From Publishers Weekly
This exhaustively researched book by a former Israeli ambassador to the U.N. (Hatred's Kingdom
) reads like an informed diatribe recounting the 3,000-year history of Jerusalem, from its origins in Davidic Israel through the Islamic conquests and Crusades, to its central place in Arab-Israeli peace negotiations and global religious consciousness. While meticulously detailing the role of the Holy City in the evolution of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and the modern diplomatic battle for its custody, Gold is far from impartial. He displays an intense repudiation of fundamentalist Islam, and the perceived ineptitude and ingratitude of the West toward Israel, which he considers the only legitimate savior of the city. Warning of the apocalypse, he concludes that today's Jerusalem is threatened by the "evil wind" of Islamic fundamentalism; if redivided, he argues, the precious city will be the next great victim of global jihad. Comprehensive and cogent, this book may be a helpful resource to anyone interested in the historical and theological antecedents to today's political quagmire. However, the spiteful, defensive tone diminishes an otherwise fascinating history. Christians and Muslims alike will find his argument disquieting, as Gold repeatedly devalues the religious authenticity of their claim to the city. (Jan.)
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From the Inside Flap
Jerusalem: Center of Faith--Or Apocalyptic Trigger?
Jerusalem is under assault. In Western diplomatic circles, it is now being argued that by pushing hard for a Middle East settlement, with the redivision of Jerusalem at its core, the flames of radical Islamic rage will be lowered, stemming the tide of al-Qaeda's ideological spread. Yet the exact opposite is true. Radical Islam is fed by its sense of victory in the face of repeated withdrawals: a redivision of Jerusalem would not only endanger its holy sites, but also unleash new jihadist momentum on a scale that most political leaders have not begun to consider.