What Israel Means to Me: By 80 Prominent Writers, Performers, Scholars, Politicians, and Journalists Paperback – 31 Aug 2007
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Harvard law professor Dershowitz is out to defend Israel again this time, with a little help from his friends. In this volume, some 80 writers, scholars and journalists, many of them prominent figures, most of them Jewish, contribute short pieces about the meaning of Israel in their lives. The breadth of authors is impressive, from Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota and the Rev. Pat Robertson to the actresses Natalie Portman (Jewish, born in Israel) and Christina Applegate (not Jewish, visited Israel). As might be expected, many of the pieces emphasize the writer′s emotional connection to the Jewish state. Some are prone to hyperbole (former Cabinet member William Bennett counts himself "among the millions of Americans who see America′s fate and Israel′s fate as one"), while others are overly sentimental. But to Dershowitz′s credit, the collection includes selections from more nuanced and critical thinkers. Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts points out the importance of Israel as a haven for Palestinian gays and lesbians, while noting that Israel has a way to go in ridding itself of homophobia. Some authors oppose Israel′s existence or, like Israeli politician Shulamit Aloni and American Jewish activist Michael Lerner, are critical of Israeli policy in the West Bank, in essays that may expand the readership for this collection beyond the usual pro–Israel suspects. (July) ( Publishers Weekly, May 8, 2006)
"...to Dershowitz′s credit, the collection includes selections from more nuanced and critical thinkers." ( Publishers Weekly, May 8, 2006) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From the Inside Flap
As one of Israel′s staunchest supporters and most ardent defenders, Alan Dershowitz has long understood that the deep emotional pull of this ancient land and youthful state, while shared by so many, has distinct and personal meanings for each of us. What Israel Means to Me is not so much a book as a collection of love songs each with its own theme, rhythm, and key in which Dershowitz and many of the world′s most distinguished politicians, diplomats, journalists, artists, scholars, and religious leaders share their most profound feelings, hopes, and memories about Israel.
From Larry King, William Bennett, Ed Koch, Rabbi Harold Kushner, and David Mamet to Barney Frank, Pat Robertson, Erica Jong, and Jonathan Kellerman, the diverse group of all–star contributors pays tribute to the Jewish state, highlighting their personal connections to Israel′s history, land, people, politics, and faith.
In a passionate and brilliantly reasoned analysis of the current state of Israeli democracy, the actor/singer/activist Theodore Bikel reminds us that, in the debate over Israel′s future, it is essential that all voices and opinions be heard. While speaking from a broad spectrum of political, religious, personal, and historical viewpoints, these inspiring and heartfelt tributes demonstrate that reverence, respect, and fierce loyalty toward Israel know no ideological boundaries.
For many, love of Israel is inextricably linked with love of family. The game show host Monty Hall describes how he carries on a tradition of support and philanthropy in Israel bequeathed to him by his mother, and the journalist Leslie Gelb remembers his father standing up in a movie theater to sing along with the Israeli national anthem as he watched the film Exodus.
Morton Klein, the national president of the Zionist Organization of America, who was born in a displaced persons camp after his parents survived the Holocaust, voices what, for many, is the single most important fact about Israel: "There is now a home to which Jews can come, and which will always protect them."
From its countless ancient, sacred, and historical sites to its bountiful orchards and fields, from the safe haven it offers to Jews the world over to the lively, often angry debates over its policies and intentions, Israel′s complex appeal, both for Jews and non–Jews, extends from body to mind to spirit. Touching repeatedly on each of these themes, What Israel Means to Me is a moving, thought–provoking volume that should be read and shared by everyone who cares about Israel.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition. See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Israel is a tiny country, numbering six million souls, and only a tiny fraction of the Middle East.
It attracts more attention than any other country in the world, with the possible exception of the USA.
Many of us love Israel for the justice and truth it represents, for the land and heritage, and for the strength and vibrancy of it's people.
Others hate it with a venom and passion unequalled, since Hitler's hatred of Israel's Jewish forebears.
For me the essence of the conflict around Israel is a very simple one.
Most of the Arabs and Moslems (with the backing of the international left and some of the world's far right) want to drive the Jews of Israel into the sea. The Jews of Israel are determined not to be driven into the sea.
Hence an irreconcilable conflict.
For me Israel is the phoenix that rose out of the ashes of the Holocaust, and the continuation of the Jewish life and civilization that was so brutally destroyed in Europe by the Nazis and by the Arabs when the Jews of the Middle East and North Africa were savagely expelled from these lands and fled to Israel with nothing other than the clothes on their backs.
For me Israel is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, and a symbol of righteousness, I believe that those who hate and mean harm to Israel are evil at heart, and hate Israel because Israel represents good and decency.
For me Israel is represented by it's beautiful, vibrant and inquisitive children, who represent the future. Looking at them I am reminded that children just like these were murdered in Europe in their millions sixty years ago, and a large portion of the world would like to see them murdered again.Read more ›
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