From Publishers Weekly
The Western media commonly report that in much of the Middle East, anti-Zionism has edged into full-blown anti-Semitism, and Timmerman, in this travel journal intermixed with political analysis, gives potent and frightening examples of this phenomenon. The most visceral, and common, illustration he has found in interviewing Middle Eastern clerics, reporters and politicians is the widespread acceptance of the 1895 fraudulent document The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which details an alleged Jewish plot for world domination. Over the past two decades, he reports, the Protocols have become required reading throughout most Arab countries. Equally frightening is his analysis of the anti-Semitic sentiments routinely found in school texts in Arab countries. Timmerman, who has written for Time, Newsweek and Reader's Digest, has a forthright and compelling journalistic style that is also highly opinionated and often inflammatory. Many of his noteworthy reports and observations are undercut by heedless generalizations, such as his comment that "among European limousine liberals... it has become fashionable to [want Israel] punished by the international community, or simply eradicated," which will seem to many to be a gross simplification of a very complicated political reality. When he is not writing about the Middle East, Timmerman takes on such topics as what he sees as anti-Americanism on U.S. university campuses with the same lack of delicacy. MIT linguistics professor Noam Chomsky is described as typifying "the hate-America-first faction of campus radicals" and Timmerman baldly misrepresents his political positions. Timmerman, whose best selling Shakedown: Exposing the Real Jesse Jackson made the bestseller lists but which was frequently and severely criticized for its reliance on incendiary far-right rhetoric, has touched on some important topics in this book, but they are to a large degree lost in his tendency to overgeneralize and overstate.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Timmerman, an investigative reporter, offers a "layman's guide" and personal account of the troubling growth of anti-Semitism. Using his years of reporting in the Middle East and Europe, Timmerman examines the politics that demonize Israel--and, increasingly, the U.S.--for failures of domestic policy in many Arab nations. He sees the "ideological prologue" to 9/11 occurring days before in the UN World Conference against Racism, which allowed the venting against racism and imperialism by Jesse Jackson, Fidel Castro, Yasser Arafat, and a host of others who prominently targeted the U.S and Israel. Timmerman recounts several attacks on Israel, including a gruesomely detailed account of a suicide bombing in a hotel where Jews were gathered to celebrate Passover. He provides historical perspective on anti-Semitism, including the "definitive text," The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
, which is taken very seriously and literally by many Arabs. Timmerman cautions that the shared values of Israel and the U.S. make them targets for the hatred practiced by rabid anti-Semites. Vanessa BushCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved