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Original Essays | August 20, 2014

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The Jewish Wars


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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Edward Alexander launches a counterattack in the war of ideas over Zionism, very much a warrior using words and ideas as his weapons. This book begins with a dissection of the first (1987) Intifada and deals with people and events through 1994, when Israel, having embraced the PLO, began their withdrawal from the disputed territories. Alexander shows how the Intifada proved to be a potent propaganda tool for its organiers. The spectacle of young Palestinians facing Israeli soldiers won for Arabs precisely the victory they had sought: it moved liberal, especially Jewish liberal, sympathy decisively to the side of the Palestinians. Alexander criticies prominent figures in politics, journalism, education, and literature who express hatred of Jews, Judaism, and Israel. He gives special attention to major combatants in the Jewish wars such as the late Edward Said, Desmond Tutu, Patrick Buchanan, Alexander Cockburn, Michael Lerner, Noam Chomsky, and still more to certain personality types: the timorous Jew cloaking his timidity in the robes of the biblical prophet; the treacherous Jew presenting betrayal of his own people as ethical idealism; the Israelophobe parading as a dispassionate critic of Israeli policies, the journalist exploiting the full public address and public relations systems provided by his profession. The recurring themes in Alexander's essays are the relations between American and Israeli Jews and the incorporation of anti-Zionism into liberalism, multiculturalism, and literary criticism. He analyes the politically motivated distortion and exploitation of the Holocaust, the strategies of moral and political discrimination used against Israel, the self-deceptions by which prominent American and Israeli Jews evade the implications of such discrimination, and the growing impunity with which antisemitic tropes can be employed at both ends of the political spectrum. The author's new introduction traces these developments into the twenty-first century.

Edward Alexander is professor emeritus of English at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is the author of numerous books, including The Jewish Idea and Its Enemies; The Holocaust and the War of Ideas; and Lionel Trilling and Irving Howe: And Other Stories of Literary Friendship.

Book News Annotation:

In a new introduction to the 1996 collection of his essays, Alexander (emeritus, English, U. of Washington, Seattle) laments that wars against the Jews continue in one form or another. He discusses the latest manifestations of antisemitism, anti-Zionism, and appropriation of the Holocaust in messages on liberalism and multiculturalism by critics of Israeli politics/propagandists including Edward Said, Desmond Tutu, Patrick Buchanan, Michael Lerner, Noam Chomsky, and some Israelis. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

Alexander, Edward
Transaction Publishers
Social Science : Anthropology - Cultural
Public opinion
Attitudes toward Israel.
United States
World History-Middle East
Publication Date:
Grade Level:

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Middle East » General History
History and Social Science » Sociology » Jewish Studies
History and Social Science » World History » Middle East
Religion » Eastern Religions » Jainism
Religion » Judaism » History

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