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The Holocaust Is Over; We Must Rise From its Ashes Hardcover – October 28, 2008


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The Holocaust Is Over; We Must Rise From its Ashes + Memory, History, Forgetting + On Collective Memory (Heritage of Sociology Series)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Trade (October 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230607527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230607521
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,257,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“This is an important book by a very courageous man. The shadow of the Shoah and its abusive application to the contemporary Middle East have been a catastrophe for Jews, Israelis and Arabs alike. In Burg's view Israel must move beyond Hitler's poisoned legacy. If they cannot or will not do this, the Middle East will never see peace and Israel has no future.” -- Tony Judt, bestselling author of Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 and Professor at New York University

“An Israeli-born son of Holocaust survivors, Burg addresses a heartfelt plea to his countrymen: remember the past, but do not be its slaves; pathology is neither patriotism nor statescraft.  A compelling and eloquent cri de coeur from a veteran of Israel's wars and politics.” -- Howard M. Sachar, bestselling author of A History of the Jews in the Modern World and A History of Israel

"Burg takes a blunt, loving, painful and desperately important look at the state of the Jewish soul today. Anyone who cares about the future of the Middle East and the fate of victimized peoples needs to read this book and think hard." -- J.J. Goldberg, author of Jewish Power: Inside the American Jewish Establishment and Editorial Director of The Forward

“This fascinating and thought-provoking book should be read by every person who cares about Israel. Burg's central theme is that Israeli leaders use the memory of the Holocaust in ways that are warping the country's soul, creating unnecessary fear, and making it impossible to achieve peace with the Palestinians.” -- John J. Mearsheimer, bestselling author of The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy and Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago 

"[An] assured and provocative polemic. . . . [A] lecture with much wisdom . . . worthy of global consideration." -- Kirkus Reviews

“An honest reflection of a tormented man searching for the universal values in Judaism.” -- Le Figaro

“In this book of memories and reflections, the former Knesset Speaker delivers his disquieting findings about Israel that 'became a Kingdom without a prophesy.'... Foremost a book of hope from a man who wants to find ways to return Judaism to its universal calling.” --Le Monde

“Short of being Prime Minister, Burg could not be higher in the Zionist establishment.” David Remnick, The New Yorker
 
"Mr. Burg...wrote a powerful book, an indictment of how Zionism and the Holocaust have been used."--Globe and Mail
 
"Avraham Burg has great faith in the creative power of argument.  His book has already provoked much controversy and now that it has been translated is certain to provoke more.  At a time when crass, catchpenny titles pour from the presses, it is that unusual thing: A new book that matters."  --Neil Berry, Arab News

 

About the Author

Avraham Burg is the former Speaker of the Knesset in Israel (1999-2003). He has been active in politics as a leader in the Labor Party and the One Israel party.  His article in The Guardian called "The End of Zionism" was widely read and debated. He lives with his wife in Nataf, a small village outside Jerusalem.
 

 


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Customer Reviews

Just read it please and you can decide then.
Human
Safety for Israel will not come from building fences to keep others out, it will come from opening its doors and hearts to others.
ERH
The centerpiece of the book is the Eichmann trial of 1961, and how that trial acted as showcase for the Holocaust, deliberately.
Brenda Teese

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Margot Salom on July 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found Avraham Burg's book exactly what I was looking for. He has made a courageous statement on the negative effects of holocaust memory on the philosophy and ethics of Israel and the Jewish Diaspora. He makes the cogent point that it is time to move on from the position of 'narcisstic victimology' (not his term). He points out how Israel/Jews are seeing the Shoah (holocaust) as 'sui generis' and are deprecating some of the other 'holocausts/massacres' that have occurred in recent history. Bauer (2001,p20) states that" "the genocide of the Jews was neither better not worse than any other" In this book Burg is discussing the detrimental effects of this belief in the 'unprecedentness' of the Shoah in both Israel and the Diaspora.

Burg makes the important point in the choice of the title of the Hebrew version of his book -"Defeating Hitler" - indeed as another writer (Yehuda Elkana 1988) has stated "this is Hitler's paradoxical and tragic victory" Defeating Hitler is what it is all about.

The final chapters link the initial argument to Judaism and he propounds on "A New Judaism" in which the new prayer book (Siddur) says "You chose us with all of the nations" instead of ' You chose us above ll of the nations".

I can't speak highly enough of this book. Firstly for the courage to say the unsayable. Secondly for the insightful and skilled writing.

Margot Salom
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Alan Mayer-Sommer on July 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Burg writes that disagreement is the essence of written and oral discussion. He delivers on his promise of controversy staking out positions that contradict almost all the positions of the major U.S. Jewish organizations especially AIPAC. This makes his book stimulating and refreshing stating, for example, that a refugee people (Jews establishing Israel) created another refugee people - the Palestinians. I think his message is weakened by some apparently unresolved issues with his father and by a surprisingly unrealistic idealism that frames his answer to the problems and contradictions he raises. The book is worth reading, however, and will surely anger pro-Israel hard-liners.
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53 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on December 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Burg's central thesis is that Israel has changed, and become like some of the nations it abhors - specifically through its constant abuse of Palestinians and increasing belief the Israelis are "God's people" (racism), all the while using the Holocaust as cover. Doing so continues to victimize current generations of Jews.

"The Holocaust is Over" can be seen as a plea for Israelis to stop seeing themselves as victims. Hopefully it will also lead to American politicians ceasing their non-stop slathering over Israel.
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43 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Hank Quevedo on January 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Burg, whose Jewish and Israeli pedigrees are impeccable asks Zionists and his country to put aside the Shoah industry and become less like the Nazis and more like univeralist, humanitarian people of the Book.

Burg's father served on the first Knesset, Avraham served more that once in the Israeli Cabinet and in the Knesset.

This presents an opportunity to hear this modern prophet give permission to rational people to disagree with the colonial character of the new Israel...and not be labeled Anti-Semites.

I have, along with my many fellow Jews, mailed hundreds of this book to Zionist imperialist Officials in Israel.
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39 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Jad Melki on December 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book starts a debate among Israelis that should have taken place decades ago. It sheds an honest light on the situation Israel got itself stuck in through occupation, racism and the cruel subjection of the Palestinians; through the favoring of religious fanaticism over democracy, and through the use of the Holocaust as an excuse for many-many horrific crimes against humanity that are ultimately be self-defeating.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ERH on October 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A courageous book by a brave author with credentials to address this highly controversial topic. Aware that Israel has taken a wrong turn and he has devoted himself to the unpopular cause of bringing that awareness to his compatriots so that a radical change can come about. Israel must leave the past behind and take on the responsibilities of the present. Safety for Israel will not come from building fences to keep others out, it will come from opening its doors and hearts to others. It is only then that Israel will become a true part of the brotherhood of nations not as a paranoid victim of past atrocities, but as an equal partner worthy of respect and support. That would be moving forward into a future of hope and freedom rather than remaining stuck in the chains of past despair.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jerzy Halbersztadt on May 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An excellent new insight in challenges of Israeli politics. Logically leads to a radical re-visiting of the problem of Israeli-Palestinian relations. Historical problems are very personally addressed from a perspective of a young Israeli politician who revolts against a thinking of his father - one of the founders of the State of Israel. An extra bonus: an untypical description of the Eichmann's trial and what it changed in Israel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hesperus on May 29, 2014
Format: Hardcover
There are quite a few thing that I might disagree with this chap about, his dislike of vinegar for one. But I think this book is one of the finest that I have read in quite a long time. I may not agree with certain elements of his left wing humanist perspective but I believe that it is a better discourse on the past present and future of Israel and the Jewish people than anything I have seen so far.

It also reads like a personal essay at times, his words about his family and his father are particularly touching.
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