How Long Will Israel Survive?: The Threat from Within

Gregg Carlstrom. Oxford Univ., $24.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-19-084344-1
Once viewed as the most stable state in the Middle East, Israel now faces internal divisions that threaten its very survival, according to journalist Carlstrom in his debut book. Drawing on interviews with a large cross section of Israelis, including both politicians and settlers, Carlstrom puts a human face on the challenges Israel faces and offers a measured, detailed, and insightful look into the roots of the current situation. Several factors, Carlstrom points out, threaten Israel’s future, including an endless state of conflict and occupation that tears down the relationships between the nation and the army and between Jews and Arabs. In addition, while Israel has presented itself to the world as an ideal democracy surrounded by monarchies and dictatorships, the state is now so divided into various political and religious groups that internal unity seems impossible. Carlstrom observes that profound economic and social inequality is exacerbating this disunity. Perhaps the greatest threat to Israel’s survival, he asserts, is a prime minister, Netanyahu, who has created a space for “the ideologues, the sectarians and the extremists” intent on dismantling the delicate social threads that have stitched the country together since its inception. Carlstrom’s engrossing book doesn’t trade in dire warnings but offers a sobering look at contemporary Israel and its future. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 08/28/2017
Release date: 12/01/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
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