4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Powerful and full of original insights,
This review is from: My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel (Hardcover)
I felt, reading this book, that I finally understood that, for Jewish Israelis, there is an existential question that few of the rest of us can readily grasp. We have neither experienced centuries of persecution, nor an attempt at extermination which very nearly succeeded and which was one of the worst crimes against humanity ever committed. Nor do we live among neighbours who would prefer us not to exist. Ari Shavit is brilliant at conveying all that, through personal and family histories which are powerful and often heart breaking, without denying the wrongs done to the inhabitants who were displaced or destroyed to create the modern state of Israel. The book is both exhilarating and depressing: exhilarating because the story of Isreal is one of genius and courage and enterprise and depressing because of the cycles of suffering inflicted by one side on the other with no obvious prospect of resolution. This is probably not a book that will increase the knowledge (as opposed to understanding) of the expert but for the interested, cocnerend reader, it is an eye-opener and ahs amde me want to understand more. If I have one criticism, it is that it ebcomes obvious as you read that some chapters are rcycled newspaper articles: intersting in themselves but not always fitting the narrative.