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An important book for anyone who cares about Israel,
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This review is from: The Unmaking of Israel (Kindle Edition)
This is an important book for anyone who cares about Israel. The author, Gershom Gorenberg, is an orthodox Jew and a Zionist who lives in Israel. His point is that for the first time, Israel faces an existential crisis from a particular subset of its own people, namely the ultra-orthodox Haredi Jews who believe that Israel is fundamentally a religious enterprise and not a democratic state. He gives extensive examples of how Haredi settlers have broken Israeli law to take over Arab lands and how the settlement movement is fundamentally at odds with Israel's founding principles as well as with current Israeli law. He also points out that if allowed to continue, the settlements will prevent any hope of a two state solution, condemning Israel to become an apartheid state (for Israel cannot exist as a Jewish state if the large mass of Palestinians have the vote)
Perhaps more disturbing, Gorenberg also cites many examples of how the Haredi are making up a growing proportion of the Israeli Defense Forces, and how the Haredi have staked out a position that if there is a conflict between Israeli law and what they perceive as a religious commandments to expand the settlements, then they will not obey the law and will even refuse to enforce it. If this comes to pass it spells the end of Israel as a member of the western democracies.
** My only negative is about the Kindle edition ** This book is full of footnotes (indeed, almost half the book is made up of footnotes) but none of them are in the text itself of the Kindle edition. All the notes are there in the back, but none of the text is footnoted. This is an astonishing omission given the importance of this book.