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on 28 November 2013
This well-written book contains a detailed chronicle of the situation in Israel/Palestine and provides the historical context to understand it. Max Blumenthal's analysis is informed and insightful, leading to the conclusion that the only just solution to the injustices in Israel/Palestine is a bi-national state where everyone is treated equally, regardless of their ethnicity or religion. Significantly, he demonstrates how the injustices in Israel/Palestine did not start with the occupation, recounting the well-documented process of ethnic cleaning that enabled the foundation of the state of Israel. The quotes from military commanders and political leaders justifying massacres and mass displacement of the indigenous Palestinian population are chilling. Blumenthal illustrates the continuity between the actions and attitudes of the past and the occupation and settlement policy of the present.

Fascinatingly, he quotes Condoleezza Rice's initial misgivings when Tzipi Livni, then foreign minister, rejected the rights of Palestinians' to return to the land and property that had been confiscated from them when the state of Israel was founded. Rice said `I must admit that though I understood the argument intellectually, it struck me as a harsh defense of the ethnic purity of the Israeli state when Tzipi said it. It was one of those conversations that shocked my sensibilities as an American. After all, the very concept of American rejects ethnic or religious definitions of citizenship. Moreover, there were Arab citizens of Israel. Where did they fit in?' Rice managed to resolve these contradictions in her own mind by accepting the idea that there was something singular about a Jewish state that made these distinctions and their enforcement acceptable. But her initial misgivings were correct - how can there be a free pass for ethnic cleansing and apartheid? These are the terms used by Jewish and Palestinian activists to describe the situation in Israel and the occupied territories. They are highly loaded words but, sadly, they are accurate descriptions of what has happened and is now happening in Israel/Palestine.

The book also discusses social and class divisions amongst Jewish Israelis with the privileged Ashkenazi community (who gained the most from the confiscation of Palestinian lands and property at the foundation of the state of Israel) at the top of the social pyramid and people with Mizrahi, Russian and Ethiopian Jewish origins at the bottom. Blumenthal shows how these divisions have been manipulated to create support for repressive measures against Palestinians and the recent wave of non-Jewish immigrants. He compares this situation to the US, referencing Jim Crow and anti-immigrant sentiments.

There have been many inaccurate reviews, which have attempted to smear the book and its author. None, however, have addressed the actual irrefutable evidence of past and present ethnic cleansing that the book documents. On a positive note there are a growing number of brave Jewish and Palestinian activists who are challenging the status quo and demanding, through non-violent means, a state where all are treated equally.
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on 8 November 2013
Excellent and well researched read on what I consider to be the most important issue in world affairs today. This book really confronts the systemic discrimination that is inflicted on the Palestinians by Netanyahu and his cronies.

It is great to see books like this enter the public domain, however I find it a pity that only Jewish writers can contribute to the topic as everyone else is branded as anti-Semitic if they dare criticise apartheid Israel.

For anyone that is new to this topic and is looking to read more on this subject, may I suggest the writings of Norman Finklestein, who has written some excellent books.

Shlomo Sand the Israeli professor has also written an excellent book called 'The Invention of the Jewish People'.

Both writers have books right here on Amazon.
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on 3 September 2014
This book is excoriating and worrying – packed with compelling detail that makes it hard to put down. The finished impact is one in which we see the idealism of post war Jews utterly destroyed with the rise in Israel of the same ultra nationalism that led to the Holocaust. It is not surprising that a number of Holocaust survivors have returned the medals presented to them by the Jewish State in disgust at its military savagery and drift towards the very fascism that imprisoned and exterminated millions of Jews. But who would ever have contemplated fascism – in Israel?
The title Goliath naturally suggests the name of David: for that read the Palestinians. And for Goliath read the military, cultural, economic complex of everything that Israel has become. Palestinians are now non-people, relegated to the shadows and policed by a conscript army composed of people not only indoctrinated with hate but actually instructed to make life as unbearable as possible for them. On the whole they do it willingly with enjoyment. The Palestinians continue to resist and their resistance is categorised as ‘terrorism’ and the western nations who support Israel adopt the same nomenclature, although it is clear that with the deliberate policy of settlement building support for Israel is now wearing thin.
The British are, of course, noble in their rejection of nationalism not only because of their self examination of their Imperial past, but also because of the fight that we initially led against Nazi Germany and the master race ideology that propelled it. The ideas are remarkable similar to those outlined in Goliath. You have the master race – Israeli (ethnic) Jews; you have the ‘untermensch’, the Palestinians; you have the need for ‘lebensraum’ (living room) in a country so small that it has led to the creation of walled off settlements, Jewish only highways and ongoing military occupation.
But, more than this, an ever increasing justification of the brutality they deal out to the indigenous occupants. Thus we get on p304 the rabbinical justification for killing innocent (Palestinian) children - ...’the rules of war “permit intentional hurting of babies and of innocent people, if this is necessary for a war against the evil people”’. This kind of thinking may be held by Rabbis that are considered extreme – but it has seeped into the thinking of the IDF and allows them, to bombard and exterminate, cripple and destroy on the kind of industrial scale witnessed in ‘Operation Cast Lead’ and ‘Operation Protective Edge’.
The Israeli’s are indignant that anyone should object, arguing that in Gaza civilians are used as human shields by Hamas, and that many were actually deliberately killed by Hamas, or, more crudely, ‘there are no innocents in Gaza’. That the IDF is ‘the most moral army in the world’ and that Israel is a lot better than Syria or Iraq or Iran, the ‘only democracy in the Middle East’. And, the thing is, they really believe this garbage in the way that mothers can never contemplate that their sons may be guilty of horrendous crimes. It is classic cognitive dissonance.
The sub-title ‘Life and Loathing in Greater Israel’ references what is now mainstream thought – the notions embedded in Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud (which means ‘consolidation’) Charter of no contiguous Palestinian State, and one Greater Israel stretching from the Jordan to the Mediterranean absorbing to all intents and purposes the Occupied Territories. There will be no single state in the conventional sense. There will be no Palestinian State. There will be no ‘equal rights’ for Palestinians. You will have Israel with democracy for Jews and votes for Palestinian Israelis but with institutionalised discrimination against them in areas such as property rights or army service (only Jews are allowed to do national service which is mandatory, with Bedouin recruits used for the ‘grunt’ jobs: there is no role for Palestinians). Palestinians will live in walled-off settlements with as little contact as possible with the outside world and, if they disturb the Israeli ‘quiet’, as they did in Gaza an excuse will be found to go in to ‘mow the grass’ (kill as many as possible; destroy as much as possible). The exercise will be enacted using high tech long distance weapons to teach the Palestinians a lesson with the minimum of Israeli casualties.
The Palestinians have no choice but to fight. The Israeli’s would really prefer to just exterminate them and there are regular and increasing calls from the extreme right to eject them – Gaza into Egypt, and the West Bank into Jordan. The more the world allows Israel to get away with what it’s doing, the more this becomes a possibility.
The Israeli response to all criticism is to allege the inherent anti-Semitism of the rest of the world. A central plank of Zionist nationalistic thought is that ‘everybody is against us’. This bunker mentality, dressed up as vindictiveness towards Gods chosen people, justifies them doing anything they like to whomsoever they like.
People in North Korea are indoctrinated and oppressed, but one feels sorry for them. The Israeli’s are indoctrinated too – but one feels only contempt for them. It is a truly degenerate country rescued only by the courage of people like Gideon Levy and Amira Hass, and Noam Chomsky, Illan Pappe – and Max Blumethal. It is fitting that those in the vanguard of criticism of Israel are all Jewish. These are the true children of the Holocaust.
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on 1 November 2013
I am a third of the way through it. It seems to be an honest account of what has been happening in Israel/Palestine
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on 28 October 2014
YES anything related to Palestine is worth a read and fills in gaps we have about the present situation and suffering of these people.
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on 28 September 2015
very interesting reading
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on 29 August 2014
Very factual account of Israel...

Having worked as a journalist in Israel and the occupied territories, I can comfortably confirm the vast majority of information in this book. Israel is socially and politically a very closed society and very hard for outsiders who don't speak Hebrew, or at least Arabic and who don't live inside Israel or in the occupied territories to see the full picture.

Highly recommended.
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on 22 July 2015
Gripping read.
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on 7 November 2014
The book everyone should read
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on 20 November 2013
A concise and well researched book on the growing and alarming rise of Jewish Extremism in Israel which is rarely reported in western media, the rise in extremism has dire consequences for the region and is almost a death knell for the now comatose peace plan between the Palestinians and Israelis.
Rising racism in Israel against black immigration and the way Politicians all the way up to Netanyahu have stoked the fires of hatred for political gain are very similar to the rise of the Nazis and how they too used hatred and fear to cement their place into power.
A must read for anyone interested in extremism and in the Middle East.
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