Is Israel worth saving, and if so, how do we secure its future?
The Jewish State must end, say its enemies, from intellectuals like Tony Judt to hate-filled demagogues like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Even average Israelis are wondering if they wouldn't be better off somewhere else and whether they ought to persevere. Daniel Gordis is confident his fellow Jews can renew their faith in the cause, and in Saving Israel , he outlines how.
- 2009 National Jewish Book Award winner
- Addresses the most pressing issues faced by Israel-and American Jews-today, without recycling the same old arguments
- Lays to rest some of the most pernicious myths about Israel, including: Jews could thrive without Israel; Israeli Arabs just want equality, and Palestinians just want their own state; peace will come, if Israel will just do the right things
- "Morally powerful . . . from a writer whose reflections are consistently as intellectually impressive as they are moving. . . . Gordis addresses the exigencies of our time with the urgency they overridingly demand, and with the depth of feeling they inspire."-Cynthia Ozick
Gordis has written many popular personal essays and memoirs in the past, but Saving Israel is a full-throated call to arms. Never has the case for defending-no, celebrating-the existence of Israel been so clear, so passionate, or so worthy of wholehearted support.
|Publisher:||Turner Publishing Company|
|Edition description:||First Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Table of ContentsIsrael, Post Euphoria.
ONE The State That Reinvented Hope.
TWO Jews Making Jewish Decisions.
THREE The First War, All Over Again.
FOUR A Nation That Dwells Alone.
FIVE The Next Six Million.
SIX Israeli Arabs in a Jewish State.
SEVEN The Withering of Zionist Passion.
EIGHT More than Just a Hebrew-Speaking America.
NINE Israel's Arabs, Israel's Conundrum.
TEN Creating the New Jew.
ELEVEN The Wars That Must Be Waged.
TWELVE The Jewish State and the State of the Jews.
Because Israel Is Not Just a State.
What People are Saying About This
Few books can combine the sweep of Israel's complex and extraordinary history with personal insight and passion. Saving Israel accomplishes this and more, it educates and inspires it readers while furnishing them with well-grounded hope for the future. Daniel Gordis has written an essential text for students, scholars, journalists--anyone concerned with the survival of the Jewish State.
--Michael Oren, Bestselling author of Six Days of War and Power, Faith and Fantasy: American in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present
Daniel Gordis's morally powerful Saving Israel, from a writer whose reflections are consistently as intellectually impressive as they are moving, engages in an acutely necessary argument: that sovereignty has significantly changed the Jewish condition by influencing how we think. Gordis addresses the exigencies of our time with the urgency they overridingly demand, and with the depth of feeling they inspire.
Daniel Gordis' Saving Israel is an important book. Bold in his willingness to be forthright and politically incorrect, Gordis sets forth propositions which are difficult for many to accept, such as the fact that Israel's existence is more important than peace and that Israel can never be a copy of the American style liberal democracy. For, as he notes, what is at stake is not merely a state, but the only Jewish State in 2000 years, and the very future of the Jews worldwide, including those who do not live in that State. Hopefully, Saving Israel will inspire constructive discussion and analysis of core issues that Israelis, Jews everywhere, (and the entire West) have studiously avoided for far too long.
--Natan Sharansky, Former Soviet dissident and Israeli Cabinet Minister; author of Defending Identity: Its Indispensable Role in Protecting Democracy
Daniel Gordis has written a book about the future of Israel that is both heart-wrenching and heart-warming. His has consistently been, these past few years, one of the most engaging voices to have emerged from this time of trial for the Jewish state, and it is impossible not to be moved by his plea for hope in the land whose very existence should be a living symbol of hope.
--Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth
One of Israel’s most thoughtful observers – An American who made Israel his home, despite its imperfections and dangers.
--Alan Dershowitz, author of The Case for Israel
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Saving Israel is not like any previous Gordis book. Though he has lost none of his thoughtful eloquence, here is a more direct, steadfast Daniel Gordis than we encountered in his previous tomes. Gordis has no illusions about the many threats to its future that Israel faces. However, he shows that much of what needs to be done to save it from those threats can be done internally by Israelis themselves. Israelis, he believes, need to reconnect with the original purpose of the Jewish state in order to guarantee the state's future. He passionately restates that purpose and vividly re-evokes the pioneering spirit that took the dream of Zionism and turned it into reality. He's on breathtaking form in these passages as he laments the 'withering of Zionist passion' and shows how it can be - and must be - reawakened. Then he turns to the issue of Israeli Arabs and the more steadfast Gordis begins to show his hand. He addresses the issue with humanity, but also unflinching honesty. When he turns to the many external threats to Israel's future, Gordis is again admirably frank. He shows once and for all the true intentions of Israel's enemies and then powerfully shows why - contrary to the views of some diaspora Jews - winning and fighting wars is not antithetical to Judaism. Sweeping deftly through Jewish history, this chapter is overwhelmingly powerful. Much as I adored his previous books, there was an occasional tendency for hand-wringing in their pages. In Saving Israel, Gordis is far more partisan and route-one. This is not to say that he has lost any of his thoughtfulness and charm. Similarly, while this is a less personal book than his previous efforts, there are still some occasional insights into his family's life. (Once again, they leave you thinking: 'Oooh, he sounds like such a great Dad!') And such a great thinker, too. I hope this book is read very, very widely. Not only will those who take the time to read it be entertained, informed and inspired. They will also emerge from the experience all the more able to do what must be done to save the Jewish state and take it to new heights. In one section of Saving Israel, Gordis calls for the reinvention of the 'new Jew' of Zionism. Well, he walks it like he talks it. In this brilliant book we meet a new Daniel Gordis who has - in an entirely humane and appropriate way - taken the gloves off. Long may he spar.
My first thought as I was swept through page after page of this intense and chilling book was that it should be required reading for every Jew, every Israeli, every person who cares even the slightest about Middle Eastern politics. This book should be part of the compulsory curriculum for Jewish high school seniors both in America and in Israel. And it wouldn't hurt if a few key members of the State Department and Obama's foreign policy team read it as well. This book needs to be translated into Hebrew at the first possible moment because Israelis, more than anyone, need to confront the cold, hard truths that Daniel Gordis so eloquently lays out. Without apology, the author speaks of the reality that exists in Israel today in a way that few dare. The fact that he lives in Israel, is an insider, makes his premise all the more compelling. The suspicion that peace may be unattainable for many years to come, and the soul searching that is required of this lonely little democracy in order to confront that lack of peace, is much of what the book is about. The questions of what we are passing along to future generations, and the ability of these generations to be able to articulate why Israel deserves to exist, were the most thought-provoking chapters in the book. I think we are going to need to read and re-read this book over and over again in the coming years.
Saving Israel by Daniel Gordis is a profound book which should be read by anyone who is concerned about the future of Israel. The main thrust of his argument is that in order to survive and function as a 'Homeland for the Jewish people' Israel must strengthen its own sense of purpose as a Jewish State. In the face of constant criticism from the world community, many of whom question the country's right to exist, it is vital that Israelis and the Jewish Diaspora understand that their country cannot be exactly like any other; it is a unique country with unique accomplishments and problems. It cannot simply be a "mini America". Daniel Gordis offers a cogent analysis of the stalemate of the peace process and takes issue with the widely held view of many Jews today that somehow the 'default' Jewish position is a passive, non-military one. He argues that "When peace is not achievable, when enemies still seek to destroy the Jewish state and thereby to destroy the Jewish people, there is, sadly, no choice but to wage war". He doesn't advocate war as a strategy, but if the alternative is national suicide, it is both correct and inevitable. This will no doubt grate with the growing conventional western wisdom that all wars are essentially bad things (which sadly equates both the aggressor and the victim on the same subjective scale without acknowledging that there is an objective 'right and wrong') but given the inability of the UN to act to protect the legitimate interests of Israel and its population and the downright hostility of various nations to the State of Israel it is clear that an existential threat still exists to its existence. If this is the case it is only common sense to acknowledge the problem and prepare to deal with it. If unpopularity is the price to pay, so be it. Gordis advocates that the future of the country lies in a concerted effort to restore the primacy of Jewish content as a mainstay of the culture of the country and to restore faith in Israel's existence. He thinks and writes with great clarity about the problems that Israel faces today and offers a strong, coherent and insightful call to action.
A chilling survey of what the future may hold for Israel,unless,as Gordis recommends,this generation of Israelis rediscover their roots in Judaism.Not necessarily in a relgous way,but in a sense of history and connection to the roots and origins of the Jews in the land of Israel.My only worry is that this book will not be published in Hebrew,and will make no impact in Israel and on Israelis.The book is very readable,and presents the facts,sometimes as ugly as they are.There is no doublespeak here.
First, unless you support and actively care about Israel, don't bother reading this book : it just will not be interesting to you. If you do, the book provides an honest, complete and balanced overview of today's problems and chalenges the country faces : social, moral, and political ones, including the continuous fight for Israel's very existance. It is written in intelligent, sincere, almost poetic language. The style of book however is more scholary and philosophical contemplation than what-to-do recomendations and practical problem-solving suggestions. I didn't find the Answer in the End and I feel the author didn't have an aim to provide one. With this caveat, I recomend the book; I look forward to re-reading it every few years.
An articulate and thought-provoking perspective not just on the Israel & the Middle East, but on the meaning of Jewish life and the Jewish State. Rabbi Gordis is an engaging writer who stares directly into the problems facing Israel and the Jewish people and walks us through not only what to do, but why it matters.
Gordis confronts the elephants in the living room, and he does so with both sensitivity and integrity. For example, Gordis discusses the ways in which American democracy and Israel's democracy can't be the same. And he tries to grapple with the questions of when and why military action (and the use of force) isn't a deviation from Judaism's ideal. Gordis even considers the issue of how (and why) Israel might deal with Israel's Arab citizens. Gordis uses fascinating vignettes from current events to illuminate his position. I have read all of Gordis' other books and have never been disappointed. Every reader will not agree with all of Gordis' conclusions, but every reader should respect his analysis, prose and willingness to dissect issues that many other thinkers choose to ignore.