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Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East Hardcover – January 20, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0745327556 ISBN-10: 0745327559

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Pluto Press (January 20, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745327559
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745327556
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,524,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


One of the most cogent understandings of the modern Middle East I have read. It is superb, because the author himself is a unique witness who blows away the media debris and presents both a j'accuse of those who would destroy the lives of whole societies in their pursuit of power and myth, and a warning to the rest of us to speak up and act. -- John Pilger, author of Freedom Next Time (2006) and The New Rulers of the World (2003) A compelling account of the recent wars for Middle East oil, untangling a complex web of interests shared by the neocons, Israel and the Bush White House. Cook's timely book raises disturbing questions about where Israel and the US hope to push the region next. -- David Hirst, author of The Gun and the Olive Branch (2003) American-Israeli relations have intrigued, occupied and preoccupied two generations of scholars and of politicians around the world. Which of the two is the contemporary Rome and which is the belligerent Sparta in the Middle East? Jonathan Cook's book undeniably enriches and elevates the debate. -- Afif Safieh, Palestinian Ambassador in Washington In this well-researched and very readable book, Nazareth-based journalist Jonathan Cook traces the developments of the last few decades that have led to the dangerous and deplorable state of affairs in the Middle East today. -- Sally Bland, Jordan Times

About the Author

Jonathan Cook, a former staff journalist for the Guardian and Observer newspapers, has also written for The Times, Le Monde diplomatique, International Herald Tribune, Al-Ahram Weekly and Aljazeera.net. He is based in Nazareth. Jonathan is the author of Blood and Religion (Pluto Press).

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Samir Kassir on April 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
Amidst the flood of neo-conservative diatribe, I found this book a refreshing attempt to present an oppressed viewpoint that has no place in the mainstream American media (in print or on screen). No matter how you turn it, there is merit that the Bush Administration would win hands down the title of being the most pro-Israel in US history. Whether by continuously pretending to championing a Palestinian state, paying lip-service to continued Israeli violations of international law since 1947, not doing something about the construction of an apartheid wall that eats up what remained of Palestinian territory, not lifting a hand about continued Israeli settlement of an increasingly shrinking Palestinian promised state, etc. One could be pro-Israel or anti-Israel, but one can only be blind to ignore the basic fact which has to do with the 60-year occupation of Palestinian land by Israel and the on-going attempts to take possession of the land. An occupation that does not differ at all from colonial settler occupations elsewhere in the world.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By John E. Brosseau on November 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
Jonathon Cook places the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the perspective
of Israeli and neo-con foreign policy. Of course, Iran is next on the
list. I see no reason why President-to-be Obama won't follow through,
even if he cuts our losses and gets out of Iraq. The tight links
between Israel and the neo-cons and between the neo-cons and the US
foreign policy establishment are laid out in detail.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Thomas S.Karat on July 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
The Book:

In "Israel and the clash of civilizations Jonathan Cook argues that the prevalent view of Iraq's fate - that its civil war was a terrible and unforeseen consequence of the US invasion and a series of bad decisions made by the occupation regime - is profoundly mistaken. Rather, civil war and partition were the intended outcome of the invasion and seen as beneficial to American interests, or at least they were by a small group of ultra-hawks known as the neoconservatives who came to dominate the White House under President George W.Bush. The neoconservatives' understanding of American interests in the Middle East was little different from that of previous administrations: securing control of oil in the Persian Gulf. But what distinguished Bush's invasion of Iraq from similar US attempts at regime change was the strategy used to achieve this goal.

This distinctive new strategy for regime overthrow adopted by the White House originated far from Washington, and was apparently opposed by most of the country's senior military command and by the Sate Department under Colin Powell. In the early 1980s Israel's security establishment has developed ideas about dissolving the other states of the Middle East to encourage ethnic and religious discord. This was in essence a re-imagining of the regional power structure that had existed under the Ottomans - before the arrival of the European colonialists and their forced reordering of the Middle East into nation states - but with Israel replacing the Turks as the local imperial power. In this way, hoped Israel and the neocons, large and potentially powerful states such as Iraq and Iran could be partitioned between their rival ethnic and sectarian communities.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Alan Holman on November 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
If this type of material was better available in the western education systems, the neocons and their allies would have a harder time using their sound bites like `axis of evil' and `weapons of mass destruction' to rally the troops.

All too often, well meaning, poorly educated and ill-informed patriots rally to the flag to fight wars in places they couldn't even find on a map just a few weeks before.

Only after countless thousands are killed or maimed, and millions displaced, do they ask themselves `what the hell am I doing here anyway'? All too late the neocon's intentions are exposed and the returning patriots receive less than a hero's welcome.

During the 1990's the neocons would have us believe that Iranian woman were getting their faces slashed by razors for wearing lipstick in public places. I was in Tehran during the 90's and noted the high percentage of woman wearing lipstick. In fact it was quiet pleasant to take an evening stroll around the city parks and watch the families chatting, having an Ice cream and generally enjoying themselves. Just a decade earlier America had backed `good old boy' Saddam Hussein to murder hundreds of thousands of Iranians in a proxy war that included the use of chemical weapons.

More recently during the Medicare debates, one neocon advised that `Americans didn't need a medical care system like Britain or North Korea'. Exactly who was the target audience here? Is it possible to find any Americans that would believe the upmarket `cradle to grave' medical systems available in Britain (and most Western countries) are even vaguely similar to those in North Korea? These neocons must be fishing for dummies.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By William Podmore on April 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
Jonathan Cook, a journalist, has written an interesting book. Its strength lies in its shrewd analysis of the Zionist state's schemes to dominate the Middle East. Its weakness lies in the unrealistic treatment of the other forces in the region.

Cook sees nothing wrong with Hamas or with the fascistic Iranian government. He also ignores the problems of Islamic fundamentalism and of terrorism, and the role of the Saudi state in funding and promoting fundamentalism and terrorism. Does he think that those who oppose fundamentalism and Sharia Law are `Islamophobes'?

He notes that the British state supported Zionism from the start of the last century, and that the Macmillan government gave Israel the nuclear bomb after Suez. But he does not mention that the British state has supported Israel ever since, never more than under Blair and Brown. He also ignores the US-British-Israeli alliance and the EU's role in backing Israel.

The only acceptable and effective regime change is from within, by class struggle. Occupation by outsiders produces only a war of all against all, the sectarian chaos of feuding warlords and clans, as in pre-revolutionary China and now in occupied Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan. Now the US-British-Israeli alliance aims to do the same to Iran, Syria and Lebanon. Israel's government wants not `two states for two peoples', but `five states for two peoples'; the core, Israel, surrounded by a ring of armed settlement blocs, and then by four isolated Bantustans for the Palestinians.

Of course, we must oppose the US, British and Israeli states' wars for power and oil in the Middle East. But we must also oppose Islamic fundamentalism.
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