Sunday, November 22, 2015

Solid Talking Points

Going back months as usual, I finished by GH reading while at my in-laws' house for Succos.  They have plenty of interesting reading material there, but everything was a bit disorganized because of construction.  One thing I came upon was Alan Dershowitz's The Case For Israel, which definitely seemed promising.

Of course, I am a stalwart supporter of Israel and I know many of the talking points, but I am always interested in knowing what to argue in more depth (with whom? well anonymous Salon  commenters, but that's another story... or perhaps not, I'll get into that later :)) Anyway, The Case For Israel is a fast read, not a detailed history, but it addresses every argument of the anti-Israel camp in detail (well maybe not every argument, but certainly those that I've heard).  It goes through some of the salient history, much of which I did not know  - including the recently relevant details of the Mufti's participation in the Holocaust and the very important demographic information surrounding the founding of the state (up until 1830, "Palestine" was almost empty. Though the start of the Arab influx of immigration predated the Jewish start by a few decades, the population growth of the two groups occurred basically simultaneously.  At the time of the Partition Plan proposal, the clear majority of the population living in the land to be allotted to Israel was Jewish).  There was information about international law and how it relates to Israel, and details about the Israeli army's extremely careful stewardship of life. The book was written in 2003, but nothing much has changed since then - other than the Palestinians growing over more intransigent and world'd louder condemnation of "settlements".

I found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable, gratifying and very informative read.  I then took my new-found factually-based arguments and commented on a Salon article. That of course was a mistake, in which I wasted a week raising my blood pressure to argue with a rude bully, until I gave up as it was taking too much time. But, that incident notwithstanding, I am very glad to have read this book, just so I can answer all those anti-Israel news stories in my head with solid, cogent, pro-Israel arguments :)

Verdict: 5/5

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