The Jewish Divide Over Israel:
Accusers and Defenders

Edited by Edward Alexander and Paul Bogdanor
Transaction Publishers, 2006 (hardback) / 2008 (paperback)
Order: [ US | UK ]

“A book of epoch-making importance… a meticulously studied anthology of the most virulent anti-Israeli and antisemitic views which have been voiced, shouted and published in recent years… Paul Bogdanor’s eighty pages of commentary on Noam Chomsky... are the boldest and most powerful refutations of the MIT thinker known to this writer.”
- Midstream Magazine

“Superb... mandatory reading for anyone wishing to understand the madness of Jewish self-hatred... Paul Bogdanor manages to shed fascinating new light on Chomsky... In hundreds of documented facts and citations, Bogdanor traces Chomsky’s candid devotion to seeking Israel’s annihilation and the second Holocaust that would result from it.”
- Nativ

“This book is a must-read for anyone wishing to understand not only why so many Jewish intellectuals turn against Israel, but also the mechanisms by which their otherwise shoddy and superficial scholarship and journalistic work earns so much praise.”
- National Review Online

“Because extreme denunciations of Israel by prominent Jews have played an exceptionally important role in legitimizing hatred of the Jewish state in the Middle East and across the world, this volume is not only timely, it is overdue.”
- Middle East Quarterly

“An impressive and necessary book.”
- Jerusalem Post

“A significant statement about the lacerating effects of Jewish self-hatred.”
- Jerusalem Report

“This book is required reading for anyone concerned about Israel and its supporters and enemies within the Jewish community.”
- Hadassah Magazine

“A great service to those who recognize the threat that Jewish defamation of Israel represents and want a better understanding of its nature and roots.”
- Jewish Political Studies Review

“An extremely important group of essays... Alexander and Bogdanor explain why so many Jewish liberals and radicals continually and wrongly undermine the Jewish state. The book is must reading.”
- The Jewish Voice and Opinion

Before 1967, Israel had the overwhelming support of world opinion. So long as Israel’s existence was in harmony with politically correct assumptions, it was supported, or at least accepted, by the majority of “progressive” Jews, especially in the wake of the Holocaust. This is no longer the case. The Jewish Divide Over Israel explains the role played by prominent Jews in turning Israel into an isolated pariah nation.

After their catastrophic defeat in 1967, Arab regimes overcame inferiority on the battlefield with superiority in the war of ideas. Their English-language propaganda stopped trumpeting their desire to eradicate Israel. Instead, in a calculated appeal to liberals and radicals, they redefined their war of aggression against the Jews as a struggle for the liberation of Palestinian Arabs. The tenacity of Arabs’ rejection of Israel and their relentless campaign - in schools, universities, churches, professional organizations, and, above all, the news media - to destroy Israel’s moral image had the desired impact. Many Jewish liberals became desperate to escape from the shadow of Israel’s alleged misdeeds and found a way to do so by joining other members of the left in blaming Israeli sins for Arab violence.

Today, Jewish “progressives” rationalize violence against the innocent as resistance to the oppressor, excuse Arab extremism as the frustration of a wronged party, and redefine eliminationist rhetoric and physical assaults against Jews as “criticism of Israeli policy.” Israel’s Jewish accusers have played a crucial and disproportionate role in the current upsurge of antisemitism precisely because they speak as Jews. Eager to evade the “moral taint” of justifying Israel’s right to self-defense, Israel’s Jewish accusers find themselves, in an age of suicide bombers, complicit in the murder of their fellow Jews.

The essays in this book seek to understand and throw back the assault on Israel led by such Jewish liberals and radicals as Tony Judt, Noam Chomsky, George Steiner, Daniel Boyarin, Marc Ellis, Israel Shahak, and many others. Its writers demonstrate that the foundation of the state of Israel, far from being the primal sin alleged by its accusers, was one of the few redeeming events in a century of blood and shame.

Table of Contents


Interview: Edward Alexander

Interview: Edward Alexander and Paul Bogdanor


Further Reading

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