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Blood and Religion: The Unmasking of the Jewish and Democratic State Paperback – April 20, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0745325552 ISBN-10: 0745325556

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Pluto Press (April 20, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745325556
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745325552
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,728,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


‘Timely and important … by far the most penetrating and comprehensive [book on the subject to date. … This work should be required reading.’ --Nur Masalha, Director of Holy Land Studies, St Mary’s College, University of Surrey, and author of The Politics of Denial (2003)
‘An original and powerful book.’ --Ilan Pappe, Senior Lecturer in Political Science at Haifa University, and author of A Modern History of Palestine (2004)
‘Very impressive … Some of his findings will astound even the knowledgeable reader.’ --Salim Tamari, Director of the Institute of Jerusalem Studies

About the Author

Jonathan Cook, a former staff journalist for the Guardian and Observer newspapers, has also written for The Times, Le Monde diplomatique, International Herald Tribune, Al-Ahram Weekly and Aljazeera.net. He is based in Nazareth.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

168 of 184 people found the following review helpful By LD Lewis on July 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
As someone who has been covering the Israeli/Palestinian conflict for six years and comes up against the sheer racism and coordinated efforts of PR Zionism, this book is invaluable. The apartheid system that Israel embraces, the euphemisms and omissions clandestinely hidden in its claims of democracy which hide its overt racism, Cook documents to a T.

This book exposes the ugly side of Zionism and Israel, the racism and disregard for non-Jewish human life those of us who write on this issue have known about and often get labeled anti-Semitic for exposing. But far more chilling is the similarities to how America now operates.
The similarities to Homeland Security, the NSA and even our own police forces being used to spy upon our own citizens frighteningly obvious in this statement by Haifa University professor Ilan Pappe, found on page 79:
"My fear even before the outbreak of the intifada was that the Shin Bet, (CIA in Israel) was under-employed in the occupied territories because of the withdrawals agreed under the Oslo Accords. The security apparatus (in Israel) is huge, and a lot of people work for it--50 percent of academics for example, are employed in some capacity as advisers or counselors--so there's a lot of interest in keeping it going.
Because the service still had the same manpower and the same means at its disposal, it needed to change target--and to justify this change of target it had to come up with a new story; that there had been a fundamental change in the way the Palestinians inside Israel were behaving. The Shin Bet argument was that Israel needed to increase the involvement of the secret services inside Israel, that the police could not operate alone.
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64 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Howard B. Lenow on November 8, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think that anyone who wants to understand the context for the current Occupaton of Palestine should read this important analysis. Most people are unaware of the pervasive discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel that is institutionalized in Israeli society. As an American Jew who has spent time in the West Bank and Israel as part of human rights delegatations, I have seen the impacts of the very structure of Israeli society that treats its Palestinian citizens as second class. Jonathan Cook explores the complex web of Israel's government by Ministry and Regulation, in the absence of a Constitution and under the all encompassing justification of security above all, regardless of the impact on the human rights of its non-jewish citizens. Give this book a chance and it will open your mind and provide a shocking perspective on what it really means to operate a "Jewish" State rather than a society dedicated to equality for all its citizens.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By R. Goff on February 19, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jonathan Cook's Blood and Religion offers a different perspective on a problem if continuing import. Rather than focusing on the Israel/Palestinian problem as a dispute between two "states," Cook focuses on the internal problems in Israel regarding the disposition of Israeli Arabs and non-Jewish citizens and their contradictory role in Israeli society. Although officially "Israeli citizens," they are demographic "enemy's within," due to the legal mandate of Israel as a "Jewish State." As Israel is not a nation of its citizens, but a Jewish State, what if non-Jews became majority? What if they had political parties which could represent them effectively? What if they could change the nature of Israel from within using democratic means? According to Cook, this is the real threat that Israel faces with the issues of the "right to return," the extremist settler movement, and the decision to build a wall and limit the movement of Palestinians. Israel can't remain both Jewish and retain the cloak of democracy without tightly controlling the non-Jewish population in the area.

In some respects the situation is similar to the American South during the heyday of Jim Crow. The only way to keep a "white man's democracy" was through the systematic denial of rights to African Americans. Of course, there was no "black state" created in the US south (akin to Bantustans in South Africa), however, voter intimidation, violence, residential segregation and gerrymandering generated a similar result.

Overall, the book is interesting and well written and offers a different perspective on the problem. It is a little repetitive and some of the chapters could have been pared down, but overall it is a good read.
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43 of 51 people found the following review helpful By D. David on February 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
The hasbaristas and apologists for Israel make claims that are beyond ridiculous:

1- Being "land-poor" does not give you any special rights. There are many smaller countries who don't regularly bomb their neighbors.

2- Israel bought its land: Nonsense! At the time of the UN separation resolution of 1947, the Jewish Yeshuv and its allies owned an estimated 9-11% of mandatory Palestine; even much of that had been acquired by coercion and violence. What do you think the Palmach, Haganah and Stern gangs were doing to the Arabs, handing out candy ? Read the history of the atrocities of the Yeshuv and massacres of the 1947-49 war, not from Arabs but from Zionist authors like Benny Morris (although he excuses all the mass killings with "you cannot make an omelet without breaking a few eggs"!)

3- "there is a good chance that Israel will simply acquire more land, probably by purchase"!! From whom exactly? Was it trying to purchase land from Lebanon this past summer?

4- The repeat of "even if Israel had stolen land ..." is a subtle Freudian admission of guilt for what actually happened.

5- To compare Israel to Germany or France or Switzerland is bizarre. The US would be more apt: a colonial power occupying and settling a land by committing mass killings of the natives.

6- To excuse Israel treating its Arabs as sub-humans by saying some countries have official churches is a tragic farce. Do any of those countries have separate laws of marriage and land-ownership and movement for people who do not belong to those churches? And Israeli law does not treat "Jewishness" as a matter of faith; you have all the rights of a Jew, including aliya, even if you are an atheist Jew. It is treated as a race.
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