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Thursday, November 13, 2003

Important New Book on Israel

Right to Exist: A Moral Defense of Israel's Wars
by Yaacov Lozowick

This post is lifted (completely) from Rick Richman's thoughtful blog, Jewish Current Issues
Ethan Bronner in the New York Times Book Review and Daniel Gordis in The Jerusalem Post review Right to Exist: A Moral Defense of Israel's Wars, by Yaacov Lozowick.

Cynthia Ozick calls the book "one of the most important political histories of our generation:"
A modern-day Zola, Lozowick meticulously unravels the Big Lie that demonizes Israel and Zionism and contaminates the viler estuaries of what is nowadays dubbed "the international community."

The title alone -- the scandal of calling into question a living nation's existence -- ought to shame the prevaricators and defamers, whether they be professors in universities, media distorters, "peace activists" who justify terror, morally deformed intellectuals, self-deceiving unconfessed haters, or merely the herd of the easily led.

Honorably and irrefutably, Lozowick reintroduces plain fact and clear truth into a world of malice and mendacity.
Bronner's review notes the absence of any response from Arab historians, intellectuals, media, schools, or political or moral leaders to Israel's revision of its national history to encompass the Palestinians:
There were virtually no Palestinian ''new historians'' asking whether their leader in the 1930's and 40's, Haj Amin al-Husseini, was right to collaborate with the Nazis, calling for the killing of Jews ''wherever you find them.''

Few Muslim leaders questioned whether sending suicide bombers into Israeli cafes was a moral act.

No Arab television station ran a series on David Ben-Gurion's confrontation with rebel Zionist militias.

Israel's new historians were viewed by Arab intellectuals not as an invitation to self-examination but as further evidence that Zionism was a crime.

Worst of all, in 2000, when Israel offered Yasir Arafat more than 90 percent of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip for a Palestinian state, his rejection was accompanied by a terrorist war that shows no signs of stopping.
Gordis notes the book is critical of Israel as well, and "therefore, will make both ends of the political spectrum uncomfortable:"
But that is precisely why Lozowick's book is such a welcome addition to this conversation. To a world in which too much of what we read and hear denies any legitimacy of competing arguments, Lozowick's book is a well-written, wise, passionately Zionist, nuanced and morally serious contribution.
An excerpt from the book is here.