The Anatomy of Israel's Survival by Hirsh Goodman

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For those who study Israel from afar, Goodman has produced a wonderful primer on the young country’s fascinating history and unique geopolitical challenges. Before my review copy arrived in the mail, I doubted whether the world truly needed yet another book about Israel. As it turns out, those doubts were unfounded.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

The question “Can Israel survive?” has echoed loud for Israelis—and Jews, their supporters and adversaries worldwide—since the Holocaust. The recent upheavals in Egypt, Tunisia and beyond have raised it anew. Israeli journalist and security analyst Hirsh Goodman set out to answer it, through rigorous factual assessment of each of the challenges his country faces, and by consulting experts and participants on all sides of every complex issue. But what he learned was that this once ‘essential question’ has become a dangerous distraction.

In this provocative and deeply informed book, Goodman shares his clarifying analyses both of recent political events and of Israel’s strategic position. He shows how the country’s obsession with dangers posed by outside forces has obscured the harder issues facing it from within ever since its leaders disregarded Ben Gurion’s advice to leave the territories captured during the Six Day War. By yoking itself to the demographic timebomb of the West Bank and Gaza, Israel propelled itself towards an invidious choice: democracy or Jewish identity. Now, Goodman argues, Israel’s survival is jeopardized more by the competence of its leaders and fissures in its social and political system than by any outside threat—even the apocalyptic-sounding ones from Iran.

 

About Hirsh Goodman

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Hirsh Goodman is a senior research associate at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University where he directs the Bronfman Program on Information Strategy. Prior to joining INSS, Goodman was the vice president of the Jerusalem Post. In 1990 he founded The Jerusalem Report and served as its editor-in-chief for eight years. Between 1986 and 1989 he was the strategic fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and four children. This is his fourth book.
 
Published September 6, 2011 by PublicAffairs. 290 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction
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National Post arts

Excellent
Reviewed by Jonathan Kay on Sep 02 2011

For those who study Israel from afar, Goodman has produced a wonderful primer on the young country’s fascinating history and unique geopolitical challenges. Before my review copy arrived in the mail, I doubted whether the world truly needed yet another book about Israel. As it turns out, those doubts were unfounded.

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