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Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation Kindle Edition
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|Length: 616 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
The author chooses a small group of paratroopers, who have political views from all 360 degrees (including one IDF soldier who all but joins the Arabs against Israel and is imprisoned when caught) to capture the various political positions of the Israeli people as a whole.
If the book had 5 volumes, then various other ethnic, political and religious Jews would be represented. For Instance, kibbutz members are prominent but the word Moshav never appears. Both these forms of living arrangements are still extant in Israel with roughly an equal number of members. Moshe Dayan was from a Moshav. Ashkenazi Jews are the center of attention and other volumes could deal with Sephardic and Mizrahi elements.
Instead of writing 550 pages of the differences of opinion among Israelis toward Jerusalem, war, settlements etc. that would read like a typical top down history, the author lets you get to know a few individuals so that you see the conflicts Israelis have amongst themselves - from the bottom up so to speak.
Whatever your views on the current situation in Israel, you are presented with a wide array of viewpoints that are strongly held by these courageous soldiers. These viewpoints are often diametrically opposite, but the reader gains perspectives they may not have considered.
This stunning volume traces the lives of seven paratroopers from the 55th, the brigade that was the tip of the spear in the '67 battle for Jerusalem, and later the brigade that crossed the Suez Canal in the '73 Yom Kippur War, thereby turning disaster into victory. There are left-wing peace activists, and religious Zionists, kibbutz socialists, free market entrepreneurs, a gruff conceptual artist who was wounded in the battle for Jerusalem, a neurotic but brilliant musician--Israel's Bob Dylan--who died far too young, and a traitor who went to Syria in order to join anti-Israel terrorists. These men, in one way or another, played a vital role in the birth of the post-Six Day War Israel.
The title "Like Dreamers" comes from Psalm 126, Shir Hamaalot, hayinu k'cholmim, "When the Lord returned the exiles to Zion, we were like dreamers."
The spine of Halevi's book is that Israel's fate is based on two conflicting utopian dreams within the Zionist movement, the religious Zionists, and the secular left-wing kibbutzniks. These men--all Ashkenazi Jews--fought together to defend the state of Israel, and then between wars, these same men, some of them close friends, continued to fight to preserve their personal vision of the Jewish State.
If you want to understand modern Israel in all its glorious complexity, this is the book to read. A great work that sets a new standard for Jewish history.
The problem with Halevi's book is the desultory and plodding manner in which so much of the historical and biographical detail is presented. I had to force myself to finish the book, which I succeeded in doing, but I hesitate to recommend it to others.
This is a wonderful, wonderful work. It should be read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An incredible look into the State of Israel and its people.Published 1 month ago by Barbara J. Prichard
If you know about Israel, if you care about Israel, if you want to understand the flashpoint of the Middle East, this is the book. Read morePublished 1 month ago by BenBuddy in Cali
An incredibly detailed, insightful history of members of a division of paratroopers who regained the temple in the old city of Jerusalem during the 1967 war between Israel and the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by joyful
Gritty on the ground narrative. Shows what urban combat is likePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
I lived in Israel from mid 1980 until about mid 1985. I honestly didn't understand the significance of what was going on at the time. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Dr.Rays
A wonderful retelling of the history of modern Israel from the point of view of an elite army unit whose members backgrounds, relationships and differences define the divides of... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Howard S Hoffman