- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Doubleday; 1 edition (September 30, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385509057
- ISBN-13: 978-0385509053
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 29 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,844,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Right to Exist: A Moral Defense of Israel's Wars 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
For Lozowick, author of Hitler's Bureaucrats and director of the archives at Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust museum, "[i]t is astonishing how deep-seated the fear of covert Jewish power really is." This book is his attempt at "a moral evaluation of the facts" of the various wars and current struggles among Israel, Palestine and other Arab states. Lozowick is deeply critical of the "confusion, ineptitude, bad faith, waste, poor taste, callousness and stupidity" that he finds within Zionism (as in "any other large-scale human project"), but he nevertheless concludes that "the will to murder Jews was never the result of oppression and can never be resolved by removing it."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Lozowick is a historian and director of archives at Israel's Holocaust Museum. Like the proverbial liberal who is mugged into conservatism, he is a former peace activist who voted for Ariel Sharon in response to the collapse of the Oslo process and the ongoing violence directed at Israeli civilians. Lozowick convincingly asserts that Israel is now, as before, struggling against opponents whose goal is the eventual destruction of the Jewish state. In examining the entire history of the Zionist enterprise, he illustrates both the moral justification of that enterprise and of the wars Israelis have been compelled to fight to preserve their independence. He refutes the oft-repeated screeds that Israel is a "racist" state, and he reserves special contempt for those European "peace activists," who are, in effect, apologists for those who deliberately blow up themselves and children. Those who demand that the U.S. pursue a more "balanced" approach to the conflict will not like this book, but it is an eloquent and necessary justification of Israel's right to defend itself. Jay Freeman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
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Lozowick's purpose here is not to write a history of Israel's wars but to set forth a moral justification for those wars. In this he fully succeeds merely by presenting the truth in a coherent manner. He succinctly examines the facts of each of Israel's wars and concludes, with the exception of the Lebanon war, that they are all justified under theories of just war, under international law and under the Geneva Convention while the reverse is clearly not the case. The bottom line of course is that Israel, a tiny country founded largely by peace desiring socialists, has been under attack from all of its neighbors since before its creation in 1948. Despite constant harassment and threat, which devolved into open warfare five separate times, Israel has almost always behaved in a scrupulously moral way, seeking to avoid harming civilians, offering to return its gains in exchange for a genuine peace. Even when misguided, such as in the relentless pursuit of settlements amidst hostile Arab populations, Israel's policies have always been for the pursuit of a secure relationship with her neighbors.
In the last part of the book, Lozowick spends a good deal of space analyzing the Oslo years and the ensuing war which is still going on. While Lozowick was a supporter of Oslo, he now, looking back, acknowledges that he and people like him willfully deluded themselves that the Palestinians were prepared to end the conflict. The evidence shows him that no peace is possible and he expects it won't be for at least 150 years. I tend to agree with his assessment. In discussing Israel's response to the eruption of massive terrorism and the creation of a Palestinian death cult, cultivated and promoted by Arafat and his henchman, Lozowick makes a strong argument for Sharon's policy of proportionate military action designed to put things in a holding pattern until the Palestinians are genuinely willing to make peace. Like the majority of Israelis but unlike his former political allies, Lozowick does not see capitulation under fire as an option. This book is really an excellent read and I recommend it along with its cousin, Alan Dershowitz' "The Case for Israel" for any defenders of Israel as well as anyone interested in truth rather than propaganda.
If only Israel would give back the territories it captured in 1967, all problems in the middle east would be solved. That seems to be the mantra of the Left these days. If such an action really would bring peace, it would be worth the price. A detailed description of the history of the Israelis and the Palestinians shows that the situation is much more complex than that.
Israel's' history is one of wars, most forced upon her by outside enemies. This book describes the morality of these wars, some just, others not.
With all the mistakes Israel has made, this book details how this small country is following a moral code all of her neighbors, reject out of hand. There is a need for compromise with the Palestinians, but not at the expense of the existence of the State of Israel.