's important to note, before getting into the review, that in mainstream US and Israeli discourse, "unbiased" means falsely equivocating the behavior of two parties as if they share equal power and equal responsibility for the course of events in the region, which is simply not true. Pappe analyzes significant developments in the region in context, emphasizing the great chain of cause and effect that is often left out of discussions of the issue.

Pappe is an Israeli professor of history who offers a captivating attempt to unite both the Zionist and Palestinian nationalist narratives and reconcile them with what has actually happened. The writing is dense and academic, but highly readable. He occasionally goes off on tangents discussing various theories and models that professional historians use, applying them to the subject matter or examining how other historians have applied or misapplied them, but other than that, I found it highly accessible.

The book begins around 1850 in Ottoman Palestine, discussing the social structures of the people who lived there and setting the stage for the conflict that developed during the 20th century. The rise of Zionism in Europe is chronicled, and its ensuring slow migration of Jews to Palestine from the 1880s onward. Pappe examines how Palestinian social structure was initially affected by this immigration, as well as by integration with the European economy.

Significant time is devoted to the interwar period of the British Mandate, and how Zionism developed, centralized its civil and military institutions, and established goals for the future Jewish State during that time. Following the second world war, Pappe examines the UN establishent of Israel, including the ethnic cleansing, expulsion, and murder carried out by the Zionists against Palestinians in the months prior to the official birth of Israel in May of 1948.

The remainder of the book discusses the rise of Palestinian resistance and the increasingly brutal Israeli suppression, the 1967 war and subsequent occupation of the rest of ex-Mandate Palestine by the Israelis, the 1973 war, beginnings of the peace process in the 1970s, the Israeli invasions of Lebanon, the first Intifada, the rise of post Zionism in Israel, the Oslo accords, the rise of suicide terrorism, and the degeneration back into violence that has engulfed the region in the early 2000s.
Throughout the history, Pappe often pauses to discuss what the Zionist or Palestinian mythology has to say about a given issue, comparing it to how the other side perceived events and to what actually happened.

If you are a die hard Zionist, you probably won’t like this book. I was raised Jewish and attended Hebrew night school for many years, and the Zionist narrative I was provided is starkly at odds with historical realities. I felt Pappe treated both sides fairly, pointing out shortcomings and never moralizing or judging. However, as I suggested at the beginning, there is no false equivocation. Israeli bloodshed and violence vastly exceeds Palestinian, and much of the Palestinian violence is a direct result of their economic, political, and military oppression and exploitation by a vastly more powerful Israeli society. He also documents the radicalization of Palestinian resistance, culminating in the rise of extremist movements like Hezbollah and Hamas, resulting from increasing Israeli oppression and failure to address the fundamental issues of the conflict. Throughout his treatment of the peace process, Pappe, documents how Israelis continued to undermine peace efforts with military intervention and illegal settlement expansion, slowly eroding the chances that a peaceful solution could occur.

Pappe also does not generalize each side. Much time is spent examining the various factions within Israeli and Palestinian society, investigating their origins, ideologies, and motivations. I was particularly struck with his dissection of the class structure of Israeli society and explanation of how poorly Arab jews and even Holocaust survivors were treated.

Final thoughts: excellent read for anyone who wants an open minded, comprehensive, and systemic analysis of the events that brought Israel and Palestine to their present impasse, and the obstacles that their societies must come to terms with if the conflict is to be resolved.


The Lemon Tree
The Lemon Tree
by Sandy Tolan
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Rushed, 7 Jun 2014
This review is from: The Lemon Tree (Paperback)
Despite the thorough research and an array of characters, I find it hard to be enthusiastic about the book. The style was annoying for the first third - it seemed as if the author couldn’t decide how to tell the story and opted for very lengthy flashbacks. It improved for me when she just told the story as it was happening. I also felt that the ending was rushed and left me feeling dissatisfied.


Israel's Border Wars, 1949-1956: Arab Infiltration, Israeli Retaliation, and the Countdown to the Suez War
Israel's Border Wars, 1949-1956: Arab Infiltration, Israeli Retaliation, and the Countdown to the Suez War
by Benny Morris
Edition: Paperback
Price: 82.73

1.0 out of 5 stars Fake history, 7 Jun 2014
Israel's leading revisionist historian returns to the archives and argues that Israel was ultimately the party most responsible for keeping the Arab-Israeli conflict going right after the 1948 war. With their eyes on gaining more Arab territory, Israeli leaders did not take advantage of the peace offers coming from Jordan and Syria. Most important, according to Morris, Israelis misinterpreted the many thousands of Arab infiltrators each year into their country, turning simple refugees trying to reclaim their houses and farmers working their fields into politically motivated enemies. Far from sponsoring these attacks, Arab regimes actually opposed them. Oblivious to the limited, even defensive nature of 90 percent of the raids, Israelis retaliated against Arab neighbors with great force, killing Arab civilians without mercy. This in turn led Arab governments to reply by organizing state-run guerrillas, known as fedayeen. Before you know it, the Suez War resulted, and with it the enduring enmity that has long characterized the Arab-Israeli conflict. Like revisionist historians reviewing Soviet-U.S. relations, Morris is determined to show, against all experience and commonsense, that the democratic and liberal country is the one that initiated, maintained, and benefited from conflicts. Let's just say that if David Ben-Gurion was, in Morris' description, a "virtuoso manipulator of facts," then Morris has established himself as a virtuoso manipulator of archival records.


The National Interest - July/August 2010
The National Interest - July/August 2010
Price: 1.28

1.0 out of 5 stars Benny lies, 7 Jun 2014
This issue includes a piece written by Benny Morris. He wrote about Palestine. He's an unreliable liar and it isn't true.


1948 and After: Israel and the Palestinians (Clarendon Paperbacks)
1948 and After: Israel and the Palestinians (Clarendon Paperbacks)
by Simon Conway Morris
Edition: Paperback
Price: 41.75

1.0 out of 5 stars Wrong focus, 7 Jun 2014
Israel ethnically cleansed Palestine. It murdered and drove the Palestinians away with weapons and threats. They still don't allow them to return.


Israel's Secret Wars: A History of Israel's Intelligence Services
Israel's Secret Wars: A History of Israel's Intelligence Services
by Ian Black
Edition: Hardcover

1.0 out of 5 stars Dirtier than the book points out, 7 Jun 2014
Israeli intelligence is responsible for some of the biggest atrocities in human history, including genocide and apartheid. This book needs more detail.


Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide
Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide
by Ben White
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth, 7 Jun 2014
An amazing work. So concise and brief that you can review it quickly, but at the same time it is so rich that you would wish you have few hundred copies to distribute around.


Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy
Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy
by Ben White
Edition: Paperback
Price: 13.22

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 7 Jun 2014
This book is absolutely amazing. I have tried to read before many other books about this conflict but I found them too difficult. It is definietly a beginner's guide that won't tire you with long history of both countries, but without hesitation will just go straight to the facts that were unknown to me. I didnt know that it is possible to creat such a short and essential book about the most complex conflict in the world. It is not a book that will try to prove that both sides have their 'stories', this book is firmly standing on Palestines side and has strong and well documented facts to defend (and help you to learn how to do it) the opressed nation. I loved the questions and answers part in the book as well. I am definietly going to read up more about this conflict and will definietly read another book written by this bright author!


Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide
Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide
by Ben White
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.39

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars End Apartheid, 7 Jun 2014
A very straight-forward book detailing the origins of Israel, the occupation of Palestine, and the political goings-on concerning the ongoing problems in the Middle East. Very easy to read and showing compassion to both sides.


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