In July 2000, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat refused to negotiate a peace offer made by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak at Camp David. At the end of September the Palestinians then launched their second intifada, an outbreak of terrorism in the heart of Israel’s cities that continues to this day. The unprecedented violence drove Barak from office and brought to power the feared hard-liner Ariel Sharon.
In RIGHT TO EXIST, Yaacov Lozowick, an Israeli historian, describes his evolution from a liberal peace activist into a reluctant supporter of Sharon. In making sense of his own political journey, Lozowick rewrites the whole history of Israel, delving into the roots of the Zionist enterprise and tracing the long struggle to establish and defend the Jewish state in the face of implacable Arab resistance and widespread international hostility.
Lozowick examines each of Israel’s wars from the perspective of classical “just war” theory, from the fight for independence to the present day. Subjecting the country’s founders and their descendants to unsparing scrutiny, he concludes that Israel is neither the pristine socialist utopia its founders envisioned, nor the racist colonial enterprise portrayed by its enemies. Refuting dozens of pernicious myths about the conflict—such as the charge that Israel stole the land from its rightful owners, or that Arabs and Jews are locked in a “cycle of violence” for which both bear equal blame—RIGHT TO EXIST is an impassioned moral history of extraordinary resonance and power.
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Published February 20, 2013
History, Political & Social Sciences.