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Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land

  • ISBN13: 9780142002292
  • Condition: NEW
  • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

Product Description
The Jew, according to the Arab stereotype, is a brutal, violent coward; the Arab, to the prejudiced Jew, is a primitive creature of animal vengeance and cruel desires. In this monumental work, revised and more relevant than ever, David Shipler delves into the origins of the prejudices that have been intensified by war, terrorism, nationalism, and the failure of the peace process.

“The best and most comprehensive work there is in the English language on this subject.” (Walter Laqueur, The New York Times)

“A rich, penetrating, and moving portrayal of Arab-Jewish hostility, told in human terms.” (Newsday) Review
The correspondent for The New York Times in Jerusalem from 1979 to 1984, David K. Shipler brings a very American moral commitment to the problem of Arab-Jewish relations. The occupation of the West Bank was by then a static fact of life; many young Israelis and Palestinians had grown up knowing no other reality. The Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the massacres of Palestinians by Lebanese militiamen at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, which were under Israeli control, had shaken the consciences of many American Jews. Many of the voices in this book are American, from idealistic young secular Jews working for Arab-Jewish cooperation to the more fanatical followers of Meir Kahane. This work, which won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction, gives Shipler’s narrative the power of a terrible family argument.

Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land


  1. NEW TITLE INFORMATION ISRAEL A Divided Promised Land By Jonathan Jacob A Political Diatribe The birth of Israel in 1948 heralded a new beginning; the Jews at last had a homeland. Centuries of persecution and oppression were seemingly over Showing how European Jews are treating Easterners, the book in essence shows a nation divided and a paradise lost. With Europeans inflicting treatment similar to what they received by the Nazis: flagrant discrimination, giving Easterners the most menial jobs, tragically all at the hands of fellow Jews. In a plain, unsensational style making it all the more poignant, the author, an Indian Jew who has lived in Israel since 1966 reveals telling insight little known beyond Israel. As an Easterner himself the author could be open to questions of bias, but quotes enough examples to negate this. In essence the book really is a plea for equality and a strong warning of civil war if it is not forthcoming. The Author: Born in India in 1946, Jonathan Jacob immigrated to Israel at the age of twenty. He lived on a Kibbutz and studied the Hebrew language before enlisting for compulsory army service in 1967. He served in the forces for a period of 23 years, active in four different wars and wounded thrice during this time before serving four years with police investigations unit.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. The author has great experiences and he writes them down in a way that is some what hard to understand if you have not been there yourself. I am going to lsrael and I needed to read this book so that I could more fully understand the the relations between the Arab and the Jew. my purpose was to learn from this book and I have. I know that if the reader wants to learn about the problems in Israel this would be a great read. Enjoy and don’t get to concerned about all the fact because it will lead you down the wrong path. If your purpose for reading is to learn like mine was just read it for that purpose.
    Rating: 3 / 5

  3. This book has plenty of fascinating anecdotes about the Jews and Arabs in Israel. And it is illuminating. We see negative stereotypes that each have for the other. More than that, I think this book shows some of the reasons why there isn’t peace.

    While some of the stereotypes are shown to be overstated, the reader will come away with a very negative picture of the people who live in the area. Some people appeared prepared to live, and some to let live, and a few weren’t prepared to do either, but very few of the people Shipler showed us seemed ready to do both.

    Shipler’s description of Arab complaints about Israel were interesting. Sure, many Arabs said they had a devotion to their land. And that’s why they needed it back from the Jews. But instead of reacting sympathetically, I asked myself if they were for real. If I were to act the same way, what would I do? Demand, as a descendant of Tatars who were evicted from what is now Yalta, that the Muslim Tatars get Yalta back? Or demand, as a Pagan, that the Dome of the Rock be removed so that we could restore the Temple of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva?

    I rarely see Arabs demand land “back” that is now lived on by other Arabs. Nor would it make sense to anyone to “return” Warsaw to the Jews. Worse, it seemed to me that many Arabs were saying that they would do Anything to get their land back … except pay for it. And that they would insist on being true Israeli citizens, except they wouldn’t fight for Israel! Since I’d never want to live in a country I couldn’t support, I found it hard to sympathize with the attitudes of many Israeli Arabs.

    Shipler explained to us a common Arab complaint that the Jews are punishing the Arabs for Jewish misfortunes in Europe. But this complaint grossly underestimates Arab blame for what happened to many Jews. And it also tacitly and incorrectly assumes that it should be a crime for Jews to live near Arabs.

    Almost all the Jews Shipler described had given plenty of thought to whether overall Jewish behavior made sense. They came up with different answers. But they left me with the impression that if they ever had a chance to make good policy decisions, most of them would do it. That’s not the impression I got about the Arabs he depicted.

    I think Shipler failed to show us the big picture in this conflict. And to me, the main point is that the Jews have rather little land. In the long run, if everyone chooses peace, the Jews probably will wind up with at least as much land as they now have. The Jews have options. They can fight. They can make allies. They can flee. They can even convert. Yes, they can get badly hurt. But my point is that they have shown great resiliance and have surprisingly little to lose. Their land has few resources. In my opinion, contrary to popular belief, they might well survive the loss of several wars.

    Meanwhile, the Arab side is unlikely to lose a big war. But their Empire would be gone if they ever lost one. They have an enormous amount of land and huge resources, and seem to act as though they can’t lose it. Instead, there is a huge focus on fighting a war for an arbitrary cause which, if they win it, will give them virtually nothing.

    Finally, this whole struggle is being fought primarily between those who believe Jews ought to have human rights in Israel and those who do not. That’s not very symmetrical. I have to ask myself if Shipler was helping anyone by allowing folks to get the impression that these two points of view are equally valid. Perhaps it would have been better if he had taken a stand, and simply said that both sides are hurting. And that the Arabs have a choice to make: do they want it to be better for everyone or worse for everyone? That would have allowed me to give his book a couple more stars.
    Rating: 3 / 5

  4. The book was probably one of the best non-fiction pieces of literature that I have ever read. It was in-depth yet not boring. I especially enjoyed the way it outlined the stereotypes between the two peoples. The stories of friends who become enemies as time goes on are extremely compiling.
    In the book I was able to identify some of my own predigest that I never even know existed. I am also able to identify the things I see and hear for what they are. I have always looked at the trouble in the Middle East from one side. I am now able to realize that there are two peoples in the Promised Land
    This book takes stories of the people. I thought this was a most excellent approach. Every time I read an article it always goes into politics and laws issues and referendums. This book delved into the real problem between the people. I now see that even thought it may be the slow pace a diplomatic approach between the people is the only way peace will come.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. I think the Author put a good attempt at painting a vague picture of these two groups and why the problems exist today. However, well written, it does leave out many of the surrounding facts outside the region that influenced both sides of this debate and the entire history of the region. If one is interested in a more indepth reading from a “leftist” point of view one might read “Secret War Against the Jews” – John Loftus or another very well written and factually presented writing would be “From Time Immemorial” – Joan Peters. If one wishes to read from the “Conservative” point of view I’d suggest “Battleground” – S. Katz, “A Will To Survive” – John Phillips or “6 Days of War” – Michael Oren. For an over all view and broader reading “A History of Israel” – H. Sacher.

    When one reads these books it places a better image in the readers mind of what really went on to create such a morass within region. If one wishes to read something from a purely political point of view I would suggest either “The High Cost of Piece” – Y. Bodansky as well “The Oslo Years” – E. Horowitz.

    This was a good attempt but I do feel it is very greyish with an underlying agenda that omits many important facts that puts this tragic situation into clear perspective.
    Rating: 3 / 5


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