Saturday, March 15, 2014

Not the argument I saw

Several years ago I had the opportunity to visit the Holy Land, and after seeing first-hand the tensions that are so evident between Israel and Palestine, and the various ethnic and religious groups found in the region, I was excited to be able to get an Advance Review Copy of The Israeli Solution: a One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East by Caroline Glick (Crown Forum, 2014).
            As I started the book, it quickly became apparent that this was not the book that I had expected. The author has certainly done her research, but it seems that she was very selective in which parts of the material she used. I found the book to be extremely biased and one-sided. Everything she presents that Israel is doing, has done, or is trying to do is viewed in a positive light. Israel is presented almost as a loving God (whatever happened to ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me’?). As Glick presents Israel’s side of the story, everything they do creates jobs, raises the living standard, provides better health care and promotes peace. Everything anyone else proposes is misguided and foolish, filled with promises that the proposers have no intention of keeping, or outright terroristic in nature.
            She lambastes 3 American Presidents (Clinton, Bush and Obama) for the way they have hampered and impeded peace efforts.The United Nations is a pawn,  Europe is no better, and as for the Arab nations in the region, well let’s just say that she isn't impressed.
            There is no doubt in my mind that the situation in the Middle East is tense, and that both sides need to be willing to give a little. But my personal experience , as brief as it was, is certainly different than what it put forth in this diatribe.  I’m sure it will appeal to extremists on one side of the argument, and the extremists on the other side will see it as inflammatory. Both sides will take things out of context and use those out-of-context arguments to justify their behaviors.
I hate to say this but it seems to me that rational people would be better off avoiding this book altogether.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for the review. Obviously I was not required to write a positive review. 

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