The Crisis of Zionism
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Israel's next great crisis may come not with the Palestinians or Iran but with young American Jews
A dramatic shift is taking place in Israel and America. In Israel, the deepening occupation of the West Bank is putting Israeli democracy at risk. In the United States, the refusal of major Jewish organizations to defend democracy in the Jewish state is alienating many young liberal Jews from Zionism itself. In the next generation, the liberal Zionist dream—the dream of a state that safeguards the Jewish people and cherishes democratic ideals—may die.
In The Crisis of Zionism, Peter Beinart lays out in chilling detail the looming danger to Israeli democracy and the American Jewish establishment's refusal to confront it. And he offers a fascinating, groundbreaking portrait of the two leaders at the center of the crisis: Barack Obama, America's first "Jewish president," a man steeped in the liberalism he learned from his many Jewish friends and mentors in Chicago; and Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister who considers liberalism the Jewish people's special curse. These two men embody fundamentally different visions not just of American and Israeli national interests but of the mission of the Jewish people itself.
Beinart concludes with provocative proposals for how the relationship between American Jews and Israel must change, and with an eloquent and moving appeal for American Jews to defend the dream of a democratic Jewish state before it is too late.
Why Can I Write A Review Without Buying The Book?
It's a strange thing to learn people can star or write reviews without a purchase so given my optimism and respect for the author...I'm bullish.
Thank you for this book. I've read a number of analyses of the situation in Palestine, and this gives a new, well-researched and meticulously reasoned view of effects on the ground in Israel, Palestine, and the US. During any reading or discussion of these issues, the Golden Rule, as framed by Hillel is always central in my mind. It was a pleasant surprise when the author invoked it several times, though without the emphasis that Hillel (and Christ, and other holy souls) have given it.
After stating that the believer should do nothing to another that he would find hateful if done to him, Hillel adds, "That is the entire law; all the rest is commentary." In context with that, I ask God daily how the occupation is even possible.
I am not Jewish by faith, though my grandfather was Hebrew. But I am a Baha'i, so Israel is also in my heart ... Which breaks every time I witness the hatred among people who could be friends if only the words of the Torah, the Talmud, or any other holy text were put into practice.
This book is, I think, especially noteworthy in that it offers a prescriptive set of actions that individuals and non-governmental groups might take to effect change. I applaud the author for realizing that here, and not in the halls of government, is where the initial change must come about.
"It is incumbent on every man of insight and understanding to strive to translate what hath been written into reality and action.... That one indeed is a man who, today, dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race." - Baha'u'llah
This book made me think!
I am glad I took the time to read this book and digest the different ideas expressed by the author. I think this book would be a interesting book to study with a diverse group of people but I know arguments would take place.
I do not agree with the authors conclusions except that the need for better Liberal Jewish education in America is dire.