Author: Ari Shavit
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
Release Date: 2013-11-19
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW AND THE ECONOMIST Winner of the Natan Book Award, the National Jewish Book Award, and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award An authoritative and deeply personal narrative history of the State of Israel, by one of the most influential journalists writing about the Middle East today Not since Thomas L. Friedman’s groundbreaking From Beirut to Jerusalem has a book captured the essence and the beating heart of the Middle East as keenly and dynamically as My Promised Land. Facing unprecedented internal and external pressures, Israel today is at a moment of existential crisis. Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family’s story, illuminating the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is larger than the sum of its parts: both personal and national, both deeply human and of profound historical dimension. We meet Shavit’s great-grandfather, a British Zionist who in 1897 visited the Holy Land on a Thomas Cook tour and understood that it was the way of the future for his people; the idealist young farmer who bought land from his Arab neighbor in the 1920s to grow the Jaffa oranges that would create Palestine’s booming economy; the visionary youth group leader who, in the 1940s, transformed Masada from the neglected ruins of an extremist sect into a powerful symbol for Zionism; the Palestinian who as a young man in 1948 was driven with his family from his home during the expulsion from Lydda; the immigrant orphans of Europe’s Holocaust, who took on menial work and focused on raising their children to become the leaders of the new state; the pragmatic engineer who was instrumental in developing Israel’s nuclear program in the 1960s, in the only interview he ever gave; the zealous religious Zionists who started the settler movement in the 1970s; the dot-com entrepreneurs and young men and women behind Tel-Aviv’s booming club scene; and today’s architects of Israel’s foreign policy with Iran, whose nuclear threat looms ominously over the tiny country. As it examines the complexities and contradictions of the Israeli condition, My Promised Land asks difficult but important questions: Why did Israel come to be? How did it come to be? Can Israel survive? Culminating with an analysis of the issues and threats that Israel is currently facing, My Promised Land uses the defining events of the past to shed new light on the present. The result is a landmark portrait of a small, vibrant country living on the edge, whose identity and presence play a crucial role in today’s global political landscape. Praise for My Promised Land “This book will sweep you up in its narrative force and not let go of you until it is done. [Shavit’s] accomplishment is so unlikely, so total . . . that it makes you believe anything is possible, even, God help us, peace in the Middle East.”—Simon Schama, Financial Times “[A] must-read book.”—Thomas L. Friedman, The New York Times “Important and powerful . . . the least tendentious book about Israel I have ever read.”—Leon Wieseltier, The New York Times Book Review “Spellbinding . . . Shavit’s prophetic voice carries lessons that all sides need to hear.”—The Economist “One of the most nuanced and challenging books written on Israel in years.”—The Wall Street Journal
The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has profoundly affected the Middle East for almost seventy years, and shows no sign of ending. With two peoples claiming the same piece of land for different reasons, it remains a huge political and humanitarian problem. Can it ever be resolved? If so, how? These are the basic questions addressed in a new and substantially revised fifth edition of this highly acclaimed book. Having lived and worked in the Middle East at various times since 1968, Colin Chapman explains the roots of the problem and outlines the arguments of the main parties involved. He also explores the theme of land in the Old and New Testaments, discussing legitimate and illegitimate ways of using the Bible in relation to the conflict. This new and fully updated edition covers developments since 9/11, including the building of the security wall, the increased importance of Hamas and the Islamic dimension of the conflict, and the attacks on Lebanon and Gaza.
Being Jewish Today gives an account of both the journey of a particular British Jew and the journey of millions of women and men through today's perplexing and difficult world. With honesty and integrity Rabbi Tony Bayfield breaks new ground in exploring the meaning of Jewish identity and its relationship to Jewish tradition and belief. He does so from the perspective of a person fully integrated into the modern Western world. The rigorous questions he asks of his Jewishness, Judaism and the Jewish God are therefore substantially the same as those asked by individuals of all faiths and none. Beginning with an account of the journey of Jewish people and thought from ancient times to the present day, Bayfield goes on to consider Jewish identity, Israel as land and the scourge of anti-Semitism. He then turns to the twin concerns of Torah: Halakhah – practice, and Aggadah – ethics, along with the matter of belief in a world faced with global extinction. Finally, in addressing the manifest injustice of life, Rabbi Bayfield confronts the widely evaded questions of universal suffering and divine inaction. Drawing on key religious and secular thinkers who contribute to the force of his argument, Bayfield's masterful, challenging and urgent book will appeal to all Jews, whether religious or cultural, and to anyone curious about the nature of Judaism and religion today.
Author: John M. Carson
Release Date: 2019-03-22
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
From Wolfenbüttel to Curry’s Rest explores the importance of understanding why things happen as they do, finding ways of helping others, and developing skills that can improve everyday situations. It is a story of survival and resilience, beginning when John is a young Jewish boy in Germany before WWII and having to flee for England when a teenager. There, he hits the ground running and takes on any job open to him, learning what he can before moving on to the next opportunity. Graduating from the London School of Economics and University College London, he begins his career as a city planner, landing projects that take him to Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, India, and Israel throughout the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, all the while enjoying a successful marriage and a loving family life. When he retires, he and his wife buy and restore a former sugar mill in Dominica called Curry’s Rest.
Food is not just a physical necessity but also a composite commodity. It is part of a communication system, a nonverbal medium for expression, and a marker of special events. Bringing together contributions from fourteen historians, anthropologists, sociologists, and literary critics, Volume XXVIII of Studies in Contemporary Jewry presents various viewpoints on the subtle and intricate relations between Jews and their foodways. The ancient Jewish community ritualized and codified the sphere of food; by regulating specific and detailed culinary laws, Judaism extended and accentuated food's cultural meanings. Modern Jewry is no longer defined exclusively in religious terms, yet a decrease in the role of religion, including kashrut observance, does not necessarily entail any diminishment of the role of food. On the contrary, as shown by the essays in this volume, choices of food take on special importance when Jewish individuals and communities face the challenges of modernity. Following an introduction by Sidney Mintz and concluding with an overview by Richard Wilk, the symposium essays lead the reader from the 20th century to the 21st, across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and North America. Through periods of war and peace, voluntary immigrations and forced deportations, want and abundance, contemporary Jews use food both for demarcating new borders in rapidly changing circumstances and for remembering a diverse heritage. Despite a tendency in traditional Jewish studies to focus on "high" culture and to marginalize "low" culture, Jews and Their Foodways demonstrates how an examination of people's eating habits helps to explain human life and its diversity through no less than the study of great events, the deeds of famous people, and the writings of distinguished rabbis.
Author: Richard Cohen
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2014-09-16
A very personal journey through Jewish history (and Cohen’s own), and a passionate defense of Israel’s legitimacy. Richard Cohen’s book is part reportage, part memoir—an intimate journey through the history of Europe’s Jews, culminating in the establishment of Israel. A veteran, syndicated columnist for The Washington Post, Cohen began this journey as a skeptic, wondering in a national column whether the creation of a Jewish State was “a mistake.” As he recounts, he delved into his own and Jewish history and fell in love with the story of the Jews and Israel, a twice-promised land—in the Bible by God, and by the world to the remnants of Europe’s Jews. This promise, he writes, was made in atonement not just for the Holocaust, but for the callous indifference that preceded World War II and followed it—and that still threatens. Cohen’s account is full of stories—from the nineteenth century figures who imagined a Zionist country, including Theodore Herzl, who thought it might resemble Vienna with its cafes and music; to what happened in twentieth century Poland to his own relatives; and to stories of his American boyhood. Cohen describes his relationship with Israel as a sort of marriage: one does not always get along but one is faithful.
Author: Steven R. Ratner
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Release Date: 2015-01-15
In a world full of armed conflict and human misery, global justice remains one of the most compelling missions of our time. Understanding the promises and limitations of global justice demands a careful appreciation of international law, the web of binding norms and institutions that help govern the behaviour of states and other global actors. This book provides a new interdisciplinary approach to global justice, one that integrates the work and insights of international law and contemporary ethics. It asks whether the core norms of international law are just, appraising them according to a standard of global justice derived from the fundamental values of peace and the protection of human rights. Through a combination of a careful explanation of the legal norms and philosophical argument, Ratner concludes that many international law norms meet such a standard of justice, even as distinct areas of injustice remain within the law and the verdict is still out on others. Among the subjects covered in the book are the rules on the use of force, self-determination, sovereign equality, the decision making procedures of key international organizations, the territorial scope of human rights obligations (including humanitarian intervention), and key areas of international economic law. Ultimately, the book shows how an understanding of international law's moral foundations will enrich the global justice debate, while exposing the ethical consequences of different rules.
Perched up on a hill in the old city of Jerusalem, along the fragile border between the Jewish and Muslim Quarters, is the home of Michal Ronnen Safdie. Facing East, it overlooks the Western Wall precinct, the Dome of the Rock, and the Al-Aqsa mosque. To the North unfolds the Muslim Quarter with Mt. Scopus in the skyline; to the West, the Holy Sepulcher Church and the Christian Quarter... The photographs capture private and personal moments, as well as ritual events side by side with seeming normality hinting at the social and political forces that shape life in Jerusalem.
The record of a life cannot be told in lists of names and dates. Stories are the way we tell our lives, say authors Amy Lignitz Harken and Lee Hull Moses. Through the story told by Marilynne Robinson in her novel Gilead (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004), Harken and Moses take readers on a journey to discover the gifts of their own life stories. They travel alongside the life of Robinson's character John Ames III to introduce readers to some of the great theologians and to reflect on the life humble ministers. They explore biblical concepts of stories, prayer, legacies, and blessings. In Gifts of Gilead, readers share John Ames III quest for answers, join him in prayer, and maybe even gain a little insight into humanity's relationship with God.
Presenting a new perspective on the saga of the enslavement of the Jewish people and their departure from Egypt, this study compares the Jewish experience with that of African-American slaves in the United States, as well as the latter group’s subsequent fight for dignity and equality. This consideration dives deeply into the biblical narrative, using classical and modern commentaries to explore the social, psychological, religious, and philosophical dimensions of the slave experience and mentality. It draws on slave narratives, published letters, eyewitness accounts, and recorded interviews with former slaves, together with historical, sociological, economic, and political analyses of this era. The book explores the five major needs of every long-term victim and journeys through these five stages with the Israelite and the African-American slaves on their historical path toward physical and psychological freedom. This rich, multi-dimensional collage of parallel and contrasting experiences is designed to enrich readers’ understanding of the plight of these two groups.