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The Case for Israel Hardcover – August 1, 2003

248 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471465027 ISBN-10: 047146502X Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Noting that he has been working on versions of these arguments since 1967, famed Harvard law professor Dershowitz offers "a proactive defense of Israel," a kind of amicus brief to "the court of public opinion." Not least among the exhibits are a WWII-era Muslim Palestinian leader who was "a full fledged Nazi war criminal, and he was so declared at Nuremberg"; a "vastly underpopulated" late 19th-century Palestine, to which European Jews began emigrating; and a 75-year-long Arab-Israeli war that features "Arab nations dedicated to genocidal aggression against civilians." Each of the 32 chapters begins with a commonly heard accusation against Israel, with long quotes from reputable "Accusers" (including newspapers and intellectuals), followed by "The Reality" as Dershowitz sees it, and "The Proof," often drawing on the historical record.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Dershowitz is one of the nation's most prominent and visible defense attorneys, and he is also an ardent, eloquent, but not always uncritical defender of Israel. This book is written in the form of a legal brief. He does not seek to defend particular policies of the current Israeli government. In fact, Dershowitz has frequently criticized some Israeli policies toward Palestinians, particularly regarding West Bank settlements. Rather, here he attempts to rebut what he views as the more general and blatantly discriminatory criticisms of Israel as a state and culture. Some of these criticisms deny the "right" of Israel to exist. In response, Dershowitz asserts both the practical and moral justification for the continued existence of Israel as Jewish state. He also convincingly refutes several other oft-repeated myths, including the supposedly benign treatment of Jews in Arab lands and the "cycle of violence" canard that morally equates Palestinian suicide bombings with Israeli efforts to arrest or kill bombers before they act. As usual, Dershowitz is a passionate but generally fair and honest advocate for his position. Jay Freeman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (August 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047146502X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471465027
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (248 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,096,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

ALAN M. DERSHOWITZ is a Brooklyn native who has been called 'the nation's most peripatetic civil liberties lawyer' and one of its 'most distinguished defenders of individual rights,' 'the best-known criminal lawyer in the world,' 'the top lawyer of last resort,' and 'America's most public Jewish defender.' He is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Dershowitz, a graduate of Brooklyn College and Yale Law School, joined the Harvard Law School faculty at age 25 after clerking for Judge David Bazelon and Justice Arthur Goldberg. While he is known for defending clients such as Anatoly Sharansky, Claus von B'low, O.J. Simpson, Michael Milken and Mike Tyson, he continues to represent numerous indigent defendants and takes half of his cases pro bono. Dershowitz is the author of 20 works of fiction and non-fiction, including 6 bestsellers. His writing has been praised by Truman Capote, Saul Bellow, David Mamet, William Styron, Aharon Appelfeld, A.B. Yehoshua and Elie Wiesel. More than a million of his books have been sold worldwide, in numerous languages, and more than a million people have heard him lecture around the world. His most recent nonfiction titles are The Case For Peace: How the Arab-Israeli Conflict Can be Resolved (August 2005, Wiley); Rights From Wrongs: A Secular Theory of the Origins of Rights (November 2004, Basic Books), The Case for Israel (September 2003, Wiley), America Declares Independence, Why Terrorism Works, Shouting Fire, Letters to a Young Lawyer, Supreme Injustice, and The Genesis of Justice. His novels include The Advocate's Devil and Just Revenge. Dershowitz is also the author of The Vanishing American Jew, The Abuse Excuse, Reasonable Doubts, Chutzpah (a #1 bestseller), Reversal of Fortune (which was made into an Academy Award-winning film), Sexual McCarthyism and The Best Defense.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Keith Heapes VINE VOICE on August 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book by Alan Dershowitz, a Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, is one of a pair of books that take a close and serious look at the longstanding Arab-Israeli conflict, as well as the accusations leveled against Israel in particular. As an attorney, Dershowitz writes this first book, titled "The Case for Israel," with the drama and precision of a moving courtroom case. He opens his remarks with a detailed and penetrating analysis of the issues that fuel the continuing wars in the Middle East, identifying the players, actions, reactions, accusations and the accused--Israel. The following is a summary quote from Dershowitz:

"The Jewish nation of Israel stands accused in the dock of international justice. The charges include being a criminal state, the prime violator of human rights, the mirror-image of Nazism, and the most intransigent barrier to peace in the Middle East. Throughout the world--from the chambers of the United Nations, to the campuses of universities--Israel is singled out for condemnation, divestment, boycott, and demonization. Its leaders are threatened with prosecution as war criminals. Its supporters are charged with dual loyalty and parochialism."

As clearly indicated by the title of this book, Dershowitz poses as the defense attorney advocating for the nation of Israel. Not surprisingly, he chooses a unique format for his presentation.
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87 of 127 people found the following review helpful By Richard on November 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From the outset, it should be noted that Alan Dershowitz is a lawyer and not a historian. He does not present information from a disinterested perspective as respected historians (e.g. Shlomo Ben-Ami and Benny Morris) do. Although I myself strongly support Israel's existence and the right of its people to live in peace and security, it is difficult to ignore the "blame-it-on-all-the-Palestinians-and-the-Arabs" tone of Professor Dershowitz's book. In Professor Dershowitz's presentation of the Israel-Palestine conflict, almost all wrongdoings on the part of the Israelis are sheerly coincidental, unintentional, or accidental while almost all wrongdoings on the part of the Palestinians are unequivocally malicious and motivated by extremism or anti-Semitism. Although he correctly points out that Jews throughout history have faced disproportionate criticism, unforgivable pogroms, and unjustified discrimination (which are my main reasons for supporting a state in which Jews can live in security and peace), Professor Dershowitz's overly broad and extremely biased assessment of the Arabs and the Palestinians fails in substantiating his case. For one, recycling the same argument spewed out by Daniel Pipes, he writes that all or most Palestinians supported the "losing side" during World War I and World War II (and vis-à-vis the latter, he outrageously claims that all or most Palestinians supported Hitler either explicitly or implicitly during the Holocaust). This is one of several instances in which Professor Dershowitz interprets the decisions and stances of Arab leaders (most of whom are/were corrupt, unpopular, and/or unelected) as being representative of the entire Palestinian population (e.g.Read more ›
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60 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Paul on September 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Dershowitz makes an excellent case for Israel, and does it with style. One of the first assertions he makes is that the best solution to the conflict is a two state solution where both Israel and the future Palestine may live freely and in peace with each other, with explanations why no other option is feasible or moral. Using this as a basis for discussion, and drawing on his liberal and libertarian philosophies, Dershowitz goes on to examine the accusations frequently leveled against Israel, tackling one per chapter, and then dissects and defeats them. A strength of this book is that Dershowitz draws from traditionally anti-Israel and neutral sources to make his arguments, never relying on pro-Israel sources for crucial information, yet still manages to turn the accusations on their heads, proving them both factually incorrect and logically inconsistent.
This book is a must for anyone trying to make sense of the Arab-Israeli conflict, especially since it provides a different perpective from the one you receive on college campuses around the country.
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51 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
i was never a huge fan of dershowitz, but must commend him for this book. i must say though, that most of the information in this book is readily availible to anyone who cares enough to investigate for themselves the conflict in the middle east, albeit not through conventional news sources but through a careful perusing of facts and actual international law. people throw around terms like human rights, occupation, and illegal, but what do the laws and UN resolutions actually state regarding these issues? unfortunatly not enough people in the media care to investigate. here the laws and realities of the situation are documented, and one would be hard pressesd to deny arguments made in this book. kudos to Dershowitz for compiling all the information into one compendium, so that if you want to see what international laws and various treaties actually say, you dont have to expend the amount of effort i had to. an honest, concise read, highly recommended.
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