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Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israelby Max Blumenthal
Synopses & Reviews
In Goliath, New York Times bestselling author Max Blumenthal takes us on a journey through the badlands and high roads of Israel-Palestine, painting a startling portrait of Israeli society under the siege of increasingly authoritarian politics as the occupation of the Palestinians deepens.
Beginning with the national elections carried out during Israel's war on Gaza in 2008-09, which brought into power the country's most right-wing government to date, Blumenthal tells the story of Israel in the wake of the collapse of the Oslo peace process.
As Blumenthal reveals, Israel has become a country where right-wing leaders like Avigdor Lieberman and Bibi Netanyahu are sacrificing democracy on the altar of their power politics; where the loyal opposition largely and passively stands aside and watches the organized assault on civil liberties; where state-funded Orthodox rabbis publish books that provide instructions on how and when to kill Gentiles; where half of Jewish youth declare their refusal to sit in a classroom with an Arab; and where mob violence targets Palestinians and African asylum seekers scapegoated by leading government officials as "demographic threats."
Immersing himself like few other journalists inside the world of hardline political leaders and movements, Blumenthal interviews the demagogues and divas in their homes, in the Knesset, and in the watering holes where their young acolytes hang out, and speaks with those political leaders behind the organized assault on civil liberties. As his journey deepens, he painstakingly reports on the occupied Palestinians challenging schemes of demographic separation through unarmed protest. He talks at length to the leaders and youth of Palestinian society inside Israel now targeted by security service dragnets and legislation suppressing their speech, and provides in-depth reporting on the small band of Jewish Israeli dissidents who have shaken off a conformist mindset that permeates the media, schools, and the military.
Through his far-ranging travels, Blumenthal illuminates the present by uncovering the ghosts of the past — the histories of Palestinian neighborhoods and villages now gone and forgotten; how that history has set the stage for the current crisis of Israeli society; and how the Holocaust has been turned into justification for occupation.
A brave and unflinching account of the real facts on the ground, Goliath is an unprecedented and compelling work of journalism.
Brash, gritty, personal and close to the ground, this is a report from an Israel and a Palestine we seldom see in the mainstream media. The sharp-edged scenes and portraits in this disturbing book shows why the chances for lasting peace in the region have gone from bad to worse.” Adam Hochschild
"It is about time someone wrote this book. Max Blumenthal has done a scrupulous and gripping job of portraying the reality of occupation, its terrors, its fears and its injustice. Anyone who thinks he knows what is happening in Israel and its occupied territories will think again after reading this great work." Charles Glass
"Armed with a critic's eye and a sharp pen, Blumenthal sets out to document what he regards as the fulfillment of Yeshayahu Leibowitz's darkest prophecy regarding the Israeli occupation. Exposure to the impressions from his journey through the Land of Israel-Palestine might be outrageous, unsettling, often heart wrenching. But especially those who fear for the image of this land would be well advised to respond to the challenge and to deal with his flowing descriptions of the struggles he witnessed and of the brave souls he met in one of the most divided and conflict-ridden places in the world." Akiva Eldar
"Israel defines itself as a Jewish and democratic state; but it is also, and no less definingly, a racist state. In this pioneering work, a blend of tough, contemporary reportages and their explanatory historical background, Max Blumenthal lays bare in rich and riveting detail the full, shocking scope and virulence of a cancer, both institutional and popular, which, unchecked, will surely do more to destroy Israel from within than its enemies — essentially of its own racist/colonialist making too — from without." David Hirst
Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel is New York Times best-selling author Max Blumenthal's devastating journey through Israel and an anatomy of the extremist takeover of a nation. What Blumenthal finds is a country overrun by extremists, where the Jewish Right has hijacked constitutional protections for both minorities and those in the majority who dissent. Blumenthal investigates the roots of these cultural and political shifts, as well as the malign American right-wing funders who are bankrolling Israeli extremism. He finds that the country US officials regard as the only foothold of democracy in the Middle East — with which President Obama has said [our] bond is unbreakable” — is teetering on the edge of authoritarianism.
Informed by intensive on-the-ground reporting, Goliath paints a vivid portrait of a society turning its back on democracy and uncovers the factors (political, demographic, and psychological) that have transformed a nation.
About the Author
Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author whose articles and video documentaries have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Beast, The Nation, The Guardian, The Independent Film Channel, The Huffington Post, Salon.com, Al Jazeera English and many other publications. His book, Republican Gomorrah: Inside The Movement That Shattered The Party, was a New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller. He blogs at maxblumenthal.com
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