In The Controversy of Zion
, Geoffrey Wheatcroft, a self-proclaimed agnostic, offers an unbiased analysis of the "Jewish Question." Wheatcroft covers everything from the various outbreaks of European anti-Semitism--including Hitler's
Final Solution--to the accomplishments of liberated European Jews, the argument over forming a Jewish state, the countless Jews who immigrated to the United States, and the recent assassination of Yitzak Rabin. Combining factual information with colorful profiles and anecdotes, he examines the suffering, debates, ideas, and victories that have impacted Jewish culture.
From Publishers Weekly
Former literary editor of London's Spectator, Wheatcroft describes himself as "a genuine neutral or agnostic" on the Arab-Israeli conflict, seeing right and wrong on both sides. In this dispassionate yet opinionated history, which sweeps from Theodore Herzl's Zionist dream to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination in 1995, Wheatcroft condemns the 1975 United Nations resolution equating Zionism with racism as gravely malicious, a reflection of the Arab states' malignancy. While praising Israel as "a unique island of constitutional government in the Levant," he echoes the observation of U.S. journalist I.F. Stone that Zionism involved a psychological act of denial along with a physical act of displacement of Palestine's Arab population. A richly detailed chronicle of Jewish nationalist aspirations and of Diaspora Jewry's shifting relationship with Israel, Wheatcroft's study is crammed with incisive profiles of such Jewish figures as Disraeli, Heinrich Heine, Martin Buber, Karl Kraus, Isaac Deutscher, Hannah Arendt, Primo Levi and Robert Maxwell; "self-hating Jews" Karl Marx and Walter Lippmann; part-Jewish Marcel Proust; and Jew-haters Richard Wagner, Hilaire Belloc and Hitler.
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