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Walking Israel by Martin Fletcher

Walking Israel

by Martin Fletcher

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  cavlibrary | Jan 27, 2014 |
As someone who loves Israel, I loved this book. Fletcher combined a journalist's eye with someone who clearly loved his adopted home. This was a fast, easy read and his pace of walk and writing never dragged. I loved how mch of his focus was on the people he met and the stories they told - this book and Israel are about people, not stereotypes. I also like how he interwove the history of the Holocaust with the people he met and their stories nce they arrived in Israel. Same with the paths of the crusaders, and where those cities are now. A wonderful read. ( )
  skinglist | Jun 2, 2012 |
The author of this memoir is Martin Fletcher who is a special correspondent for NBC News based in Israel. In this hundred mile journey where the correspondent says he fulfills a longstanding personal ambition to walk the entire coast of Israel from Lebanon to Gaza. This book is is story of his travel which he admits he should have made before he was on the other side of the age of sixty. His goal was to see Israel and its people from a different perspective. But as he found out it is hard to take the journalist our of a long time correspondent.

Mr. Fletcher, or his editor, write well and I think this would have been an excellent book if he had not been a news correspondent who could not take off his hat so to speak. Yet it is also that quality which gives us the interesting interviews he conducts along his travels. And some were very interesting characters in their own right and shows the contradiction that is Israel, and the difference in the population during times of peace or national defense.

Mr. Fletcher is a British Citizen a secular Jew who is the son of holocaust survivors and married to an Israeli Jew who seems to be the core stability of his life. An expatriate living in Israel with his wife he never mentions if he had become a citizen of Israel yet throughout the book where appropriate he refers to himself as British. Which if you know Israel history is more of an enemy to the older generation of Israel than the Arabs.

The author allowed his travels and happenstance chose who he interviews at time and some people were sought out. The diversity of people range from a land thief who by possession controls land that he walled off, declared an independent nation and on which he even built a museum to interviews of holocaust survivors that were once ignored in Israel are now revered. And of course he makes trips to a few kibbutz that were very important in the security and determination of Israeli culture and their military at the founding of the country.

The history of the socialist kibbutz that is touched upon is very interesting in that they were an integral force in the founding and defense of Israel but once the state stop to support them they started to fail as the socialist model could not support itself. Their revitalization which is revealed in this travelogue with interviews with the major players of the revitalization was because they adopted capitalist base system which allowed to to thrive and pay off their enormous debts.

Mr, Fletcher interviews displaced Jews and Arabs and is objective in all his interviews. As he relates in his book the further you get away from the politicians or terrorist the more the people, Arabs or Jews, just want to live in peace. Though trust and peace is shown to be tenuous at best you will visit towns and cities where Arabs and Jews live and work together in peace.

You can tell that he left nothing out of his travelogue showing his moral failing, from his stealing of what he thought was an ancient artifact from a makeshift museum to flirting with and giving his phone number to a women who believed in open relationships. But he does remarkable job in showing us the contradiction that is Israel. Unlike most travelogues does he does share the description of the geography and a quick overview of its history he shares others people stories and not his own.

The book was easy to read and does give an overview of the coastal region of Israel, its present, past and ancient past. It also tell us that he chose the wrong time of year to take his walk with the searing sun beating down on him. This is a good book to get from your library. ( )
  hermit | Aug 11, 2010 |
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For Hagar. Every day you show me how to be a Mensch. And Guy, Daniel, and Jonathan. You are with me every step that I take.
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June 21, 2008. I, too, stand at the Ladder of Tyre, and I looked down upon the Promised Land.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312534817, Hardcover)

From the much lauded author of Breaking News comes a version of Walking the Bible just for Israel.

With its dense history of endless conflict and biblical events, Israel's coastline is by far the most interesting hundred miles in the world. As longtime chief of NBC’s Tel Aviv news bureau, Martin Fletcher is in a unique position to interpret Israel, and he brings it off in a spectacular and novel manner. Last year he strolled along the entire coast, from Lebanon to Gaza, observing facets of the country that are ignored in news reports, yet tell a different and truer story. Walking Israel is packed with hilarious moments, historical insights, emotional, true-life tales, and, above all, great storytelling.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:35 -0400)

The Emmy Award-winning foreign correspondent and author of Breaking News traces the history reflected by the 100-mile coastline of Israel between Lebanon and Gaza, revealing how its various points expose aspects of the region not covered by typical news reports.… (more)

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