Politicide: The Real Legacy of Ariel Sharon 1st Edition

16 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1844675326
ISBN-10: 1844675327
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

One of Israel's well-known leftist academics, Kimmerling trains his polemical sights here on Ariel Sharon. Israel's prime minister, he argues, is pursuing "politicide," which he defines as activities designed to "destroy the political national existence of a whole community of people and thus deny it the possibility of self-determination." This policy, Kimmerling says, has long been Sharon's goal, whether as a daring commander in retaliatory raids during the 1950s, in the 1982 Lebanon war or in his policies as prime minister. Sharon, he argues, is using the latest peace plan-the Bush administration-backed "road map"-as a pretext: he is counting on the Palestinians to give him an excuse to further his aims. The 1967 Six-Day War is the critical moment in Kimmerling's analysis. Israel's victory in that war gave it control over the West Bank and emboldened nationalists and messianists to blind themselves to the Palestinians and their fundamental rights. As a result, both sides have become locked into mindsets that preclude a satisfactory peace treaty. These sections are his most compelling: Kimmerling writes persuasively and well, although some may wonder why he looks at Sharon with a much more jaundiced eye than at Yasser Arafat. But his analysis of Sharon's designs, while plausible, are less convincing, and his description of Sharon's regime as "semi-fascist" will antagonize many readers. Given the latest events surrounding the "road map," only time will tell whether Kimmerling's doomsday scenario-the destruction of both the Palestinians and the Israelis-will come true.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“This timely and highly readable book by one of Israel’s leading dissident intellectuals is essential for those interested in going beyond the headlines in order to understand the failure of the Palestinian-Israeli ‘peace process.’”—Library Journal

“Timely and well-argued.”—The Nation

“Insightful, informative, and, yes, judiciously balanced.”—Foreign Affairs

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Verso; 1 edition (May 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844675327
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844675326
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,445,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By William D. Aitken on July 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Professor Baruch Kimmerling's essay on the failure of the Middle East peace process coins the term `politicide' to describe Israel's denial of the Palestinians' right to function as a social, political and economic entity. An unintended legacy of Ariel Sharon's Peronist-style authoritarian government, he maintains, is the victory of Hamas in the January 2006 elections to the Palestinian Authority Legislative Council. To all appearances the situation thus remains as deadlocked as ever. As an inevitable consequence of Israel's hard-line policy the PA Legislative Council is now dominated by a faction which in its turn endorses politicide, that of the Jewish state.

The very nature of the Zionist undertaking, according to Kimmerling, must logically entail the politicide of the Palestinian people. The democracy which Israel has evolved is, in fact, a `Herrenvolk' democracy; that is, existing for the benefit of a privileged caste lording it over a subject population. The chauvinism of Israel's leaders is all the more suspect for being religion-based. Kimmerling does not recognise the 2,000 year-old `exile' from the Holy Land as favouring the Zionist cause. Indeed, most of the Jewish people who fled the East European pogroms of 1880-81 entertained no concept of a Biblical homeland to which they should return, choosing instead to move westward. The rigid adherence to scriptural fiat is thus seen as a crime against reason. Those guilty of it include the Gush Emunim settler movement and an obnoxious Christian fundamentalist clique in America which brooks no criticism of Sharon and his ilk and holds that the post-`67 capture of Jewish holy places by Israel was divinely ordained.
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful By William Podmore on August 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In this extremely useful book, the Israeli historian Baruch Kimmerling shows how the Sharon government is committing politicide by destroying the Palestinian public sphere, including its leaders, schools, universities and hospitals, destroying the Palestinian private sphere by making everyday life unbearable for people, in an effort to dissolve the Palestinian people as a legitimate society, polity and economy.

Kimmerling details Sharon's record as a warrior against civilians, and his consistent use of a strategy of provocations: the 1953 massacre in Qibiya, the 1955 Gaza raid into Egypt, his forces' killing of 1,000 civilians in the Gaza Strip between 1967 and 1970, the 1982 invasion of Lebanon which killed 18,000 people, his connivance in the Sabra and Shatila massacres, and how he provoked the September 2000 Intifada.

Kimmerling describes Israel's growing fascist tendencies: he says it is becoming `a Thatcherite and semi-fascist regime', with reduced freedom of expression, all opposition smeared as treason, the army's growing involvement in politics, one-man rule, the demonising of Palestinians and Arabs, and the destruction of Palestinian society through economic privation, violence and terror.

Menachem Begin admitted that Israel attacked Egypt in 1967, in the war that led to Israel's brutal and illegal occupations. Now, in re-occupying Palestinian territories, Israeli forces have killed 250 Palestinian children, and 72 Israeli children have been killed. Since September 2000, 2,546 Palestinians and 892 Israelis have been killed, and 23,930 Palestinians and 5,973 Israelis have been injured.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By E. Rodin MD on July 8, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Professor Kimmerling's book is an important contribution to the understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian war and should be read by everyone who is concerned about the future of our country. America's Middle East policy is at this time not evenhanded but clearly favors Israel's wishes over those of other countries in the region. Since Kimmerling documents the oppressive policies of Israel toward its conquered Palestinian population Americans need to read this book which presents the proverbial other side of the coin.

This is especially topical now when guns are blazing again in Gaza and Israel uses the pretext of freeing a kidnapped soldier to punish the Palestinian people for democratically electing a Hamas led government. The current situation clearly proves Kimmerling's point, that a viable Palestinian state will not be tolerated by Israel's government.

The book discusses the "pre-emptive" 1967 war which led to the Yom Kippur war and the ill advised invasion of Lebanon for which Sharon was mainly responsible. He was also the main architect of the settlement program in the occupied territories which has now become a millstone around the neck not only of Israelis and Palestinians but also Americans because neither of the parties can see a just solution to this increasingly vexing problem. Kimmerling's excerpts from "Machsomwatch," which detail the conditions Palestinians are forced to live under are especially poignant.

When one reads this book it becomes clear why the rest of the world does not trust America at this time and only when America will begin to support, instead of vetoing, resolutions in the UN which demand an end to Israel's current practices will there be a semblance of hope for peace.
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