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58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be Prepared To Be Shocked
Jewish Fundamentalism In Israel by Israel Shahak & Norton Mezvinsky: The media are rapid in responding to Islamic fundamentalism whilst showing scant regard to providing detail about Jewish fundamentalism in Israel. Yet, it is Jewish fundamentalism that has driven the settlement movement since the 1967 War. The settlement movement, in particular Gush Emunim, has...
Published on 3 July 2001 by Well Read

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6 of 60 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother
I decided to give this book a go despite the lack of clarity I have gained with Shahaks other works only to find the same distinct pattern of personal attacks and blame culture. This is not a serious treatment of the issues and falls far short of many other books depicting a consciencious attempt to find the roots of the intifada and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Many of the...
Published on 5 Nov 2003


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58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be Prepared To Be Shocked, 3 July 2001
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Well Read "saro319" (Norhampton England) - See all my reviews
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Jewish Fundamentalism In Israel by Israel Shahak & Norton Mezvinsky: The media are rapid in responding to Islamic fundamentalism whilst showing scant regard to providing detail about Jewish fundamentalism in Israel. Yet, it is Jewish fundamentalism that has driven the settlement movement since the 1967 War. The settlement movement, in particular Gush Emunim, has become an intractable problem and the greatest obstacle to the peace process. Shahak and Mezvinsky's book is not a read for the faint hearted. There are unpalatable truths in the dangerous fundamentalist worldview presented. It is, however, an essential read for anyone with an interest in understanding why the ' peace process' has been derailed and become a cycle of violence. The authors have shown great courage in exposing what has become the core of the problem between Israel and the Palestinians. Whilst the book answers many questions about fundamentalism, it also raises serious doubts for a reader about the ability of any Israeli Government to resolve the settlement issue and progress peace. The authors present an eye opening expose of a destructive movement that exerts tremendous control over Israel's politics. In giving the book five stars, there are details contained that should be more widely known. In many respects it is shocking, which is a major reason for making it a must be read book.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a very disturbing book, 19 Dec 2003
Shahak is no friend of organised religion, and he tireless in seeking to expose all aspects of life that have been contaminated by it. This book tells the story of how the far-right fundamentalists in Israel are holding the state to ransom. More, it offers some very interesting reasons for why secular Jews are letting these people get away with blackmail. He suggests that both sides are using each other, while simultaneously exposing the racism that underscores Israeli attitudes towards everybody else, and especially their Arab neighbours.
Compared to Jewish History, Jewish Religion, it is a less stylish and accomplished book, but its subject matter is even more disturbing. The Fundamentalists he talks about are not some mere crackpots, but people whose fingers are uncomfortably close to the nuclear button.
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37 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great (and revealing) book by Shahak., 10 July 2003
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Arynth (London, England) - See all my reviews
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While I'm not the greatest fan of Israel Shahak's writing style (it's sometimes a bit dry), I found this book readable and informative. It details the little-known and little-discussed subject of Jewish fundamentalism in Israel and highlights the risk of ignoring such a threat. As Shahak mentions in his introduction, the modern world focuses a great deal on Islamic fundamentalism and even on Christian fundamentalism but rarely ever focuses on Jewish extremism which is equally, if not more, dangerous.
He begins with a brief summary of Jewish history classifying the different religious sects and their historical roots before plunging into the politics of the 20th Century and the outlook for the 21st. It is important to understand these roots for the modern political construct of Israel is dominated by a sense of nationality which defined as much by religion as ethnicity.
He proceeds to speak of the various religious movements and their effect on the political spectrum inside Israel as well as their interrelationships with the United States. Groups like Gush Emunim are extreme in their views and many of these which are stated quite openly (but receive little attention) are so extreme as to make one wonder why the world has not taken notice. Jewish extremists in Israel often use talmudic scholarship to justify some of the most racist views I have ever heard which would not doubt disgust moderates of all religions.
Israel Shahak treads very carefully around this serious, yet dangerous issue and I feel comes out of it with one of the most informative reads I have had in a long time. His aim is not to insult Jewry or criticise Judaism as such but more to examine the religious extremes as well as political influence in Israel today.
Did you know that Rabin publically scolded a female Education minister for wearing a bikini on the Shabat (Sabbath)? Did you know that Maimonedes recommended punishment of the children goyim (non-Jews)if they misbehaved to the extent of death? Did you know that Baruch Goldstein (the outrageous man who committed the Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre of 1994) refused to operate on Arabs because of their race when he was a medic for the army? Did you know that he has engendered a posthumous cult following, replete with a Shrine and literature praising both him and his deed?
If not, this book will be a revelation.
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6 of 60 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother, 5 Nov 2003
By A Customer
I decided to give this book a go despite the lack of clarity I have gained with Shahaks other works only to find the same distinct pattern of personal attacks and blame culture. This is not a serious treatment of the issues and falls far short of many other books depicting a consciencious attempt to find the roots of the intifada and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Many of the arguments were weak in the extreme and there was little if any recognition for assigning a level of responsibility to the Palestinian authority. Shahak is obviously looking for a scapegoat in Jewish fundamentalists (many of whom have been brought to justice in the current climate for attempted attacks whereas the Palestinian Authority have openly flouted their responsibility of conducting a proper deterministic clampdown on their own fundametalists prefering to employ them in their own police forces rather than imprison them) which he does extremely poorly. This book comes across as the embodiment of one man's issues (badly argued) with the Jewish State and not a serious memorable academic work.
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Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel (Pluto Middle Eastern Studies)
Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel (Pluto Middle Eastern Studies) by Israel Shahak (Paperback - 20 July 2004)
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