The Siege: The Saga of Israel and Zionism

Conor Cruise O'Brien, Author Simon & Schuster $24.45 (798p) ISBN 978-0-671-60044-0
In a discursive style that is almost conversational at times, O'Brien conveys his fascination with the origin and development of political Zionism and the history of the State of Israel to the present day. The book offers provocative food for thought to the general reader. O'Brien argues, for instance, that the closing of America to mass immigration in 1924 was as decisive an event in the history of Zionism and the prehistory of Israel as the coming to power nine years later of Adolf Hitler. He discusses Gentile impatience with ""Holocaust consciousness'' and its exploitation by certain Israeli leaders, and how Israeli militancy has been regarded in some quarters as ``a monstrous mutation.'' He asserts that Arabs are not, and cannot be, anti-Semitic: ``They are anti-Zionist for good reasons.'' He compares the Catholics of Northern Ireland with the Palestinian Arabs. As O'Brien, former U.N. ambassador and member of the Irish parliament, notes, this is a highly personal book. One is hard pressed to recall another which deals in depth with this vast and prickly subject that is as bold or as readable. February
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Paperback - 808 pages - 978-0-571-32454-5
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