Background: Using concise, well-researched arguments that he’s been developing since 1967, Professor Dershowitz makes a case on behalf of the State of Israel. By taking oft-repeated accusations by Israel’s critics and comparing them to the evidence of history, Dershowitz provides clearly-articulated reasons to stand with Israel.
Questions this book answers: Is Israel a colonial, imperialist state? Did European Jews displace Palestinians? Have the Jews exploited the Holocaust? Was the U.N. Partition Plan unfair to Palestinians? Did Israel create the Arab refugee problem? Has Israel been causing wars? Has Israel made serious efforts at peace? Is Israel a racist state? Are the post-1967 borders the cause of all the problems? Has Israel denied the Palestinians statehood?
How this book impacted me and why it’s on my shelf: Dershowitz and I probably disagree on most aspects of American politics, yet we can both acknowledge Israel’s right to exist and defend itself. The country is so small that it’s difficult to find on a map amidst the huge Arab countries that surround it, and yet it supposedly deserves to be wiped off the map because it dares to exist in a region claimed by Muslims. The source of this conflict can be traced all the way back to Abraham, but the fact of the matter is that the State of Israel came into being fair-and-square, and has justifiably defended itself since. Dershowitz and I would be among the first to admit that Israel is not perfect (no nation is) and Dershowitz makes the case that hypocrisy needs to be avoided when Israel is evaluated by world opinion. I see Israel as a sort of underdog with (thankfully) a strong bite to help ensure its survival. I respect the fact that Israel is willing to stand alone, even without U.S. support, to safeguard the ancestral homeland of the Jews, and maintain a peaceful, inclusive, democratic society, all while defending itself literally and politically against an onslaught of relentless hatred. Good people everywhere should stand with Israel based on principles and logic. The debate continues, and the anti-Israel crowd tries to find ways to de-legitimize books like this to distract from the core issues, but I encourage you to read it and decide for yourself. By the way, I’ve found that the format of this book makes it very useful as a quick-reference guide for discussions, especially with underlining and notes in the margins. The subject is important. Educate yourself.
Reasons you may want to skip this one: Even though there are Muslims who live peacefully as Israeli citizens, many Muslims around the world seem to be incapable of understanding Israel’s situation, and some might need to see an act of God in order to understand. Some people may find it politically unpopular to support the Jewish state, like within the Nazi party, for example. Something about being named Osama (or some version of this) and/or Hussein seems to make a person less likely to think clearly when it comes to Israel.