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Israeli Intransigence Exposed,
This review is from: The Gun and the Olive Branch: The Roots of Violence in the Middle East (Nation Books) (Paperback)The Gun and the Olive Branch is one of the most outstanding and important works of non-fiction ever written. Hirst's book is an invaluable contribution to an area of study too often deliberately muddied and confused by Israeli apologists intent on obfuscation. He presents an honest, scholarly look into the Middle East conflict beginning when Jews essentially started to migrate to Palestine during the late 19th Century. This latest updated edition covers events through the recent Palestinian Intifada and the 2001 September 11th attacks against the United States.
Hirst does a fabulous job in demolishing three often heard myths:
The Gun and the Olive Branch gives a poignant analysis of the 1948 War documenting how the Jewish community was never in danger of annihilation and that Israel was the true aggressor and instigator, both in 1948 and in the 1967 Six Day War, the remnants of which are obviously still being felt.
Hirst fills the book with fascinating pieces of information detailing how Palestinian suicide bombings come in the service of what the world regards as a legitimate purpose - ending Israel's illegal occupation. Also he broaches the topic of Israel's nuclear weapons and how Noam Chomsky, in his excellent work The Fateful Triangle, argues that the real target of Israel's nuclear arsenal is the United States. It puts America in a 'do what we say and give us what we want, or else' quandary.
This latest edition, put out by the publishing house of the fantastic Nation magazine, is updated giving the reader a glimpse into activities the Israeli soldiers are involved in currently. According to Hirst's incredibly well sourced book Israeli occupation authorities have been rampaging through Palestinian agencies of health, education or agriculture - destroying computers and important files, ransacking businesses and banks looting public buildings and defecating and urinating on floors, carpets, children's paintings, in drawers and flowerpots; and also of course they have busied themselves killing scores of innocent Palestinian civilians. This is the United States tax dollar at work given that America subsidizes Israel to the tune of approximately $4 billion annually!
Hirst astutely points out that during this most recent Palestinian uprising - CBS, ABC, and NBC aired 99 reports covering Gaza and the West Bank, but in only four out of the 99 reports were viewers informed that Gaza and the West Bank are Israeli occupied territories. The Gun and the Olive Branch goes on to document how myriad journalists privately admit they fear the retribution of pro-Israeli publishers and editors and generally understand that critical words about Israel can be hazardous to careers.
This is the definitive account of the entire history of the Israeli Palestinian conflict and is probably the most crucial non-fiction book of the last sixty years. It should be studied by every American citizen since only the United States can save the Zionists from themselves. Given the potentially cataclysmic consequences a knowledgeable citizenry may be our only hope. Hirst's marvelous book goes as far as possible in advancing this cause.