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Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me by…
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Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me (2012)

by Harvey Pekar, JT Waldman (Illustrator)

Other authors: Joyce Brabner (Epilogue)

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This book feels unfinished. While the highlights of history are a reasonable summary at a very high level, and while I sympathize and agree with the criticisms voiced within, the lack of any concrete suggestions of what to do instead leaves me dissatisfied. I understand that Mr. Pekar died before this book was finished, as a result, it's hard to tell what is really his voice and vision, and what is that of his illustrator and co-author. ( )
  Julie_loves_to_read | Mar 31, 2013 |
Harvey Pekar and JT. Waldman spend a day together in Cleveland, discussing Pekar's growing up with Zionist parents and how his outlook on Israel has changed through the years. A large part of the book is a flyby description of the history of the Middle East and the eventual creation of the State of Israel, which is probably already know to a reader who would pick this book up. The more interesting part for me is obviously Pekar's story about his parents and their different outlooks and how that permeated his thoughts and opinions as a child and youth and, more importantly, the point at which he changed his mind and started being more critical of his previous idealized land. The other interesting part is his discussions about how other Jews sometimes have knee-jerk reactions against him speaking out against Israel - it is indeed a high-tension topic in many circles. It'd been interesting to get a more in-depth discussion, but in its current format it is all that it could be, especially since Pekar passed away before its completion. The epilogue by Joyce Brabner, Pekar's wife, deals mainly with Pekar's funeral and artistically doesn't really fit in this book, but it's an interesting addition for any Pekar fan. ( )
  -Eva- | Dec 12, 2012 |
Harvey Pekar grew up in a strong Zionist household being taught about the nationalist pride of Israel much in the same way many American children were raised about the anti-communist nationalist view of America in the same time period [limited media intake, singing nationalist songs at school, etc.] He uses this novel to explain why he "lost faith in Israel" [as well as his religion] after he left his parents' home.

As a source of historical information, this novel is utterly fantastic. It's historically accurate, yet very simply explains the full historical background of the creation of modern day Israel from it's biblical roots to the war for Independence as well as a good telling of the Jewish people's history all together. He covers not only what was happening in the country itself, but all the events happening in other countries around the world which had an effect on Israel's development. The only downside is that you're well over a hundred pages in before he talks about anything on the modern events surronding the conflict and the details are, as he puts it, "hazy". The lack of detail at this part of the novel is a little bothersome, and you never really get to know about what has happened lately. Still, I'd consider this a pretty informative graphic novel for someone just wanting to get a start on wrapping their head around the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Despite his starch opposition to Israel as a state, he's rather unapologetically straight-forward about who did what both good and bad both for Israel and Palestine. His main concern is being able to question Israel's actions without being called a traitor or self-hating Jew. He states a strong desire to see a peaceful conclusion to the conflict. ( )
  SadieOldenkamp | Nov 4, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Harvey Pekarprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Waldman, JTIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Brabner, JoyceEpiloguesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0809094827, Hardcover)

Harvey Pekar’s mother was a Zionist by way of politics. His father was a Zionist by way of faith. Whether Harvey was going to daily Hebrew classes or attending Zionist picnics, he grew up a staunch supporter of the Jewish state. But soon he found himself questioning the very beliefs and ideals of his parents.

In Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me, the final graphic memoir from the man who defined the genre, Pekar explores what it means to be Jewish and what Israel means to the Jews. Over the course of a single day in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, Pekar and the illustrator JT Waldman wrestle with the mythologies and realities surrounding the Jewish homeland. Pekar interweaves his increasing disillusionment with the modern state of Israel with a comprehensive history of the Jewish people from biblical times to the present, and the result is a personal and historical odyssey of uncommon power. Plainspoken and empathetic, Pekar had no patience for injustice and prejudice in any form, and though he comes to understand the roots of his parents’ unquestioning love for Israel, he arrives at the firm belief that all peoples should be held to the same universal standards of decency, fairness, and democracy.

With an epilogue written by Joyce Brabner, Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me is an essential book for fans of Harvey Pekar and anyone interested in the past and future of the Jewish state. It is bound to create important discussions and debates for years to come.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:06 -0400)

Over the course of one day, traces the loss of the author's Zionist faith against a backdrop of Jewish history, recounting how his growing disaffection with the modern state of Israel was shaped by the mythologies and realities of the Jewish homeland.… (more)

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