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Arabs & Israel For Beginners Paperback – August 21, 2007

4.0 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"I have written 10 books about the complex Mideast conflict and read several hundred books on the same subjects. Ron David's is the best book in the field, leading all others including mine by many miles." -- Dr. M. T. Medhi, President of the Arab-American Relations Committee

"Well-organized and lucid... [Arabs & Israel for Beginners] does indeed deserve a large reading audience." -- Arthur Goldschmidt, Jr., author of A Concose History of the Middle East

"Take the research of Noam Chomsky... enliven it with skillful pensketched drawing... then trace 12,000 years of turbulent history with the irreverence of Saturday Night Live, and you have... Ron David's Arabs & Israel for Beginners." -- John Mahoney, Executive Director of Americans for Middle East Understanding

About the Author

Ron David grew up in Detroit, attended Wayne State University and the Detroit Society of Arts & Crafts and served three years in the Army. For years he earned his living as an industrial clay sculptor (Detroit, New York, California and Sweden) and spent 20-30 hours per week writing books. Ron was awarded a Grant from the New Jersey Council on the Arts for one of his novels. He also spent four years as Editor-in-Chief at Writers and Readers Publishing. He is the author of four published books including Toni Morrison Explained: A Reader's Road Map to the Novels (Random House). Ron David has been married to Susan David (an artist/designer at Tiffany & Co.) for 30 years.

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Product Details

  • Series: For Beginners
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: For Beginners (August 21, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934389161
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934389164
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,311,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As someone who worked as a UN-employed doctor in the Gaza Strip for two years, I have first hand experience of life under Israeli military occupation. Although this book does not cover the very recent history of the conflict between Israel and the Arabs, it is probably the best summary I have read in the forty years since I began reading books and articles about the history and politics of the Palestinian/Israeli tragedy.
As the West prepares to start a second war in the Middle East, there is now open discussion within and outside Israel about the need to ethnically cleanse the territories that Israel has occupied illegally and colonized since 1967. Apologists for the policies of Israel - a nation with weapons of mass destruction, which flouts international law and ignores its responsibilities under the 4th Geneva Convention - do nothing to secure the long term future of Israelis.
A common tactic used to respond to critics of Israeli policies - including Jewish critics - is to suggest that they are anti-semites! This book will help people to understand just how cheap a tactic this is. It does nothing for the image of Jews and Judaism to imply that the interests of the religion and its adherents coincide with the interests of a colonialist state created in the 20th century.
For people who want to understand the expansionist nature of the Zionist project, there is no better place to start than Ron and Susan David's excellent book. I hope they publish an updated edition, and that their work does not become yet another victim of censorship and suppression of views questioning the moral credentials of Zionism.
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Format: Paperback
This fantastic and remarkably concise narrative of the long conflict should dramatically alter the perspective of any open-minded reader. While the style is certainly popular, the bibliographical sources are scholarly and impressive (Hannah Arendt, Noam Chomsky, etc.). This is the first time many people will hear the Palestinian version of the story, and it only takes 2 or 3 hours! The Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War are here; but, have you ever heard of the Two Week War or Deir Yassin? Clearly, the purpose of this book is to offer the facts through the eyes of the Palestinian people, who view some Israeli leaders as little better than Milosevich. In fact the author actually offers clear examples of ethnic cleansing by Israel. Balanced? Well, this book should help readers balance the popular version of history. The truth likely lies somewhere between the extremes. If you've spent years reading books like "Exodus" and "Oh, Jerusalem", spend a COUPLE OF HOURS reading the other side of the story. T
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By A Customer on April 27, 1998
Format: Paperback
I grabbed this book off the shelf almost on a whim. I had read others in the series and, although the documentary comic book style doesn't really work for me, I couldn't decide which of the dozens of more "serious" books on the subject to start with. I'm glad I chose this one. . He opens VERY strong, an does a really nice job of sorting out the ancient history. He is similary clear and strong at sorting out the more recent stuff, with the accusations and counteraccusations that fly back and forth in this troubled part of the world like Scud missiles. And, yes, as another one of the reader-reviewers notes, he is clearly anti-Zionist, without ever being anti-Semitic. That said, he makes it very clear that the book presents its facts to arrive at the conclusion, not that it was intended solely to be an anti-Zionist diatribe, regardless of the facts. I, like the author himself, and many readers of the book, had always assumed that the Israelis were the "good guys" (at least MOST of the time). I, too, had always had doubts about some things, little scraps of information and tidbits of history that didn't fit into what I understood to be the larger picture. I appreciated the book helping me to reshape the larger picture -- and, like the other books I have read in the series, helping to point me in the right direction with regard to further reading and study. . Is the book disturbing? Unsettling? Yes. I suspect that shattered illusions are as painful, and take as long to heal, as broken bones. . So why, if I liked it so much, do I only give it a "7"? The last twenty pages or so are a mess. The slow and progressive build of arguments more or less breaks down, and I saw too much of the author and not enough of the topic.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Well, I read many reviews and there are those who feel deceived by the book. I beg to disagree. The author lays his cards on the table on the very first page and states that if this not the kind to book you don't want to read, don't buy it. He plainly asserts that modern Israel doesn't have equality, fairness, and social justice at its roots. He states that he grew up, like most Americans, thinking the Israelis are the guys in the white hats and arrabs the black ones. And through extensive research, he came to the conclusion for the most part, the opposite is true. He documents his findings extensively, quotes from Israeli sources, and provides this reader with answers to the questions I wanted answered. It becomes clear why the conflict is hard to resolve, and what each side sees in the other. I think any avid Zionist would really hate this book for the following reasons. It rejects the idea that one group has the right to something over another based on first! groups religious beliefs, and that the rights of white, colonial rulers, have a greater say then the majority of idigenous inhabitants. I suspect the author is Jewish, as indeed he lists many of his heroes as members of the Jewish faith, and from his Judaism he draws humanistic and progressive socialist ideals, as such he refreshingly draws conclusions that Arabs and Jews are all equals and Zionist Jewish attempts to create an Israel where Jews are the chosen people or master race goes against what he stands for as a human being. Highly recommended.
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