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The Case for Israel 1st Edition

257 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471679523
ISBN-10: 0471679526
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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 265 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 1 edition (August 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471679526
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471679523
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (257 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,078 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

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Scott George McCombe on January 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
It is regurgitated ad nauseam that to criticise Israel is not anti-Semitic. No doubt there is an element of truth in this with regards to some naïve and misinformed individuals, but as the most virulent anti-Semitism is now solidly established in mainstream ‘anti-Zionism’, the statement has become not only a platitude but a deflection from the fact that criticism of the Jewish State almost always has the stench of old-fashioned Jew-baiting wafting around it. Whether this be old classics about Jewish thievery, poisoning water supplies, or ritual child murder, all have been adapted into a palatable anti-Zionist format. The very fact that Israel alone is singled out on the international stage for the most aggressive criticism betrays the sinister obsession of its critics with all things Jewish. Irrespective of how anti-Israel activists justify this obsession, the accusations that they consistently parrot, like all anti-Jewish legends, are fictitious. To use a stronger word, they are lies.

Civilized countries generally have laws against libel and one American Professor of Law, Alan Dershowitz, has decided the accusations against Israel amount to just that. His response has been to write this well argued book, putting forward the case in defence of Israel. Beginning with a brief description of the shocking ignorance and misinformation that is displayed across the USA with regards to the Israel/palestine conflict, he moves on to the list the main, as he see it, thirty-two accusations that are continually repeated by anti-Israel activists. These range from the academic, such as the legality of the Balfour Declarations, to the absurd, refuting claims of Israeli genocide, apartheid and Zionist conspiratorial plots.
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97 of 138 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By freedom78 on November 2, 2015
Format: Paperback
The Bad: This book was a required text for my college level class on the I/P conflict, in which it was paired with James Gelvin's very unbiased history text "The Israel-Palestine Conflict", among others. This book offered a clear advantage: it was pro-Israel, which the course needed given that much of the history leads one to believe that the bulk of the injustice in this conflict has been committed by Israel or pre-state Zionists. But, the students saw right through Dershowitz's arguments. In this text, he is guilty of a number of things, including cherry picking the facts to suit his case, resorting to ad hominem attacks rather than factual arguments, hypocrisy and double standards, and generally ignoring the wealth of information which contradicts his points. Reading this along side a neutral, fact based historical accounting of the conflict and its origins, it was clear that Dershowitz wasn't engaged in an act of effective scholarship, but of thinly veiled propaganda.

The Good: Short chapters on a variety of topics allow a reader to easily digest the book. Had Dershowitz been willing to make honest arguments, this structure could have been very effective. Some of his arguments are better than others. In particular, I felt he did a better job in his chapters dealing with terrorism, though he tries to tie so many issues to antisemitism and terror that it becomes a tired exercise.
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By Regular Joe on October 22, 2015
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 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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