THE CASE FOR ISRAEL,
By Alan M. Dershowitz
Reviewed by Bernard J. Shapiro
[THE CASE FOR ISRAEL published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., hardback, $19.95 US, 2003. Available now from the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies for $17.95 US (with $2 off coupon below) + $3 postage and handling.]
Alan Dershowitz is widely respected as one our nation's most brilliant Professors of Law (Harvard University) and defense attorney. His has a resolute and unshakable belief in the liberties granted to Americans in the Bill of Rights and is ready to defend them. These qualities make him an ideal defender of Israel.
Israel faces an onslaught of anti-Semitic propaganda generated by the Islamic/Arab nations and joined by both the Fascist Right and Extreme Left in Europe, the US, the UN and many other nations from Africa to the Far East. Dershowitz organizes his book like a good defense attorney organizes his case. There are 32 chapters in his book representing the 32 major accusations or slanders against Israel. He presents each in the following order: the accusation, the accuser, the reality and finally the proof. This format is easily understood by any reader and performs an immeasurable service to the defense of Israel's reputation in a world full of hostility and distorted hatred toward it.
There are many places in the book where Dershowitz interjects his own philosophy and conception of what is best for Israel and the prospects for "peace" in the Middle East. Examples of this can be found in his acceptance of the following:
1. That a two-state solution is good.
2. There is a real possibility for peace in the Middle East.
3. That nations like Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia have accepted Israel in their region.
4. Israel must help create a Palestinian State by withdrawing from the "occupied" territories.
5. That Jewish residents of YESHA (Judaea, Samaria, & Gaza) are extremist because they oppose withdrawal from their homes and the creation of a Palestinian State.
Each of these positions could be soundly be rejected in an honest debate based on intelligence/strategic analysis, geographic/hydrological analysis and a study of Islamic/Arab history and psychology. This, of course, is not the purpose of this book review. Despite differences, I still believe that Dershowitz's book is extremely valuable and should be on every bookshelf of persons interested in separating fact from anti-Semitism and Arab propaganda from the history of the Arab-Israeli Conflict.
The chapters include detailed discussion and analysis of history and international law. Some examples are listed below:
1. Is Israel a Colonial, Imperialist State?
2. Did European Jews displace Palestinians?
3. Have the Jews Exploited the Holocaust? Or did the Arabs Join Forces with the Nazis to Exterminate the Jews of Palestine and Europe?
4. Was the U.N. Partition Plan Unfair to Palestinians?
5. Did Israel Create the Arab Refugee Problem and Who Has Prevented Its Solution?
6. Did Israel Start the Six-Day War?
7. Has Israel Engaged in Genocide against Palestinian civilians?
8. Is Targeted Assassination of Terrorist Leaders Unlawful?
9. Is There a Moral Equivalence between Palestinian Terrorist and Israeli Responses?
10. Why Do So Many Jews and Even Israelis Side with the Palestinians?
Remember there are 32 (not 10) of these chapters and this is what makes this book so unique in its defense of Israel. Dershowitz concludes with a concept that the Israel is "the Jew among the nations." In other words the anti-Semites look at Israel as a macrocosm of "the Jews" they hate, fear and wish to destroy. Other writers have used this analogy, but Dershowitz carries it much further with his astute analysis and historical presentation.
I hope readers of this review will look past any ideological differences with Dershowitz and take advantage of this excellent book as a necessary preparation to defend Israel against its many accusers.
Bernard J. Shapiro is the Executive Director of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies, editor of its monthly Internet magazine, THE MACCABEAN ONLINE, and editor of its daily news and commentary broadcast freemanlist.
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