cover image Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth

Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth

Noa Tishby. Free Press, $27 (352p) ISBN 978-1-982144-93-7

Israeli actor and political activist Tishby combines memoir and advocacy in this one-sided portrait of her native country. Sketching her journey from the daughter of a politically well-connected family (her grandmother was a cofounder of the country’s first kibbutz) to the star of a hit Israeli TV show in the 1990s and a Hollywood producer, Tishby recounts her dismay at how little the rest of the world actually knew about Israel, despite its status as a “hot-button issue.” She began to take an active role in countering social media “misinformation” when Israeli soldiers were accused of killing nine Turkish peace activists in 2010 (the group of 700 activists actually included 40 “hard-core Islamists with ties to terrorism,” according to Tishby), and founded the online advocacy group Act for Israel in 2011. In her brisk rundown of Israeli history, Tishby points out that it was the British and the French who betrayed the Arabs after they fought against the Ottoman Empire in WWI, and accuses Yasser Arafat and other Palestinian leaders of “prefer[ing] to dance with the right wing of Israel than to be a true partner to the peace camp.” Tishby is a brisk and informative narrator, though her approach is more likely to confirm biases than change minds. This history makes its agenda plain. (Apr.)