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Hizbullah: Politics and Religion.(Book Review): An article from: Middle East Policy [HTML] [Digital]

Robert Brenton Betts
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A gratuitous blast at a small nation August 9, 2007
I read the book that Robert Betts reviews in this article. And I'll repeat some of what I said in my Amazon review of it. I generously gave the book three stars.

Amal Saad-Ghorayeb really does examine Hizbu'llah, a Lebanese terrorist organization. And as far as I can tell, she tries very hard to be politically neutral. Unfortunately, she could have done better in that respect.

Saad-Ghorayeb does not shy away from obvious questions about Hizbu'llah. She does mention statements which do "leave the indelible impression that martyrdom" is valued "as an end in itself." She discusses Hizbu'llah's fight against the West. And its anti-Zionism and anti-Judaism.

Now, is this a good scholarly work? It's not all that bad. And it is fascinating. But it could be improved. The first problem is that there is a difference between truth and falsehood. On issues such as Holocaust denial, it would be worth pointing that out. The author could also have explained which side is telling the truth, rather than merely citing opposing claims. And she could even have tried to discuss why one side would indulge in fiction here.

There many are other topics on which I think that Saad-Ghorayeb is simply wrong. She discusses Zionist domination of American films. Obviously, there have been some movies, such as "Exodus," which present an ardently Zionist perspective. But I think she could have simply dropped this topic from her book. That's what I would have done with a topic if I knew as little about it as she does about this one. And she could have presented a discussion of Israel that included arguments for its legitimacy, from a Zionist perspective, just to contrast it with Hizbu'llah's point of view.

Well, what does Robert Betts say about the same book?
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