Book Reviews

"Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel by Max Blumenthal

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Goliath: Life and loathing in Greater Israel by Max Blumenthal

This was a long book (412 pages w/o counting extensive notes in back) that does a good job of really recording what Zionism means to the people of Israel and the occupied territories. It is a sad story presented in detail. There are quotations from all sides that make it clear that many leaders of Israel planned from their early days make Israel a “Jewish State” by ridding all the area of Arabs.

This attitude was aided by the influx of many Russian Jews who came into Israel as immigrants but the racism and exclusion that has developed as intrinsic to the Zionist beliefs were present from the beginnings of Israel.

In 2009 a poll of Jewish Israelis found that a narrow majority supported transport of Palestinians out of land controlled by Israel. Another poll in 2004 found authoritarian attitudes to be widespread among Jewish-Israeli youth with only 17 per cent listing democracy as a “subject of national preference.”

One of the early quotes (which I could not find later to include as a quote here) spoke to the question of the occupation and its predicted effect on the state of Israel. This person stated, quite rightly, that the occupation would move Israel farther and farther from “democracy” and into Fascism. As the Israeli government allowed outright racism to be part of the national being and instituted law after law designed to deny both their own non-Jewish citizens and the entire occupied territories peoples their equal rights they have set up a Apartheid regime which mirrors the worst of the old South Africa.

I grew up on the books of Leon Uris (Exodus, QBVII, etc) where I learned of the heroism of people like Moshe Dayan, Ben Gurion and others who fought great odds to form the democratic state of Israel under the onslaught of the surrounding Arab countries, bent upon Israel's destruction. I guess that's why they call it fiction.

Just a few pertinent quotes:

During this “heroic” time Yitzak Pundek led a decisive thrust into the Negev Desert. In a 2005 memoir excerpted in Ha'aretz's Hebrew edition he wrote:
“There were two hundred Palestinian villages here and they are no more. It was necessary to destroy them. Otherwise there would have been here another million Arabs among us. After two thousand years of exile, one cannot create a state by using kid gloves.”

The displaced people tried to return to their land repeatedly. Israel labeled them criminal infiltrators and used a series of violent roundups to get rid of the Arab “criminals”. Pasha John Glubb, AKA Lawrence of Arabia, witnessed a particularly brutal raid with horror describing it this way:

“The Jews wanted them all to emigrate. They therefore try to persuade them with rubber coshes and by tearing off their fingernails whenever they get the chance... I do not know whether this is the policy of the Israel cabinet, but it must be known and winked at on a ministerial level,,,. The brutality is too general to be due only to the sadism of ordinary soldiers.”

Moshe Dayan himself led attacks into Gazan refugee camps ordering his troops to round up all males from 15 to 55 herding them into open lots, beating them along the way with wooden clubs, then lined them up against concrete walls for execution. Israeli forces that day killed as many as 275 unarmed civilians and in Khan Younis days later killed another 111 more. This is not heroism...

In 2009 a group of Israeli students who were refusing military service wrote: “Our refusal comes first and foremost as a protest on the separation, control, oppression, and killing policy held by the state of Israel in the Occupied Territories, as we understand that this oppression, killing, and routing of hatred will never lead to peace, and they are all contradictory to the basic values a society that pretends to be democratic should have.” Unfortunately, the letter was only the third of its kind in Israeli history.

One semi-positive aspect of the current situation is that many Jewish young are leaving Israel after seeing the movement (not shown in this short? book report enough) of Israel towards Fascism. They simply do not want a life dominated by conflict, military service, and laws that severely restrict themselves in their own freedom. For instance, to date or marry others outside their own ethnic purity will put their own loyalty at risk.

This book is filled with well documented stories about actions taken by the “chosen” Jews against non-white Jews, Arabs (they generally will not call them Palestinians) even Christians. I cannot do it justice. Quotes and themes being left out here include pretty clear acknowledgment that much, if not most, of the actions taken and painted as for security reasons, actually are more for demographic reasons. Israel is to be kept for Jewish people and the demographics strongly indicate that w/o the expulsions etc Israeli Jews will become a minority. For a really well documented and pretty complete picture get the book and read it.... Leon Uris could use a rewrite.

Steve Horn