Genesis: Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict

John B. Judis. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $30 (432p) ISBN 978-0-374-16109-5
Judis (The Folly of Empire), senior editor at the New Republic, examines the important turning points that led to the establishment and administration of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, with a focus on President Truman's failure "to resolve the conflict between Zionism and Arab nationalism." From the 1880s through the wars of 1948, Judis provides detailed accounts of behind-the-scenes maneuvering by international players and politicians. He shows that the American Zionist movement, by involving the U.S. government in the Palestine question, made it much more difficult for the Zionists and Arabs to resolve the issue peacefully. And once they achieved statehood, the Israelis themselves were just as uncompromising as the Zionists had been in their clashes with the Arabs. Judis forcefully argues for broader recognition of the fact that the rights of Palestinian Arabs have long been denied and shows how the historical rationalizations employed to deny such rights are devoid of substance. One minor qualm is that, given the conflict's complexity and the myriad individuals and organizations involved, it would have been helpful to include a timeline of events and a section with short biographical notes on the key players. Nevertheless, Judis succeeds admirably in taking a deeply divisive and multifaceted issue and explaining it in an accessible way. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/25/2013
Release date: 02/04/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 448 pages - 978-1-4299-4910-1
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-0-374-53512-4
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