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The Crisis of Zionism by Peter Beinart

The Crisis of Zionism

by Peter Beinart

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814148,805 (3.79)4
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    A new Zionism by Mordecai M. Kaplan (lawecon)
    lawecon: These volumes contain the same conception of Zionism.
  2. 00
    Old New Land by Theodor Herzl (lawecon)
    lawecon: These two books contain the same conception of Zionism

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Well balanced overview of the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Excellent place to start if you need to understand the issue in a clear and concise way, with historical context. ( )
  LesliePoston | Aug 13, 2013 |
Beinart’s thesis is that right-wing wealthy and aging Jews, who don’t share the liberal views of most American Jews, have distorted American policy towards Israel to the detriment of both countries, emboldening hard-liners in Israel to deny any legitimate Palestinian claims and suppressing criticism even from within Israel. Meanwhile, non-Orthodox American Jews are likely to identify as liberals first and Jews second, so policy towards Israel is less important to them. Beinart suggests that Jews should embrace voucher schools (!) so that non-Orthodox Jews will be more likely to see Israel as central to their identities, less likely to intermarry, and correspondingly more likely to exert pressure on American policymakers to seek solutions that will allow Israel to be both democratic and Jewish (and, of necessity, smaller, since those two things can’t happen with Israel’s present borders). I guess I’m one of those liberals first, because I can’t stomach the thought of having a nation of Louisiana’s creationist voucher schools in order to get more Jewish education (not that the people behind vouchers are terribly willing to let non-Christians in on the party, though I suppose we’re ‘Judeo-Christians’ until the Muslim threat disappears). Still, Beinart does issue a wake-up call to American Jews whose views are not represented by Sheldon Adelson. ( )
1 vote rivkat | Aug 15, 2012 |
I think it's an important book to read for anyone who cares about Israel and its future. I wish everybody in Israel would read it. I'm not sure that all the answers lie in there but it is incredibly well researched, it's an eye-opener when it comes to the sad realities of today's Israel and it's an inspiration to what Israel could (should?) be. ( )
  AramisSciant | Jun 1, 2012 |
If you are a Jew you will want to read this book. You will want to read it not only because it contains a thorough critique of the propaganda line you have been fed on Israeli politics for the past 30 years, although it contains exactly that, but because it speaks deeply to the historical mission of the Jewish People. It refocuses Jews on what they are about as Jews.

If you are a pretend-Jew, who is mostly concerned with political and military power and with enriching yourself to the detriment of your fellow human beings, you won't want to read this book. It will be a waste of time for you for exactly the same reasons that it is centrally important to real Jews. ( )
  lawecon | May 22, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805094121, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:35 -0400)

Examines how a powerful Jewish community and noninterest in Zionism by younger American Jews has hurt Israel's efforts for democracy, with an exploration of current American-Israeli political relations and suggestions for rejuvenating the movement.

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