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The Case for Israel [Paperback]

by Alan Dershowitz
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (215 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 1, 2004 0471679526 978-0471679523 1
The Case for Israel is an ardent defense of Israel's rights, supported by indisputable evidence.
  • Presents a passionate look at what Israel's accusers and detractors are saying about this war-torn country.
  • Dershowitz accuses those who attack Israel of international bigotry and backs up his argument with hard facts.
  • Widely respected as a civil libertarian, legal educator, and defense attorney extraordinaire, Alan Dershowitz has also been a passionate though not uncritical supporter of Israel.

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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.

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: 9.3 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (215 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,820 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
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Argument May 22, 2013
By Hudson
Format:Paperback
I decided to read this book because I have long thought that the Israeli/Palestinian conflict had gotten an absurd amount of media attention considering the relatively small populations involved. I also didn't know about the issue as much as I would have liked and wanted to expand my understanding. This book was incredibly helpful to helping me understand the problem, and it is was very persuasive. Dershowitz provides a history of Israel along with a complete history of all wrongs that the various Islamic states have committed against the Israeli population. His argument boils down to some primary points:

-Palestine has repeatedly refused to agree to a two state solution with Israel, such as in 1937, 1947, 2000, because they either insist on wiping Israel off the map and moving all Jews out of the Middle East or flooding Palestine with refugees and making the nation a single Islamist state.
-Palestine sided with the Central Powers in WWI, the Axis Powers in WWII, the Islamic States in the aggressive wars against Israel in 1948, 1967, and 1973 that were enacted with the sole purpose of killing and expelling all Jews.
-Palestine uses terrorism against Israel, targeting civilians, which causes Israel to overreact and draw negative press. Israel never targets civilians, but Palestinian terrorists surround themselves by innocents to make Israelis accidentally kill them.
-Israel is a tolerant, democratic and mostly secular state, while all Middle Eastern countries are intolerant and/or undemocratic.
-Israel is an economic powerhouse and has contributed enormously to the world through its innovations.
-Israel, despite its flaws, has been the best behaved nation considering the threats against it than any other nation in a similar situation in history.
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17 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid answer to Israel's critics August 16, 2003
Format:Hardcover
Review: The Case for Israel by Alan Dershowitz
Considering the complexities of the Middle East, Alan Dershowitz's "The Case for Israel" makes for easy reading, which is not to say that the author dumbs down his prose. Avoiding legal jargon, Dershowitz presents a series of rational arguments to counter those criticisms of the Jewish State which to him appear without merit. Since the author is Jewish, he could legitimately be accused of some bias. Yet some Jewish intellectuals, including Noam Chomsky, Rabbi Michael Lerner and Norman Finkelstein make a case for the other side as do numbers of Jewish students on our nation's campuses.
Instead of setting down an essay to expound the case, he devotes a small chapter to each criticism of Israel and proceeds in legalistic prose to attack those rejoinders. Among the most important units are: 1) Have the Jews Exploited the Holocaust? 2) Did Israel Create the Arab Refugee Problem? 3) Was Arafat Right in Turning Down the Barak-Clinton Peace Proposal? 4) Is Israel a Racist State? 5) Is There Moral Equivalence between Palestinian Terrorists and Israeli Responses? 6) Are Critics of Israel Anti-Semites?
Dershowitz points out that while the extreme right (Nazis, Fascists, and other hate-groups) have been the traditional enemies of Israel, today the Far Left finds it fashionable to condemn Israeli actions in the Middle East if not the very existence of the Jewish state. While the author finds nothing wrong with criticizing some Israeli policies such as the building of settlements, those critics who single out Israel's warts in a world that bears witness to genocidal conflicts in areas like Rwanda, Bosnia, and the Congo may indeed be guilty of anti-Semitism.
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65 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True Liberals and Free Thinkers September 29, 2003
Format:Hardcover
If you're a true Liberal (classic meaning), you'll want to investigate the pros and cons of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict yourself. That means reading items you may not like or agree with.
Be a free thinker with an open mind. Get this book and look at the points it makes. If you agree or disagree, you'll come away with more knowledge than when you started. Liberals and free thinkers should never be afraid to expose themselves to new ideas.
Don't be put off buying this book because it's written by a lawyer. I was doubtful, at first, if it would be a good read or dry and dusty. It's very well written and easy to digest. It's not written in 'lawyerese'.
It's very important to understand this ME conflict. The US is involved in the ME. This conflict comes up again and again.
Don't depend on the news to give you an understanding of the conflict. Use this book to further your understanding. Even if you disagree with it, you'll have knowledge of what some of the "other side's" arguments are.
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63 of 95 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read this book if you are neutral October 26, 2003
Format:Hardcover
In The Case for Israel, Alan Dershowitz addresses the numerous accusations made against Israel, and responds with facts and context. He shows that many of Israel's opponents who "can see no right on the side of Israel and no wrong on the side of those who would seek to destroy the Jewish state" are either ignorant of the Middle East or malevolent in their intentions.
The theme pervading throughout this book is introduced on page 11: Israel is subject to a unique double standard of judgment and criticism for its actions in defending its very existence. If the Jewish state were judged by the same standard as every other nation, Israel would be at or near the top of the list in terms of civil liberties, human rights, and every other test of morality and justice.
One example of this double-standard is the inordinate scrutiny by the United Nations regarding Israeli control of the West Bank and Gaza. The Tibetans, the Kurds, the Basques, and dozens of other stateless peoples have much stronger claims to statehood than do the Palestinians. The Tibetans and Kurds have been treated far more brutally by their occupiers than have the Palestinians. The Tibetans have never resorted to terrorism. The UN has never condemned China or recognized the rights of Tibetans, Kurds, Basques, or the others. Only the Palestinians have resorted to terrorism as a primary method for seeking independence. Only the Palestinians have been offered a state (three times) and only the Palestinians have rejected a state (three times).
Dershowitz provides extensive documentation for the facts, with over 500 footnotes - many of them from pro-Palestinian and other Arab sources, or American and international media sources.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars updated edition would be appreciated
Wonderful history but even though the basic facts are totally relevant, many changes have occurred over the past 11 years
Published 29 days ago by Larry Fisher
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book !!!!
Very clear and informative. Everyone ... (especially US and EU politicians) ... should read this book before trying to tell Israel what to do with her land and her neighbors. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gabriel Salinas Artuso
5.0 out of 5 stars good read
Great author, provides a lot of good facts and he actually back them up. If you like an author who points out the wrong as well as the right, this is the guy
Published 1 month ago by Einhorn
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply brilliant!
Seeing all of the negative reviews on this book, most of which were on the lines of "Waaaaah......Islamophobiaaaaaaa" and "Waaaaaahh....... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Cliff Pinto
1.0 out of 5 stars Garbage
This book is a complete fraud. The main claims, as demonstrated by Finkelstein, are deliberate distortions. Vulgar Zionist propaganda of a crypto-racist.
Published 3 months ago by Marcelo B. Silveira
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the devil they are made out to be!
Excellent and compelling read. Really sheds some light on the everyday anti-semitism out there and how it effects peoples perceptions of Israel. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Steven F. Riley
1.0 out of 5 stars Biased, false and uninformative
This book is one of the most biased books ever written, filled with both false claims and mistakes. While Dershowitz is a good defense lawyer, he is clearly out of his depth when... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Lars Wahl
1.0 out of 5 stars He cites so many passages used by Joan Peters
[36] During a debate on Democracy Now!, Finkelstein asserted that Dershowitz lacked knowledge about specific contents of his own book. Read more
Published 5 months ago by jack kerouac
1.0 out of 5 stars ethnocentric misrepresentation
Alan Dershowitz, who is a longstanding apologist for the state of Israel, continues the tradition of misrepresenting: the historical origins of the Palestinian People, the validity... Read more
Published 5 months ago by jim
5.0 out of 5 stars I salute Alan Deshowitz for writing this extraordinary book
God, where should I start. I can't recall how I came across this book on Amazon, but unlike usual, I decided to immediately buy it. Read more
Published 7 months ago by yambaram
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