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A State Beyond the Pale: Europe's Problem With Israel Paperback – November 1, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


"Robin Shepherd...explains that Europe's pacifism is not, despite what it likes to believe, a symptom of maturity, but of tiredness, nihilism and suicide. Europeans no longer believe in Europe, they are not prepared to fight for it, and they are unwilling to believe that its enemies are willing to destroy it. So had the Nazis not faced the golden generation but instead the bed-wetter generation, how would history have spanned out?" TELEGRAPH.CO.UK - 7.09.09 "Shepherd's well-documented, elegantly written and powerfully argued book is a must-read for anyone interested in this subject" STANDPOINT - 1.10.09 "very readable, uncompromising and heartfelt book...he should be praised for going against the grain of elite opinion in providing a small antidote to the arsenic that all too often passes for legitimate debate on Israel in today's Europe." -- Rory Miller is Professor at King's College, London SUNDAY BUSINESS POST 27.09.09 "meticulously documented, cogently argued, and brilliantly illuminated book... This is the best book on the Middle East conflict to appear in years, albeit one deeply disquieting for friends of Israel. It should be compulsory reading for all professing interest or expertise on the subject." -- David Conway, senior research fellow at Civitas THE JEWISH CHRONICLE 06.09.09 "a chilling but outstanding analysis of why Europe has turned against Israel, which I commend as essential reading for anyone engaged in Jewish advocacy" JERUSALEM POST "The aim of this book is to trace the roots of the rising hostility to Israel within Europe... The book's central questions are where does all this anti-Israel bias stem from and is it really justified?" GOOD BOOK GUIDE 01.10.09 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Robin Shepherd is a former senior fellow at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, and a former foreign correspondent for the Times in Moscow. The author of Czechoslovakia: The Velvet Revolution and Beyond, he has appeared frequently on the BBC, CNN, and other broadcast outlets.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix (November 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753827131
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753827130
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.9 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,731,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Caped Crusader on November 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In a State Beyond the Pale, Robin Shepherd has written a devastating critique of arguments and accusations levelled at Israel in the battleground of public opinion. This isn't so much a book about the 'usual issues' we hear, it's more a book about what critics of Israel say and think; the reaction to Israel, rather than solely being about Israel.

Sheppard is an immensely creative writer, never once needing to 'cry wolf' and settle for the label 'antisemite' as defence for Israel. He looks at a broad range of arguments from journalists, writers, politicians and people when discussing Israel, and builds his case very convincingly for what is fair, and unfair criticism of Israel. He even rejects Bat Ye'or's prolific Eurabia, which has become a source of inspiration to so many writers on this subject. This may ruffle a few feathers among the die-hard Israel lovers...

Quite interestingly, and probably quite indicative of the arguments relating to Israel, is the preface and introduction, both of which are 51 pages long (out of a 310 page book). But this by no means reading 51 pages before getting to the heart of the matter. From the first page Shepherd wastes no time in getting down to business saying 'Arguments relating to this subject very quickly become personal; arguments should be judged on their own merits, not on who's making them.' I had quite forgotten what part of the book I was reading before turning the page and seeing "Chapter 1". It's fair to say this is an engrossing read!

It would be easy to compare this to
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55 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAME on November 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The war against the Jews has two fronts, one in the Middle East which is the scene of terrorism and the other in the media where a battle for minds takes place. Israel is well capable of defending itself physically but has not done so well in the other war as Stephanie Gutmann wrote some years ago. Openly antisemitic hostility towards Israel is common throughout the Arab world; spread through mosques, madrassas and the internet. This propaganda has infected the entire Islamic world, including Europe where Muslim numbers and influence are increasing. This demographic factor is expertly dissected by Rafael Israeli in his book on Elemental and Residual Anti-Semitism.

Here, Robin Shepherd examines the crucial battle of ideas between non-Muslim westerners that Israel is losing. He documents and analyses in meticulous detail the expanding scope and influence of the enmity towards Israel among European opinion-formers. During the past decades this animosity has spread from the far left to the mainstream liberal-left as Bernard Harrison reveals in The Resurgence of Anti-Semitism and Manfred Gerstenfeld in Behind The Humanitarian Mask with reference to Scandinavia. Major UK media like The Guardian, Independent and BBC are at the forefront while on the continent recent examples were provided by the Swedish paper Aftonbladet and the Spanish El Mundo.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Allen Roth on December 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
A State Beyond the Pale is a must read for anyone who cares about the State of Israel, is concerned about antisemitism and injustice and people who care about the role of the media in free societies.Unlike other books defending Israel, this insightful study by Robin Shepherd allows the facts to speak for themselves. He lets Israel's critics indict themselves by their words and actions. This method of analysis makes Shepherd's work one of the most compelling studies of how Israel has gone in Europe from ally to fiend in a short period of time.

Along with being rich in analysis, this book is beautifully written. Shepherd has an expert eye for the quote and the fact that is central to understanding the big picture. Shepherd clearly knows his subject matter inside and out. And he knows how to present his arguments and conclusions.

I highly recommend that anyone interested in the future of Israel read this book.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By O Shepard on March 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
No doubt the best book on Israel I have read in a long time. This short but readable book by Robin Shepard, Director of International Affairs of the Henry Jackson Society in the UK, has cut through the misinformation, anti-israeli propaganda, and outright antisemitism, to pinpoint a real problem facing Western Europe concerning it's relationship with Israel. Alarmed by the rapid resurgence of both antisemitism and anti-Israel behavior on the part of the EU, and meant as an advanced warning to both the EU and the United States, the author examines the root causes of western Europe's quickly intensifying irrational prejudice against the state of Israel, the accompanying rise of antisemitism among Europeans, and the rising need to accommodate totalitarian governments in the Middle East. His conclusions make a lot of sense and has clarified my own confusion about what is causing this behavior that is a severe threat to liberal democracy in Europe and the US. Comments posted here by 'Adama' and 'Pieter' are accurate and worth reading. Do your political representatives a favor and buy theme a copy of this book.
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