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Defending the Holy Land: A Critical Analysis of Israel's Security & Foreign Policy Paperback – January 1, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0472033416 ISBN-10: 0472033417
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 728 pages
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press (January 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0472033417
  • ISBN-13: 978-0472033416
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #478,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Smith on January 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think even the detractors of this book will have to at least admit that this book is a very brave endeavor by the author. The analysis that Maoz gives us here is at times subjective which does leave the author open to criticism, but he takes such a scientific approach in analyzing the evidence that any critic will be hard pressed to find flaws in his methodology.

The book is not for the casual reader or those with just a passing interest in Israel or the Arab/Israeli conflict. The author uses almost fifty pages at the very beginning of the book to explain to readers his methodological approach to analysis of Israeli defense policy. I for one have never read such a detailed analysis of an approach to analysis before. Any potential reader should be prepared for a dense work that requires a lot from the reader.

If you decide to take on this book I think you will be rewarded with the best analysis of Israeli defense policy there is out there. The information is neutral and based on the best evidence available and presented in a rational and almost clinical fashion.

Maoz goes into great detail about how the IDF has had too much influence on policy making decisions within the government, and how civilian leadership has played a subservient role to defense needs. He goes on to explain how this lack of civilian leadership has created a process by which military solutions to conflicts take a priority role over political solutions. This has affected Israel's peace making efforts in the region. Israel has been all to willing to embark on some extremely risky military adventures to seek an end or at least an improvement vis-à-vis its neighbors, but at the same time Israel has been unwilling to try even moderately risky attempts at political solutions.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Israel Supporter on July 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Prof. Maoz analyzes the evidence underlying the basic beliefs about Israel's military policy and history, held by most Israelis and supporters of Israel. From a pro-Israel perspective, Maoz's work is a call for change within Israel to promote new institutions that would lead to non-military solutions. The chapter pointing out the flaws in Israel's nuclear policy is extremely important in view of the current nuclear build-up in Iran.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By ammou on June 27, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The following two paragraphs summarize the ideas the author discusses in the book:

* P 35 "(...) most of the wars in which Israel was involved were the result of deliberate Israeli aggressive design (...) None of these wars -with the possible exception of the 1948 War of independence- was what Israel refers to as Milhemet Ein Berah(" war of necessity"). They were all wars of choice"
* P 40 "I review a number of peace-related opportunities ranging from the Zionist-Hashemite collusion in 1947 through the collapse of the Oslo Process in 2000. In all those cases I find that Israeli decision makers-who had been willing to embark upon bold and daring military adventures- were extremely reluctant to make even the smallest concessions for peace (...) I also find in many cases Israel was engaged in sysrematic violations of agreements and tacit understandings between itself and its neibours."

Zeev Maoz, an Israeli citizen, is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Davis. He is the former head of the Graduate School of Government and Policy and the prestigious Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, as well as the former academic director of the M. A. Program at the Israeli Defense Forces' National Defense college.

The book is meticulously researched and the author knows his stuff, I highly recommend this book for those who want to understand why there is no peace in Israel/ Palestine.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Edgar Hopida on September 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
Dr. Zeev Maoz who is a former head of the Graduate School of Government and Policy, and the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University as well as an Academic Director at the Israeli Defense Forces National Defense College, presents a comprehensive analysis of Israel's Foreign Policy and Security objectives.

Any serious student or scholar who has interest in Israel/Palestine conflict must read this book. Detailed documentation and expert analysis, this book will show you that Israel's flawed policies and objectives are among the prime reasons why the conflict has not ended.
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