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Right to Exist: A Moral Defense of Israel's Wars Paperback – November 9, 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

For Lozowick, author of Hitler's Bureaucrats and director of the archives at Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust museum, "[i]t is astonishing how deep-seated the fear of covert Jewish power really is." This book is his attempt at "a moral evaluation of the facts" of the various wars and current struggles among Israel, Palestine and other Arab states. Lozowick is deeply critical of the "confusion, ineptitude, bad faith, waste, poor taste, callousness and stupidity" that he finds within Zionism (as in "any other large-scale human project"), but he nevertheless concludes that "the will to murder Jews was never the result of oppression and can never be resolved by removing it."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Lozowick is a historian and director of archives at Israel's Holocaust Museum. Like the proverbial liberal who is mugged into conservatism, he is a former peace activist who voted for Ariel Sharon in response to the collapse of the Oslo process and the ongoing violence directed at Israeli civilians. Lozowick convincingly asserts that Israel is now, as before, struggling against opponents whose goal is the eventual destruction of the Jewish state. In examining the entire history of the Zionist enterprise, he illustrates both the moral justification of that enterprise and of the wars Israelis have been compelled to fight to preserve their independence. He refutes the oft-repeated screeds that Israel is a "racist" state, and he reserves special contempt for those European "peace activists," who are, in effect, apologists for those who deliberately blow up themselves and children. Those who demand that the U.S. pursue a more "balanced" approach to the conflict will not like this book, but it is an eloquent and necessary justification of Israel's right to defend itself. Jay Freeman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor (November 9, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400032431
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400032433
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,119,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This absorbing, well written, impassioned study by a historian and director of Israel's Holocaust museum, is extremely well presented, providing what could be called a "moral evaluation" of the facts surrounding the historical context pertaining to the ongoing situation in the Middle East. A study which exposes how the present, "flawed" perception of the Arab-Israeli conflict permeating the International community is shown to have fanned the flames of an ever increasing hatred of the Jewish people and their nation.
The book is quite powerful and transports the reader into the experience & world of the Jew with the sense of frustration being almost palpable from the text. A study that will hold the reader's attention throughout .
The title of this work ("Right To Exist") speaks volumes in itself and is described as a damning indictment upon much of modern day society where many intellectuals & public figures (including University professors, media distorters, anti-Semites and alleged "peace activists") are said to have used their positions as platforms from which to unjustly vilify the State of Israel. The implications of their actions are discussed at various places in the text.
The book in no way objects to criticism of the Jewish State as long as that analysis of Israel is "comparative, contextual, and fair". However the book contends strongly that the Jewish nation is the only one criticized for faults that are far worse among other nations and that this criticism crosses the line from being acceptable to blatantly anti-Semitic.
The source of this work describes himself as a "lifelong liberal, peace activist and a seeker of justice", critical of some Israeli Government policies, but someone whose attitude changed following the increase of Palestinian terrorism etc.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a good book for someone like me. I realize that Israel's cause is just and that, as one of the few democracies in the Middle East (and the only one until very recently), it deserves my support. I also find it hard to articulate just how disgusting the all out Jew-hatred is among too many Muslims and Western intellectuals and how stomach-turning the Palestinians have become with their tactics. Even without every detail at my disposal, I know the Palestinians have rejected their own state at least twice and now blame Israel for their present circumstances. Yet I wanted more information on these subjects and RIGHT TO EXIST by Yaacov Lozowick provided it.

The book is a bit slow going at first by taking us through the history of Zionism and how it developed into a burgeoning movement in the late 19th to early 20th Centuries. For people not of a Jewish background, many of the Hebrew terms and place names can be a tad difficult to keep straight. But groundwork must be laid and here it is.

The middle sections of the book pick up steam and discuss the particulars of Israel's various wars. Lozowick is exceptionally impressive here as he in no way attempts to sidestep numerous mistakes Israel has made in her history in the conduct of these wars. Yet the point is never lost that these mistakes were made within the context of just wars inflicted upon Israel by neighboring Islamic states that simply refuse to recognize a Jewish state. Further, the mistakes Israel has made have been the exceptions. For the most part, Israel recognizes how to fight its fights in a moral fashion and has done so even in the absence of one scrap of reciprocity.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The tiny, democratic, western industrialized nation of Israel has been under relentless attack, not just by its Arab enemies but by a growing class of haughty post-modern European elites. In their efforts to de-legitimize Israel, her enemies not only wrongly attack her present efforts to defend against a murderous onslaught but, in Orlwellian fashion, recreate history to create a phony justification for Israel's pariah status. Many of Israel's own defenders and supporters have fallen into a trap by accepting the premise that Israel is an immoral state, born in sin. As Yaacov, Lozowick, former Labour supporter, current Sharon voter, demonstrates in this excellent book, nothing could be farther from the truth. In presenting the moral case for Israel's actions to ensure its own survival, Lozowick makes no effort to cover up or exonerate Israel's wrongful actions, of which their are many. Indeed, he makes no excuses for the relatively rare number of atrocities committed by Jews against Arabs but simply points out how such actions are always rejected by Israeli society at large while the reverse is surely not true. Moreover, he is critical of numerous Israeli actions and policies that he thinks were wrong or incorrect but that don't really rise to the level of "atrocity", such as Israel's settlement policies or the Lebanon War. It is this willingness to criticize that which cannot be defended that strengthens his argument that Israel is a just society that fights wars in a just manner even while its enemies commit savage crimes against humanity.
Lozowick's purpose here is not to write a history of Israel's wars but to set forth a moral justification for those wars. In this he fully succeeds merely by presenting the truth in a coherent manner.
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