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Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel

3.7 out of 5 stars 389 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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Praise for the author:
''A brave and resourceful reporter adept at turning over rocks.'' --New York Times Book Review, praise for the author --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

MAX BLUMENTHAL is one of the most frequently cited young liberal journalists in America. He is a correspondent for the Daily Beast, a research fellow for Media Matters, and a Puffin Foundation writing fellow at the Nation Institute. He lives in Brooklyn. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Preloaded Digital Audio Player
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks (June 11, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1470885409
  • ISBN-13: 978-1470885403
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (389 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,723,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been following Israeli news and politics and visiting the region for ten years, so there was little in this book that was fundamentally new to me. But for anyone who didn't have time to keep up with the evolution of Israeli culture and politics over the last several years, this book is an excellent (and grimly entertaining) way to catch up.

An increasingly proudly racist segment of Israeli society has become mainstreamed and acceptable, saying things about Palestinians (or rather 'Arabs,' since they won't deign to use the word 'Palestinian') that would make any Jim Crow partisan cringe with shame, kicking Bedouin off of land they have lived on for generations and into ghettos/reservations simply because they are not Jewish, forming vigilante groups to keep Jewish women from dating Arab men, and marching provocatively through Muslim neighborhoods in shows of force, contempt, and intimidation.

And this is in Israel proper. In the Palestinian territories, the situation is even more dire. From "price tag" operations to rabbis who advocate the killing of non-Jewish children, it's a parallel universe, a parade of horrors of blind hatred and violence likened in many cases to "pogroms" even in the Israeli press.

When the vast majority of the Jewish Israeli public supported the grisly, pointless slaughter of Operation Cast Lead, it was truly a new low. The US government supports the Israeli government and its policies to the tune of $8 million every day, yet the American press tells us virtually nothing about these trends.

There are good people and great activists in Israel doing terrific and genuine work toward peace. But to understand what they are really up against -- not to mention what the Palestinians are up against -- this is an important book to read and an important set of realities to understand.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From the moment I received this book I wasn't able to put it down. It's made up of short succinct chapters, each of which is a snapshot of Israeli society and politics, interwoven with deeply personal and human stories, historical background, and on the ground investigative journalism. While there are hundreds of books telling us about the how and the what of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this book talks about something that nobody touches upon in mainstream discourse, the WHY. Max Blumenthal steps deep into the belly of Israeli society and thoroughly documents the racism, fanaticism, religious fundamentalism, greed, violence, and hysteria that animates the state and its institutions. Once you understand these aspects of Israeli society, understanding the political, demographic and geographic dimensions of the conflict becomes a simple matter of logic.

I doubt that many of the one star reviewers actually read this book. This is evidenced by the fact that most of them use a single template of first attacking the author then trying to scare people away from buying the book (a really desperate tactic). But there are those that did read the book and I think their reviews are completely understandable. If your worldview necessitates a belief that Israel is inherently righteous, facts to the contrary are deeply disturbing. The cognitive dissonance of seeing these facts (full references are provided for everything in the book) and trying to square that with your faith in Israeli righteousness must be a nightmare.
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Format: Hardcover
Contrary to what partisans may assume--and, for those who don't actually read this masterful book, will likely tell others in all-caps and insults--Max Blumenthal has entered the world of Israeli politics with eyes wide-opened, valuing rigorous and fair-minded reportage over judgement and aspersion. Mostly, he let's his subjects speak. And what they say is deeply disturbing.

Operating within the space carved out by liberal Zionists who also worry about the "demographic problem," large and growing segments of the Israeli right have become proto-fascist. I do not say this lightly. But from the slew of anti-democratic laws, street harassment of Arabs, immigrants, and dissidents, racist fear-mongering as a matter of routine political practice, and the repression of an already compliant media, this is the only rational conclusion one can draw.

The brilliance of "Goliath" is not that Blumenthal tells us this frightening conclusion; he vividly shows us.

I cannot more highly recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I couldn't help noticing that dozens of this book's five star reviews are from customers who bought, & presumably actually have read the book, since their posts are identified as an "Amazon Verified Purchase". Of course, others may have purchased it somewhere other than Amazon. But, that made me curious, so I also checked the 64 one star reviews. Not a single one of them (out of 64!!), was a "Verified Amazon Purchase". Now, that's way beyond odd! It seems as though there's a campaign going on to bash this book, by people who in all likelihood have never even read it. And they don't want us to read it, either! They don't want us to hear what the author has to say. Which is why I'm placing my order for this book. Will try to return with my thoughts on content, after a careful reading.
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