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Is It Good for the Jews?: The Crisis of America's Israel Lobby Hardcover – September 19, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; First Edition edition (September 19, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038551025X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385510257
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,471,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this broadside against conventional American Jewish political thinking, Schwartz (The Two Faces of Islam) repeatedly poses the question "is it good for the Jews?"—concluding that neoconservativism would be, but the Democratic Party isn't. Schwartz (a convert from Judaism to Islam) argues that the community's leadership, including pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC, has let down its constituency by failing to embrace neoconservativism's "universal, humanistic and liberal values" and inadequately responding to the "tidal wave of Jew-baiting" he believes preceded the Iraq war. Yet he backs his claims with speculative statements, while dismissing others' positions as "mak[ing] no sense" or insulting the messengers (e.g., "incompetent Western journalists and bought-off policy experts" are behind the dubious notion of an al-Qaeda/Saddam Hussein connection). The last sentence declares AIPAC to be "on the edge of its demise," but Schwartz provides no data to support such a prediction. He offers only an account of the spy scandal in which AIPAC has been embroiled since 2004, which led to tension with the administration, but which, Schwartz admits, also led to "an exceptional upsurge in donations" to the organization. Though the book has little to recommend it, it's likely to make waves regardless. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The so-called Israel lobby has recently become a favorite whipping boy of both the extreme Right and the extreme Left (and occasionally the less-extreme Left) in American political discourse. Schwartz is a former staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle and has been an editor of the Jewish periodical Forward. He offers an analysis of the lobby and its critics and considers both the current effectiveness and utility of the lobby. Schwartz is quite strident in his criticisms of Jewish organizations for their passivity during the Holocaust. He is equally severe, and perhaps unfair, in his attacks on those who today criticize the influence of Jewish groups on American policy in the Middle East. Schwartz correctly emphasizes the distinction between influencing government policy and controlling it. But when he constantly labels those who question the influence of the Israel lobby as anti-Semitic and calls their criticism "filth," he precludes serious discussion of the issue. Still, in describing the history and process of Jewish efforts to influence American foreign policy, Schwartz sheds light on a topic that has been subject to distortion and misunderstanding. Jay Freeman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on August 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
"Is It Good for the Jews" would probably give Einstein a headache trying to follow its logic. Schwartz concludes that the "Jewish lobby" has little power, ignoring the statement of AIPAC's former policy director - Steven Rosen. ("A lobby is like a night flower. It flourishes in the dark and dies in the sun." Ergo - a successful lobby is one hidden in the background.)

Rather than attempt to rebut Schwartz's logic item by item, one can accomplish the same result simply by reading today's (8/16/2007) New York Times. "Backlash Over Book on Policy For Israel" describes how a book by Harvard and Univ. of Chicago authors asserting "that a powerful pro-Israel lobby has a pernicious influence on American policy" has created a powerful backlash and difficulty offering forums for the authors to speak. Then, there are the frequent justifications for our Iraq War and a proposed attack on Iran that are based on defending Israel.

One wonders what Schwartz would consider to be the results of a strong Jewish lobby. (Incidentally, Einstein opposed the creation of the Jewish state - seeing it as a form of Fascism and deploring its treatment of the Arabs. Yet, our support has been unwavering during Bush 43's tenure.)
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By Amazon Customer on April 11, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very good book. A lot of useful information about the Jewish lobby in the United States, but also about what happens behind the scenes in american politics
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By Richard on June 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Came as expected--great price. Have only started reading but seems to be accurate so far and highly eye-opening. Thank you.
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By Gina Allensworth on May 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Started reading this book the day I received it ; could not put it down! I thought it well written, and a GREAT value! Outstanding service from the seller. I have already began looking for books that are similar. Highly recommend this purchase!!
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6 of 14 people found the following review helpful By myra b on May 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
there may have been a acse to be argued, but the book is so strident, overblown and offensive in its treatement of all he disagrees with that it becomes counter-productive
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