My beloofde land deur Ari Shavit - Geskiedenis

My beloofde land deur Ari Shavit - Geskiedenis


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Die hoog aangeskrewe boek van Ari Shavit verskyn op die lys van die belangrikste boeke van 2013. Alhoewel ek verstaan ​​waarom hierdie boek baie eer ontvang het, sou ek dit nie gegee het as ek die lys saamgestel het nie My Beloofde Land so 'n prominente plek. Shavit se boek is goed geskryf en boeiend. Die skrywer maak duidelik dat sy vertelling nie 'n geskiedenis is nie, maar 'n kroniek van 'n persoonlike reis. Die boek is egter ongetwyfeld 'n geskiedenis van die staat Israel, gesien deur die lens van spesifieke plekke en tye.

My beloofde land: die triomf en tragedie van Israel ” begin met die reis na Palestina deur Shavit's Great, Grand Father ('n welgestelde Britse Jood wat 'n vroeë Sionis was.) Met sy uitstekende joernalistieke oog wys Shavit vir ons die Palestina wat sy oupagrootjie omhels het. Shavit bring die hoop en vrese van die Joodse volk saam. Hy maak vroeg reeds duidelik dat as sy Oupagrootjie nie op hierdie kursus besluit het nie, die waarskynlikheid groot sou wees dat Shavit deur hierdie geslag slegs gedeeltelik Joods sou wees. In die weefsel van die familieverhaal verweef, lê Shavit uiteen wat 'n herhalende tema word in sy boek - Sionistiese blindheid wat die Palestyne betref. Shavit skryf:

'Hy het in die elegante koets van Jaffa na Mikveh Yisrael gery, en hy het nie die Palestynse dorpie Abu Kabir gesien nie. Op reis van Mikveh Yisrael na Rishon LeZion, het hy nie die Palestynse dorpie Yazur gesien nie. Op pad van Rishon LeZion na Ramleh het hy nie die Palestynse dorpie Sarafand gesien nie. En in Ramleh sien hy nie regtig dat Ramleh 'n Palestynse stad is nie.

Shavit se vrae waarom sy oupa nie die Palestyne tydens sy besoek gesien het nie. Hy gee verskeie antwoorde. Shavit stel voor dat selfs al was daar 'n miljoen Palestyne in die hele land Palestina (insluitend wat vandag Jordanië is), dit 'n land van 100,000 vierkante kilometer was. Verder herinner Shavit ons daar was geen Palestynse politieke identiteit nie. Baie van die wat hier woon, was nomadiese Bedoeïene. Uiteindelik, en waarskynlik die mees besliste, skryf Shavit egter dat die Sioniste nie die luukse gehad het om aandag aan die inwoners van die land te gee nie. Hulle was bekommerd oor die redding van 'n volk.

Die tweede hoofstuk van “My beloofde land ” gaan oor die bou van Ein Harod, op van die vroeë Kibbutzim in die Galilea. Shavit skryf oor hul historiese pogings om die Kibboets te bou op grond van sosialistiese beginsels. Sy uitbeelding van die stigting van die Kibboets is meesterlik. Hier weerhou Shavit daarvan om terug te keer na sy gunsteling -temas (dit wil sê die feit dat die sosialistiese stigters van Ein Harod en die ander Kibboetsen in die vallei die Arabiere van die gebied ignoreer.)

In die derde hoofstuk spring Shavit na 1936 en beskryf die Orange Groves of Rechovot. Die hoofstuk vertel die verhaal van die Duitse immigrasie na Palestina in die 30's, en beskryf ook die transformasie van die Joodse inwoners van die land van vroeë pioniers na 'n florerende middelklasbevolking. Hierdie verandering was 'n volledige metamorfose - ondanks die feit dat die land reeds 'n Hebreeuse Universiteit en die Technion gehad het; en die feit dat die Sioniste 'n 25-jarige hoofstad in die groeiende metropool Tel Aviv gehad het. Shavit praat wel oor die Arabiere van die land, maar hier, maar hy skryf meer oor die positiewe uitwerking van die Joodse nedersetting:

'In Qubeibeh, Zarnuga en die ander Arabiese dorpe rondom Rehovot is Joodse hoofstad, Joodse tegnologie en Joodse medisyne 'n seën vir die inheemse bevolking, wat vordering bring in desperate Palestynse gemeenskappe. Die Sioniste van Rehovot kan dus steeds glo dat die botsing tussen die twee mense vermy kan word. Hulle kan nog nie die dreigende, onvermydelike tragedie voorspel nie. ”

Terwyl dit hoofsaaklik die sukses van die Sionistiese beweging vier, neem hierdie hoofstuk ook kennis van die begin van die begin van die Palestynse nasionalisme en die weerstand teen die sionisme.

Shavit se volgende hoofstuk het die titel:"Masada". Dit begin met die beskrywing van die uitbreek van die Arabiese opstand in 1936, en die eerste moord op Jode (dws die moord op die vyftigjarige Zvi Dannenberg en die 70 -jarige Israel Hazan, omdat hulle Jode was.) Shavit verwys kortliks na die bloedbad van 1929 in Hebron. en Safed. Hy verduidelik egter hoe die gebeure in 1936 baie anders was, soos dit weerspieël "'N kollektiewe opstand van 'n nasionale Arabies-Palestynse beweging".

Shavit noem die Peel -kommissie en beplan om die grond in twee state te verdeel. Hy lê klem op die aanbeveling dat “Arabiere wat in die Joodse staat woon, word elders oorgeplaas, net soos Jode wat in die toekomstige Arabiese staat woon. ” Shavit glo dat die Peel -kommissie 'n nuwe rigting vir die sionisme gelegitimeer het. Interessant genoeg ignoreer Shavit een van die belangrikste historiese feite oor die Peel -kommissie - die feit dat die Jode die aanbevelings van die kommissie aanvaar het en die Arabiere dit verwerp het. Die hoofstuk beskryf dan Masada deur die oë van 'n ekspedisie wat deur 'n vooraanstaande Sionistiese opvoeder, Shmaryahu Gutman, gereël is. Sy doel was om Masada te omskep in 'n moderne simbool van verset. Iets wat Gutman baie suksesvol was om te doen.

Die volgende afdeling van “My beloofde land ” sal die meeste ontstellend wees vir diegene wat opgebring is oor die mite dat al die Arabiere Israel vrywillig tydens die oorlog van 1948 verlaat het; wag net totdat die Joodse staat deur die oprukkende Arabiese leërs uitgewis word. Shavit vertel die verhaal van die Arabiere van Lydda wat uit hul huise gedwing is, en gedwing is om vlugtelinge te word (sowel as diegene wat per ongeluk gedood is, of in sommige gevalle deur die ontwerp). Hoewel daar niks nuuts is in Shavit se beskrywing hiervan nie gebeurtenisse, is sy vertel van die verhaal net so boeiend as ontstellend. (Let wel: Vir diegene wat die gebeure in 1948 ten volle wil verstaan, beveel ek aan dat u die wonderlike en gebalanseerde "1948" van Benny Morris lees.)

Die volgende hoofstuk genaamd "Housing Estate in 1957" vertel die verhaal van 'n paar vooraanstaande Israeliërs (soos professor Ze'ev Sternhell, skrywer Aaron Appelfeld, regter Aaron Barak en Louis Aynachi.) Dit vertel die verhaal van die groot immigrasie na Israel in die jaar na die stigting van die staat en hoe die staat nuwe immigrante suksesvol (en minder suksesvol) opgeneem het.

Die volgende hoofstuk, genaamd "The Project 1967", beskryf die verhaal van die vestiging van Israel se kernreaktor in Dimona. Hy voeg interessante kleur by die legende van die bou van die reaktor. Hier is Shavit op sy pessimistiesste:

“Die uitsetting van 1948 het Dimona genoodsaak. As gevolg van die dooie dorpe was dit duidelik dat die Palestyne ons altyd sou agtervolg dat hulle altyd ons eie dorpe wou platdruk. En daarom was dit nodig om 'n skild tussen ons en hulle te skep, en die ingenieur het dit geneem om die skild te bou. Ons sou nie toelaat dat die Palestynse tragedie die monumentale onderneming in gevaar stel om ons eie tragedie te beëindig nie. ”

Hier besin Shavit oor sy vrees dat Israel binnekort sy monopolie sal verloor op wat vermoedelik in Dimona aangaan, en dit kan ons ongedaan maak.

Shavit se volgende hoofstuk, "Nedersetting 1975" en beskryf die verhaal van Israel se vestiging op die Wesbank. Dit is 'n bekende, goed vertelde verhaal, maar Shavit doen dit goed om dit oor te vertel.

Die volgende hoofstuk "Gaza Beach 1991" vertel Shavit se gedagtes en gevoelens oor sy leër se reserwe diens in Gaza daardie jaar as 'n wag in 'n aanhoudingskamp. Weereens, vir diegene wat nie verstaan ​​wat dit beteken om in die gebiede te dien nie, sal hierdie hoofstuk baie ontstellend wees. Ek moet sê, baie van die ervarings, en beslis die emosies, wat Shavit beskryf, is baie gelyktydig met my ervarings wat ek 11 jaar vroeër in Gaza gedoen het.

Die volgende hoofstuk, "Vrede 1993", is 'n besinning oor waarom die vredesproses misluk het. Dit bevat onderhoude met Yossi Sarid en Yossi Beilin. Shavit vertel die verhaal van die Oslo -ooreenkomste deur Beilin.

Shavit verduidelik oor die mislukking van die vredesproses en betreur: 'Die fundamentele gebrek was dat dit nooit 'n onderskeid gemaak het tussen die kwessie van besetting en die kwessie van vrede nie. Wat die besetting betref, was die Links heeltemal reg. Dit het besef dat besetting 'n morele, demografiese en politieke ramp was. Maar wat vrede betref, was die Linkses ietwat naïef. Dit het gereken op 'n vredesvennoot wat nie regtig daar was nie. Dit het aanvaar dat omdat vrede nodig is, vrede haalbaar is. Maar die geskiedenis van die konflik en die geostrategie van die streek impliseer dat vrede nie haalbaar is nie. ”

Hy sê verder dat die fundamentele probleem van die linkses was dat dit op 1967 konsentreer en 1948 geïgnoreer word. Shavit versterk sy argument deur die verhaal te vertel van Kibboets Hulda en die Arabiese dorpie Hulda wat van die kaart afgevee is.

Die volgende hoofstuk van die boek heet “J’Accuse 1999 ”. Dit vertel die verhaal van die Shas -leier Aryeh Deri. Ek moet sê dat dit 'n hoofstuk was waar ek baie dinge geleer het wat ek nie geweet het nie. Hierdie hoofstuk moet gelees word vir diegene wat die verskynsel Shas wil verstaan.

Die hoofstuk "Seks, dwelms en die toestand van Israel, 2000" beskryf die partytjie- en nagtoneel in Tel Aviv in daardie jaar. Vir diegene wat nie bewus was van die toneel in daardie dae nie, is dit die moeite werd om te lees. Terwyl Tel Aviv sedert 2000 ontwikkel het, het die Tel Aviv van vandag sy wortels in 2000. In die volgende hoofstuk, "Up The Galilee 2003", ondersoek Shavit die sienings van die Arabiere van Galilea.

Sy volgende hoofstuk "Reality shock 2006", gebruik die agtergrond van die Libanon -oorlog om te vra wat verkeerd geloop het. Aan die een kant maak Shavit dit duidelik dat 'n deel van die probleem met die oorlog die besetting was wat moes eindig. Belangriker nog, beskryf Shavit sewe verskillende opstande wat gedurende hierdie tydperk in Israel plaasgevind het-die Setlaars-opstand, die Vredesopstand, die Ultra-Ortodokse opstand, die Hedonistiese opstand en die Palestina-Israeliese opstand. Shavit beweer dat hoewel elkeen van hierdie opstande geregverdig was, saamgetrek, dit die Israelrepubliek uitgewis en sy optrede vermoor het.

Shavit se volgende hoofstuk heet "Occupy Rothchild". Aan die een kant gebruik hy die hoofstuk om die verhaal van twee van Israel se rykste gesinne te vertel- dit wil sê die verhaal van die Strauss-gesin en hul dagboek- en voedselreus wat hulle gebou het, en die verhaal van Kobi Richter, die voormalige vegvlieënier, was besonder suksesvol hoë-tegnologie entrepreneur. Nadat hy die suksesse van hierdie finansiële reuse bespreek het, probeer Shavit om die oorsake van die protesbeweging sowel as die interne demografiese bedreigings waarmee Israel te kampe het, te hanteer.

In sy tweede tot laaste hoofstuk praat Shavit oor die bedreiging wat die Iraanse kernprogram vir die Israeliet inhou. Uiteindelik, in die laaste hoofstuk genaamd "By the Sea", probeer Shavit al die probleme wat hy in sy boek stel, in perspektief plaas. Shavit beskryf hoe suksesvol Israel was om 'n tuisland vir die Joodse volk te bied, en hoe dit nou die middelpunt van die Joodse lewe in die wêreld is. Hy beskryf hoeveel Israel bereik het sedert die tyd wat sy Oupagrootjie besoek het. Hy juig Tel Aviv van 2013 toe, wat ek so goed ken, en wat 'n ongelooflike stad dit geword het.

Shavit eindig die boek deur te sê ons is almal “Lede van 'n rolprent waarin die draaiboekskrywer mal geword het, die regisseur hardloop ... Maar ons is nog steeds hier op hierdie Bybelse stel. Die kamera rol nog steeds, en terwyl die kamera optrek, sien ons hoe ons by hierdie oewer bymekaarkom en aan hierdie oewer vasklou en wat aan die oewer bly. ”

“My beloofde land” word gelees vir almal wat vertroud is met ons geskiedenis en die weer van Shavit in die regte perspektief kan plaas. Dit is nie 'n geskiedkundige werk nie en het baie historiese gate. Shavit is egter 'n baie begaafde skrywer, en hy bring 'n fassinerende montering van enkele baie belangrike punte in ons geskiedenis suksesvol in fokus.



Waarheid sonder konteks: Die probleme met “My beloofde land ” deur Ari Shavit

Verlede naweek het ek die kans gekry om die “Beste boeke van 2013” ​​-lyste in te lees Die ekonoom en Die New York Times. Alhoewel daar nie baie ooreenstemmende keuses tussen die twee lyste was nie, val dit tog saam oor die keuse van Ari Shavit se “My beloofde land: die triomf en tragedie van Israel. Trouens, die gesogte nommer 1 plek op Die ekonoom 'se lys het na die boek van Shavit gegaan. Laat ek begin deur te sê dat ek geen onjuisthede in die werk van Shavit gevind het nie. As iemand wat baie vertroud is met die geskiedenis wat hy behandel, kan ek egter ook sê dat daar geen nuwe onthullings in hierdie bundel was nie. Ek moet ook erken dat die boek oortuigend en goed geskryf is. Al wat ek gesê het, moet ek byvoeg dat dit 'n boek is wat ek nooit sou geskryf het nie - en 'n boek wat ek nie dink Shavit moes uitgereik het nie (ten minste nie soos dit aangebied is nie.)

Ek sê dit alles as iemand wat die meeste van Shavit se politieke sienings deel - ek is miskien effens links van hom. Sy artikel, “A Missed Funeral and the True Meaning of Zionism, weerspieël alles wat ek glo.

Sover my kennis strek, is sy uitbeelding van die gebeure in Lydda in 1948 histories akkuraat en die ervarings wat hy gehad het om 'n gevangenekamp in Gaza te bewaak, weerspieël my eie tydens die weermagreservaat op die strook meer as 30 jaar gelede. Die krag van Shavit se boek het vir my nog duideliker geword nadat 'n onlangse artikel deur Daniel Gordis verskyn het. Gordis is 'n geleerde wat ek respekteer en bewonder. Maar ek het die afgelope jare gevoel dat hy 'n te veel cheerleader geword het vir ons regering. Maar nadat hy die boek van Shavit gelees het, het Gordis geskryf dat "gedwing word om die werklikheid van die Joodse staat te konfronteer, altyd 'n baie pynlike proses is."

Ondanks die duidelike en verskillende verdienste van die boek, het ek drie probleme daarmee. Eerstens, as historikus, is dit moeilik vir my dat geskiedenis slegs deur verhale oorgedra word. Selfs 'n middelbare skoolstudent weet dat dit onaanvaarbaar is om historiese verslae te skryf sonder om voetnote of bronne te verskaf.

Tweedens, en meer problematies, terwyl Shavit probeer om konteks te bied vir die vertellings wat hy aanbied, is die konteks wat hy verskaf buitengewoon beperk. Hierdie probleem begin vroeg in die boek wanneer hy die verhaal vertel van sy oupagrootjie, Hebert Bentwich se reis deur Palestina, en Shavit die verhaal in historiese konteks plaas deur te skryf:

'Skielik merk hierdie toegewyde seuns van Europa op dat Europa dit nie sal hê nie. Europa dink hulle ruik. Oornag is daar 'n nuwe vreemde voorkoms in Moeder Europa se oog. ”

Dit is hoe hy die opkoms van die vroeë Sionisme verantwoord. Shavit verwys nie na die Dreyfus -verhoor nie - spaar 'n kort verwysing later in die boek.

Sy belangrikste verwysing na die Holocaust, waar hy wel Dreyfus noem, is beperk tot 'n reël in sy hoofstuk oor Rechovot, met betrekking tot hoe die setlaars gevoel het:

'Einde Julie 1935 sterf Alfred Dreyfus. Middel September 1935 pas Nazi-Duitsland die rassistiese wette van Neurenberg toe. Vanuit 'n Sionistiese oogpunt is daar 'n verband tussen die twee gebeure. Dreyfus was die Franse Joodse weermagoffisier wie se vervolging Herzl laat vrees het vir die nagmerrie wat op die Jode van die twintigste-eeuse Europa wag. Die rassistiese wette van Neurenberg bewys dat Herzl reg het. Dit is onmoontlik om voor te stel dat miljoene Jode binne 'n dekade vergas sou word, maar in die somer van 1935 beleef die Berlynse Jode iets wat hulle in honderd jaar nie beleef het nie - pogroms. Die nuus wat Rechovot in die laat somer bereik, laat geen twyfel nie: die groot stortvloed het begin. Die Europese Joodse godsdiens gaan op die punt staan ​​om verwoes te word. ”

Shavit keer kortliks terug na die Holocaust in die middel van sy afdeling oor Masada. Daar beskryf hy die impak van die Holocaust op Sionistiese denkers, soos Yosef Tabenkin en Berl Katznelson. Om eerlik te wees, keer hy ook kortliks terug na die verhaal van Holocaust wanneer hy die lewensverhale van professor Ze’ev Sternhell en skrywer Aharon Appelfeld vertel. Hierdie punt in die boek is egter minder gefokus op historiese konteks, en meer oor die vertel van die verhaal van hierdie individue

Ek kan voortgaan (en ek doen dit in hierdie volledige resensie.) Asemrowend is egter wat uit hierdie gewilde, bekroonde verhaal van Israel weggelaat is. Byvoorbeeld: die VN -kommissie oor Palestina, die besluit van die Arabiere om die plan teë te staan, gevolg deur hul besluit om 'n oorlog te begin, is amper 'n verbygaande verwysing in sy verhaal oor Lydda. Die weiering om die vlugtelinge te hervestig ná 1949 die Hamas-bombardement na die moord op Rabin, die tweede Intifada, die vuurpylvuur uit sowel Libanon as Gaza, is alles weggelaat- of in die verbygaan genoem- die nuuskierige lys van kritieke weglatings duur voort.

Na my mening, "My beloofde land: die triomf en tragedie van Israel ” is 'n uitstekende boek vir Daniel Gordis, of vir almal wat ons basiese geskiedenis ken. Dit is 'n vreeslike en potensieel gevaarlike boek vir die wêreld om te lees en te omhels, sonder die historiese konteks wat baie van Shavit se verhale vereis om ten volle verstaan ​​te word.

Dit bring my by die derde, en my kernklag, en dit strek verder as net die behandeling van die geskiedenis van Shavit. Daar is twee moontlike redes waarom hierdie boek op hierdie manier ontwerp is en waarom die boek eers in Engels eerder as in Hebreeus gepubliseer is. Eerstens, miskien was dit bloot 'n kommersiële oorweging (dws Shavit en sy agente het bepaal wat sou verkoop en wat goeie resensies sou ontvang). As dit die geval is, Kol Hakavod (geluk) dat jy die spyker op die kop geslaan het). Hulle het dit reggekry - die vervaardiging van 'n boek oor Israel wat tegelyk hoogs krities is, maar tog geskryf is deur 'n Israelier wat Israel duidelik liefhet en toegewyd is aan die toekoms daarvan (al is dit 'n sentiment wat eers in die slotgedeeltes van die boek aan die lig kom) . 'N Alternatiewe verklaring vir die publikasie van hierdie boek is dat Shavit by 'n lang lys mense aangesluit het wat glo dat die enigste manier om verandering in politieke beleid hier teweeg te bring, is deur eksterne druk uit te oefen. 'N Vriend het my onlangs die oortuiging gegee dat "ons enigste hoop om die besetting te beëindig, Amerikaanse of Europese druk is". Dit is deel van die 'J Street line'. Ek stem 100%nie saam met hierdie perspektief nie. Die enigste manier om die besetting te beëindig en te verander wat in hierdie land gebeur, is om die sienings en prioriteite van Israeliërs te verander. As ons die wêreld teen ons draai, versterk dit net die oortuiging dat die hele wêreld teen ons is - wat die regses verder versterk en versterk en niks doen om die aspirasies van die linkerkant te ondersteun nie.

Die boek van Ari Shavit is welsprekend en boeiend. As 'n geskiedkundige werk, wat natuurlik geen aanspraak maak op dit nie, en wat die meeste lesers sal dink dat dit 'n kommerwekkende boek is. As 'n politieke diskoers mis hierdie boek die gehoor wat die belangrikste doelwit van die Israeliese stempubliek moet wees, en nie die globale elite wat die grootste deel van die boek se huidige leserspubliek is nie. “My beloofde land: die triomf en tragedie van Israel ” moet elke Israeliese hoërskoolleerling gelees word. Ongelukkig sal hulle waarskynlik nie die boodskap van Shavit ondersoek en internaliseer nie.


  • Skrywer: ARI. SHAVIT
  • Uitgewer:
  • Vrystellingsdatum: 2018
  • Genre:
  • Bladsye:
  • ISBN 10: 039959048X
  • Skrywer: Ian Buruma
  • Uitgewer: Atlantic Books Bpk
  • Vrystellingsdatum: 2016-01-19
  • Genre: Biografie en outobiografie
  • Bladsye: 123
  • ISBN 10: 9781782395416

Ian Buruma se grootouers aan moederskant, Bernard en Winifred (Bun & Win), skryf gereeld gedurende hul lewens saam aan mekaar. Die eerste briewe is in 1915 geskryf, toe Bun nog op Uppingham op skool was en Win musieklesse in Hampstead geneem het. Hulle was meer as sestig jaar getroud, maar die kern van hul merkwaardige verhaal lê binne die bestek van die twee wêreldoorloë. Na 'n kort skeiding, toe Bernard tydens die Groot Oorlog as draagbaar aan die Westelike Front gedien het, het die egpaar briewe uitgeruil wanneer hulle uitmekaar was. Die meeste van hulle is tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog geskryf en hulle korrespondensie is gevul met lewendige weergawes van oorlogsaktiwiteite in die buiteland en in die buiteland. Bernard was in Indië gestig as 'n weermagdokter, terwyl Win deur die oorlogstyd en die Blitz gesukkel het om haar gesin bymekaar te hou, waaronder hul oudste seun, die latere filmregisseur John Schlesinger (Midnight Cowboy, Sunday Bloody Sunday), en twaalf Joodse kinders wat hulle gereël het om uit Nazi -Duitsland gered te word. Hulle briewe is 'n onbetaalbare verslag van 'n geassimileerde Joodse gesin wat gedurende die omwentelinge van die twintigste eeu in Engeland gewoon het en 'n aangrypende portret van 'n liefdevolle paartjie wat deur oorlog geskei is. Deur hul eie woorde te gebruik, het Ian Buruma 'n betowerende hulde gebring aan die volhoubare krag van 'n gesin se liefde en toewyding deur baie donker dae


Besprekingsvrae

1. Om die geskiedenis van sy land te vertel, begin Shavit met die verhaal van sy Britse oupagrootjie en reis na Palestina op 'n Thomas Cook-karavaan in 1897 en gaan voort in sy rol as ons gids deur die boek. Hy stel ook beduidende historiese gebeure deur 'n persoonlike lens bekend en vertel die verhaal van 'n eienaar van 'n lemoenboom, byvoorbeeld om die ekonomiese oplewing van die laat dertigerjare in Palestina en 'n individuele entrepreneur te verteenwoordig wat die tegnologiese oplewing van die afgelope dekade verteenwoordig. Voel u dat hierdie benadering tot skryf oor die geskiedenis van Israel effektief is?

2. Was daar iets in die boek wat u aannames oor die geskiedenis van Israel en die rsquos betwis het? Wat het jou verbaas?

3. Hoofstuk Vier, & ldquoMasada, & rdquo is die verhaal van een suksesvolle veldtog van een man om die persepsie van geskiedenis te verander deur 'n nasionale narratief te vorm. In watter mate word geskiedenis deur individue gevorm? Kan u aan ander voorbeelde dink, in die boek of in die wêreldgeskiedenis in die algemeen, waarin 'n individu 'n land se identiteit en verhaal hervorm het?

4. Hoofstuk vyf, & ldquoLydda, & rdquo bied die sentrale morele konflik van die boek deur die lens van een geveg. Aan die einde van die hoofstuk skryf Shavit, en ek veroordeel Bulldozer. Ek verwerp die sluipskutter. Maar ek sal die brigade -bevelvoerder en die militêre goewerneur en die seuns van die oefengroep nie verdoem nie. Inteendeel. As dit nodig is, staan ​​ek by die verdoemdes. Omdat ek weet dat as dit nie vir hulle was nie, die staat Israel nie gebore sou gewees het nie. & Bespreek Shavit & rsquos morele reaksie op wat in Lydda gebeur het. Het elke land 'n Lydda in die geskiedenis van sy staatskaping? As dit die geval is, dink aan 'n paar voorbeelde.

5. Hoofstuk ses, & ldquoHousing Estate, & rdquo beskryf die enorme opofferings wat die nuwe vlugtelinge vir hul toekomstige toestand gemaak het, dikwels onwillig. Stem u saam met die mening van Ben Gurion en rsquos dat herinneringe aan die Holocaust en die verlede ondermyn moes word om die nuwe staat te skep? Bespreek die spanning tussen die individu en die staat in die skepping van Israel. U kan ook die verstommende suksessyfer onder die immigrantkinders van die Housing Estate bespreek, waarvan baie die leiers van die jong land geword het. Watter faktore dink jy het bygedra tot hul sukses?

6. Hoofstuk sewe bespreek die stealth skepping van Israel & rsquos kernreaktor. Bespreek die implikasies daarvan vir die huidige besprekings van kernverspreiding. Shavit druk die ingenieur om die morele betekenis van sy lewenswerk te bespreek, maar die ingenieur weier om aan die bespreking deel te neem. Dink u dat Shavit reg is om die ingenieur te stoot soos hy doen, of het die ingenieur reg gesê: & ldquo As almal soveel tyd as u spandeer as u, sou hulle nooit optree nie?

7. In hoofstuk agt, oor die nedersettings, skryf Shavit, & ldquoDie vraag is of Ofra 'n goedaardige voortsetting van die sionisme is of 'n kwaadaardige mutasie van die sionisme, & rdquo en antwoord dat dit beide is. Bespreek die twee maniere om die nedersettings te beskou. Stem u saam met die beoordeling van Shavit & rsquos?

8. In hoofstuk tien, & ldquoPeace, & rdquo vir Shavit, verteenwoordig Hulda die kern van die Israel-Palestina-konflik. En hy sê dat Hulda geen oplossing het nie, en ldquoHulda is ons lot. & Rdquo Wat bedoel hy hiermee?

9. In Hoofstuk sewentien, & ldquoBy the Sea, beskryf Shavit die konsentriese kringe van bedreiging wat Israel uitdaag. Die sesde bedreiging wat hy op bl. 403-404 beskryf, is 'n morele bedreiging: en 'n nasie wat in eindelose oorlogvoering vasgeval het, kan maklik bederf word. Dit kan fascisties militaristies of net brutaal word. & Rdquo Hoe belangrik en dringend is hierdie morele bedreiging in vergelyking met die ander bedreigings wat Israel in die gesig staar? Glo u dat Israel 'n groter morele verantwoordelikheid het as ander lande? Is 'n morele Israel nodig vir sy voortbestaan, en is dit waar vir lande in die algemeen?


Boekresensie van My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel deur Ari Shavit

In April 1897, enkele maande nadat Theodor Herzl The Jewish State gepubliseer het en die Sionistiese beweging begin het, 'n stoomboot met een en twintig dromers in Jaffa. Hulle is 'n afvaardiging van Britse Britse Jode, en hulle het na Palestina gereis om die vooruitsigte van die vestiging van die land met die vervolgde Joodse massas van Rusland, Pole en Wit-Rusland te ondersoek. 'N Profetiese vrees vir die uitsterwing van die Joodse volk - hetsy in die pogroms van Oos -Europa of die gesekulariseerde assimilasie van Wes -Europa - gekombineer met 'n romantiese Victoriaanse hunkering na Sion, het hierdie pelgrims geïnspireer om die gemak van Londen na die woestyne van Palestina te verlaat. Die regeerbare Herbert Bentwich, die oupagrootjie van die skrywer Ari Shavit, 'n rubriekskrywer vir Haaretz en een van Israel se invloedrykste politieke kommentators, lei die afvaardiging. Terwyl die stoomboot vasmeer, stop Shavit sy vertelling en vra homself af: 'Wil ek hê hy moet vertrek? Ek weet nog nie. ” 1

My Promised Land is die mees bekroonde en kommersieel suksesvolste boek oor Israel van die afgelope dekade, wat positiewe resensies ontvang het nadat dit in die Verenigde State gepubliseer is. Dit is 'n poging om Israel te verstaan ​​deur sy verhaal te vertel van die aankoms van Bentwich in Jaffa in 1897 tot die skryf van die boek in 2013. Shavit verwerp gelukkig polemie vir die grootste deel, maar plaas 'n 'persoonlike odyssey', 'n eienaardige maar altyd 'n aangrypende mengsel van familiegeskiedenis, herinneringe, argiefnavorsing en onderhoude. Elke hoofstuk is chronologies gestruktureer en bied 'n momentopname van 'n historiese oomblik op 'n geografiese plek in Israel. Sedert sy oupagrootjie se aankoms in 1897 in Jaffa, gaan Shavit oor na die twintigerjare en die pioniers van die Kibboetse in Ein Harod, waar “na agtienhonderd jaar die Jode teruggekeer het om die vallei te saai” 2 en dan op die bloeiende lemoenboorde van Rehovot in die dertigerjare, voordat die bloedvergieting van die Arabiese opstande in 1936 die illusies van die meer utopiese elemente van die Joodse nasionale beweging verpletter het.

Die eerste dekade van die staat Israel word opgeroep deur die Bizaron -behuisingslandgoed, bewoon deur rustig getraumatiseerde, maar obsessief hardwerkende Europese oorlewendes. Ander hoofstukke bevat 'n fassinerende weergawe van Israel se "dubbelsinnige" kernprojek in Dimona, waarmee beide die vader en oom van Shavit direk betrokke was, en 'n oorbeklemtoonde weergawe van die kloppende hedonisme van Tel Aviv se naglewe. Shavit het 'n gretig sentriese rekening probeer skryf, wat 'n beroep op die wydste moontlike spektrum van lesers het- valke en duiwe. Dus, in die hoofstuk wat sy verslag van sy eie ervaring as 'n wag in 'n gevangenis op Gaza -strand bevat, kan Shavit woorde soos "Aktion" en "Gestapo" gebruik en 'n medesoldaat aanhaal wat sê dat "die plek lyk soos 'n konsentrasiekamp, ”Hoewel Shavit self“ altyd die analogie verafsku het ”. 3 In 'n ander kan hy egter 'n ontleding gee van die eksistensiële bedreiging wat die Iraanse sentrifuges inhou, sodat die valk Netanyahu dit self sou kon skryf. Hierdie dualisme loop deur die boek.

Shavit is nostalgies oor Israel se meer sosialistiese verlede, en spoor baie van die probleme wat hy vandag sien na die oorwinning van regses in die 1977-verkiesing, wat dertig jaar se heerskappy deur linkse partye beëindig het. Hy is 'n passievolle kritikus van die beroep en beskou dit as onregverdig en polities bytend. Terselfdertyd, ondanks die instemming met die linkse vredesbeweging oor die morele onwettigheid van die besetting, beskou hy die "peaceniks" as naïef mislei in hul oortuiging dat die terugtrekking na 'n weergawe van die grense van 1967 vrede sal bring: "Ons moet was nugter genoeg om te sê dat besetting moet eindig, selfs al het die besetting nie die konflik beëindig nie. ” 4

Op hierdie logika hoef Israel nie te wag vir 'n ooreenkoms met die Palestyne nie, maar moet hulle eensydig maatreëls tref om 'geleidelik en versigtig' terug te trek van die Wes -Bank. Gegewe die onwaarskynlike vooruitsigte van 'n suksesvolle onderhandelde skikking, verteenwoordig 'n eensydige onttrekking van hierdie aard, wat Ben-Gurion self onmiddellik na die oorlog in 1967 bepleit het, steeds meer een van die min reaksies wat Israel oorbly om 'n Joodse en demokratiese staat te bly. Na Operation Protective Edge in die somer van 2014, is die algemene steun vir enige riskante ontkoppeling van die Wesbank egter op 'n laagtepunt. Terselfdertyd is Shavit heldergesien oor die gevare van onbesetting-veral die potensiaal vir die opkoms van, in Netanyahu se woorde, 'n ander "Hamas-stan" met 'n raket wat slegs 'n paar minute van Tel Aviv en Ben-Gurion-lughawe af is. Shavit se verslag, wat in Engels geskryf is en duidelik op 'n Amerikaanse gehoor gerig is, het egter alle lesers baie belang. Soms is dit werklik kragtig en ontroerend, veral in sy beskrywings van die byna wonderbaarlike nasiebou van die Sionisme, terwyl moeras wat deur malaria geteister word en woestyne bloei. Uiteindelik draai die verhaal van Shavit egter om 'n kern van knaende, bytende, selfversekerde skuldgevoelens oor die grondslag van Israel.

Vir al Shavit se viering van Israel se nasionale prestasie, verval hierdie angsbevange skuld by Shavit se morele geloof in die Sionistiese projek. Dit hang oor baie van die vroeë hoofstukke van die boek, met groot voorveronderstellings van 'n dreigende katastrofe wat sy beskrywing van die beweging van die Sionisme, hoe goedaardig ook al, omskep van 'n lemoen tot 'n vioolkonsert. Vanaf die heel eerste paragrawe van die boek, wanneer Bentwich beskryf word as "nog steeds 'n onskuldige" 6 wanneer hy die Heilige Land vanuit sy stoomboot bekyk - nog nie verdoem vir die lot van die Palestyne wie se dorpe hy "nie sien nie" 7 ondersoek dit - skuld hang oor al die triomfe van My Beloofde Land. Hierdie selfvlagende berou vind sy bepalende apoteose veral in een hoofstuk, getiteld 'Lydda, 1948', wat 'n mate van bekendheid verkry het toe dit apart in die The New Yorker gepubliseer is. Dit beskryf grafies die verdrywing van duisende Arabiere uit die stad Lydda in Julie 1948 as 'die sionisme 'n bloedbad'. Shavit skryf: 'Lydda is ons swart boks. Daarin lê die donker geheim van die Sionisme. Die waarheid is dat die Sionisme Lydda nie kon verdra nie. . . As die Sionisme sou wees, kon Lydda dit nie wees nie. ” 8 Die gebeure by Lydda is die besef van wat altyd sou wees, vanaf die oomblik dat Bentwich in Jaffa beland het, 'n "naderende, onvermydelike tragedie." 9 Indeed, for Shavit, Israel’s history is always shaped by a “tragic decree,” by “eternal struggles”—in short, by “fate,” a word that appears an extraordinary number of times over the course of the book, with repeated injunctions to his fellow citizens to “recognize our fate [and] live up to our life’s decree.” 10

For Shavit, war in the Middle East is an inevitable necessity, given the converging forces of Zionism and the Palestinians there was no escaping Lydda, and there is no escaping a future of eternal war. Except that there was and there is. History isn’t Greek tragedy. The fates of nations are not con- trolled by the will of distant, arbitrary gods. The events at Lydda, and indeed the current events in the Middle East, are not and have never been inevitable. They are historically contingent, generated at least in part by specific decisions by individuals with moral agency. Lydda was not inherent in Zionism but emerged in the desperate maelstrom of a war of survival—the essential context, which Shavit downplays, of the simultaneous invasion of the nascent Jewish state by five Arab armies, in a war the Secretary-General of the Arab League promised would be “a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacre and the Crusades.” 11 In Shavit’s ac- count, all Arab agency is subsumed into suffering passivity, merely waiting for a “tragic decree” to unfurl: “Lydda suspected nothing.

Lydda did not imagine what was about to happen.” 12 But the Arab invasion followed the rejection of the UN partition plan by the Arab states, a rejection that was not fated or inevitable but a deliberate political decision. Even within the brutally bloody context of a war for Jewish survival, there was nothing inevitable about Lydda, given that numerous other Arab cities, such as Nazareth, saw no such massacres or expulsions. Shavit’s description of a unitary, monolithic Zionism, moreover, ignores the numerous debates that divided the movement from its very inception. For instance, John Judis has argued recently (in Genesis: Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict) that the vision of a binational state envisaged by Zionists such as Ahad Ha’am could well have been realized had Truman acted differently in 1948. 13 It is not true that Zionism required the destruction of Lydda. History is not fate.

This is true not only of the events of 1948 but of the whole subsequent history of the region. The long sequence of failed negotiations, plagued initially by Palestinian rejectionism and increasingly by the continuing announcement of tenders for settlement construction, does not stem from a decreed, preordained injunction but from the unfolding consequences of quite deliberate political actions. For all My Promised Land’s undoubted merits, the persistent, crushingly fatalistic view of history as an inescapably tragic destiny is a major weakness of the book. Blaming fate becomes a get-out clause, negating the need for the difficult decisions from both parties that will truly define the region’s future.

Ultimately, Shavit concludes, “There will be no utopia here. Israel will never be the ideal nation it set out to be . . . But what has evolved in this land is not to be dismissed . . . a truly free society that is alive and kicking and fascinating.” 14 Israel is home to a “living people,” and the “Israel tale is the tale of vitality against all odds.” 15 Given the tragedy of the first half of the twentieth century, this is no small triumph. It’s just as well Herbert Bentwich disembarked.

Sam Winter-Levy is the von Clemm fellow 2014–15 at the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, studying history and international relations.

1 Ari Shavit, My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel (New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2013), 8.

11 David Barnett and Efraim Karsh, “Azzam’s Genocidal Threat,” Middle East Quarterly Vol. 18, No. 4 (Fall 2011): 85–88.

12 Shavit, My Promised Land, 104.

13 John B. Judis, Genesis: Truman, American Jews and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014).


My Promised Land by Ari Shavit


When Secretary of State John Kerry began his diplomatic work, no doubt he approached it with the high-minded, can-do style of his American predecessors. We have to do something fair and rational in the Middle East, he must have thought as he began his energetic and well-meant efforts. I hope he is reading Ari Shavit’s My Promised Land while he pursues his elusive goal, as it explains the inexplicable state of affairs in Israel and the tortured complex history that led it to the present status quo. Shavit’s book is immensely readable it deals with complex matters with extraordinary fairness and balance and it provides a bill of factual particulars that will be hard for any other book to equal.

In one chapter, Shavit tells four stories of four Israelis – a professor of politics, a Supreme Court chief justice, a noted literary author, and an escapee from Iraq. The atrocities they and their families endured – emblematic of the Jewish Diaspora after World War II – led them to Israel. The chaos and madness uprooted and destroyed their families and their lives. Their stories put into a comprehensible context the dilemmas of current Israeli society, after “the world had shifted from its natural course.”

Shavit compares their personal stories with his own during the country’s dramatic, early years of Zionism when Israel dealt with “a wave of immigration never experienced by any other state in modern times…a remarkable melting pot.” But the melting pot didn’t melt completely. Oriental Jews claim to have an inferiority complex, and the vast influx of Russians remains insular. The young generation does not share the same utopian commitments of their pioneer parents and grandparents. The unruly process of Zionism created improvised and “imperfect solutions to acute challenges…always adjusting and creating new realities.”

It was also a time when “Palestine vanished and the modern state of Israel replaced it.” But the romantic miracle of its birth and early kibbutz life makes it difficult for Israeli society today to deal with its recent history. Shavit writes: “As it marched toward the future, Israel erased the past.” In doing so, it was inevitable that Israel “expunged Palestine from its memory and soul.” Israelis’ nation-building had to be based on denial Israel could not afford guilt or compassion at the same time. Yet, claims for refuge in ancestral Palestine are as historic as they are current.

Shavit uses Masada – the 2,000-year-old desert fortress near the Dead Sea where, ages ago, Jews committed suicide rather than die at their enemies’ hands – as a mystical historical metaphor for Israel’s loneliness in a hostile world. He retells the aching story of Lydda as the source of the settlement movement and the conversion of a utopia into the “dark secret of Zionism.” The current Israeli-Palestinian dilemma, Shavit concludes, derives from the story of Lydda and how the loss of Palestinian sovereignty and dignity led to intergenerational revenge oozing from unhealed wounds. “My nation has become an occupying nation.”

Shavit studies and faults the settlements phenomenon, “illegal, immoral, and irrational,” attributing it to the wars of 1967 and 1973. Zealots sought to “bring the Bible to life.” Shavit concludes ominously: “There will be war, no doubt about it” as Israel is entangled in a predicament caused by saving one people “by dispossession of another.”

Shavit describes his personal experiences as a military guard at a Gaza prison as a morally corrupting one: “We are evil in Gaza.” Caught in a circle of violence and counter-violence, “the tragedy never ends.” He describes the evolution of Israel’s reactor in Dimona, its Star Wars “insurance policy of nuclear deterrence,” and questions whether eventually it will “open the gates of a future hell” and become “a cathedral for a tragic modern age,” an inferno.

My Promised Land is a sad book, one of successes and survival of settlement and displacement of partition, occupation, and homeland and of wrenching cruelties, horrors, and inhumanities. It describes a complicated history, and Shavit tells it with compassion, understanding, and honesty, and without polemics. He takes us to villages, kibbutzim, and cities, introducing readers to engaging, interesting people. And he tells their remarkable stories. He explains why Israel is “an ongoing adventure, an ‘odyssey.’”

The humanity of all the contending players we meet is manifest. “I write with my heart,” Shavit says, “to bring back to life different periods of time.” It is hard to see long-term peace in Israel’s future. Israel has become “a state in chaos” it is “a Jewish state in an Arab world, and a western state in an Islamic world, and a democracy in a region of tyranny.” It is economically strong – miraculously so – but politically distressed. Once an oasis, it is now surrounded and threatened without a peace artner. “We dwell under the looming shadow of a smoldering volcano.”

Shavit’s history of this place he knows and oves is must reading for our secretary of state and anyone else who cares bout peace in the Middle East and wants the cycle of struggle and tragedy to end.

Ronald Goldfarb’s column, CapitaLetters, appears regularly in the Washington Independent Review of Books.


Timstafford's Blog

Ari Shavit’s My beloofde land: die triomf en tragedie van Israel is a wonderful and troubling book, a history of modern Israel that uses carefully researched profiles to tell Israel’s story and pose its dilemmas. Shavit is a secular Zionist and a journalist who writes for Haaretz. He begins the story of Israel with his own great grandfather, Herbert Bentwich, an English Zionist who visited Palestine in 1897 to test the possibilities of establishing Jewish colonies. Shavit paints vivid pictures of the early kibbutz beweging. He describes in detail the men who fought for Israel’s independence in 1948, and carefully draws out what is known of the development of nuclear weapons in the 1960s. Shavit writes beautifully, and his deep love for and pride in his country suffuses the book. He made me feel the severe beauty and energy of modern Israel.

He also looks unblinkingly at Israel’s cruelty. As he sees it, Israel was a necessary and astonishing innovation intended to solve the problem of the Jews of Europe—under deadly persecution in the east (which would lead to the Holocaust) and at risk of complete assimilation in the west. If the Jews as a people were to survive, they needed a place of their own. He makes a strong case that Israel was necessary, and he clearly believes that it is necessary today. But with equal insistence he describes the fatal flaw in the vision: Palestine was already the home of somebody else. The early Zionists (including his great grandfather) chose not to see Palestinians the later Zionists saw them and recognized that they could not coexist. Some of the most harrowing passages in My Promised Land describe the actions and thoughts of men whom Shavit clearly admires as they steeled themselves to cruelty and murder, forcing Palestinian Arabs out of their ancestral villages and towns.

Given what his ancestors did, Shavit sees no possibility of peace. He does not blame Palestinians for hating Israel, and he does not blame Israelis for defending their land at all costs. He believes that Israel’s current occupation of Palestinian territory is a policy disaster, as well as a humanitarian outrage, but he understands that it is rooted in well-grounded fear. “On the one hand, Israel is the only nation in the West that is occupying another people. On the other hand, Israel is the only nation in the West that is existentially threatened. Both occupation and intimidation make the Israeli condition unique. Intimidation and occupation have become the two pillars of our condition.” Try as he may, he cannot see a good future in this combination. He has only an amorphous hope that somehow the genius of Israelis will find a way, again, to preserve their country. Otherwise Israel’s triumph can only lead to tragedy for Jews as well as for Palestinians.

Shavit is a passionate man with strong ideas, and he writes with verve. Some of course disagree, and he allows them, including Palestinians and religious Jews, to have their word, which he treats with respect. He is impressively fair-minded, a journalist who asks probing questions and listens to the answers. All the same it is his passionate conviction—his fear, his pride, his hope, his shame—that makes him a wonderful dialogue partner in trying to understand the past, present and future of Israel. I learned a lot from reading this book, and it sparked many thoughts about the meaning of life and history far removed from the triumph and tragedy of modern Israel. More on that in future posts.

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One Response to “My Promised Land”

[…] I wrote last week about My Promised Land by Ari Shavit, a powerful, emotive history of modern Israel. What struck me most was the recording of Israel’s founding—the evocation of a people on the brink of an abyss, about to be exterminated in eastern countries and assimilated in western countries. The idea of the nation of Israel—Zionism—was anathema to many Jews who saw their salvation in religious identity, not in establishing a state after more than 2,000 years without one. Even if you believed the premise that a Jewish state would transform their situation, was the idea practical? Shavit shows that it was made practical only through a remarkable combination of zealous idealism and ardent pragmatism. He dramatizes real people and real places where extraordinary determination, skill, chutzpah, smarts and risk-taking created a desert miracle, a vital, successful, creative and sometimes joyful country. If a degree of cold cruelty was unavoidably at its heart, Israel was still a remarkable accomplishment. […]


Shavit's 'My Promised Land Examines Israel's Complexities

Oggend -uitgawe co-host Steve Inskeep talks to Israeli journalist Ari Shavit about his new book My beloofde land: die triomf en tragedie van Israel. Shavit attempts to capture the complexity and contradictions of modern Israel by examining his country's history.

Shavit's 'My Promised Land Examines Israel's Complexities

Recently my colleague Steve Inskeep heard an Israeli journalist give a talk. The journalist said that people in Israel had over the past few decades forgotten their nation's narrative.

ARI SHAVIT: We've lost this basic understanding that we are the ultimate victims of the 20th century. We are the ultimate victims of Europe. And Israel, with all its flaws, is a remarkable project of life-saving of a nation that was facing extinction and took its own fate in its own hands and tried to save itself and in many ways succeeded.

GREENE: Ari Shavit has long been a columnist for the liberal Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Now he's written a book called "My Promised Land." In it, Shavit examines his country's history, its glories and its most painful chapters. When he stopped by our studios a few weeks ago, he talked with Steve about a man who visited the holy land over a century ago.

SHAVIT: My great grandfather was a self-made, very successful British-Jewish lawyer, and the question I asked myself at the beginning of the book is why would such a person who had it going so well for himself in London, which was the capital of the world at the time, why would he go to desolate, remote Palestine?

STEVE INSKEEP, BYLINE: He went on a scouting trip to see if this would be appropriate for Jewish settlement.

SHAVIT: And the answer I come up with, that he and his cofounders of Zionism had these brilliant insights. Although they did not know there will be such a place called Auschwitz, they realized that Europe was going mad and it's going after its Jews. And they tried actually physically to save the Jews. And to do that they actually launched the most amazing revolution of the 20th century. They transferred the people from one continent to another, they took a land, they built a nation, and all this and this amazing life-saving project that Israel is.

INSKEEP: Well, you went back and you read your great grandfather's journal of a portion of this journey to the holy land, to what is now Israel, and you read the journals of other people who were on this scouting trip of sorts. And you go into some detail in describing what he saw when he was looking around and looking at the prospects and, also what he did not see.

SHAVIT: Absolutely. There was this flaw from the very beginning, and the flaw was that my great grandfather, like other Zionists, did not really see the other. They did not really see that this land, this is the land of our forefathers, our ancient homeland, is occupied, it taken by another people. There was no Palestine national entity. There was no political entity.

INSKEEP: It was part of the Ottoman Empire.

SHAVIT: It was part of the Ottoman - and the entire region was, like, chaotic and tribal. So one has to remember, they did not conquer a well-established state, but those other people were there. And my great grandfather did not see them. Now, that's the source of the tragedy, because on the one hand, you have this amazing triumph that is a result of the brilliant insight. On the other hand, you have this ongoing tragedy of a 100-year war - more than that - that is the result of that basic flaw, that we did not see the Palestinians and the Palestinians would not see us, and.

INSKEEP: And you mean that in an almost literal sense - people would look right at Arab villages and ride past them.

SHAVIT: And in many ways. So I think, one of my hopes is that Palestinians would read this book and be able to understand where we come from, understand our narrative. And while we Israelis will really recognize our other and see that the Palestinians are there in a deep way, I think that that is the key - to recognize the past and move on and to see one another in a deep, human way.

INSKEEP: You do reconstruct in a literary way a lot of painful moments. The mid-1930s when Arabs realized the Jews were getting really quite numerous, attack the Jews, and there were Jewish reprisals that were terrible as well. You go to the 1940s - 1948 - this is around the time of the formal declaration of the state of Israel and describe Israelis forcing everyone out of a town called Lida(ph). Why focus on that episode? What happened there and why is it important to you?

SHAVIT: First of all, let me begin with what you say about the '30s. In many ways the most important year in the history of that holy land is really '36, because this is when the two people saw each other for a moment and the result was a total war. The Palestinians really wanted to drive us out. And Zionism has changed, 'cause it lost its innocence. Up to that point, with this romanticism and idealism, they did not see the problem. From that moment on, both sides saw the problem and the result was terrible violence.

INSKEEP: Meaning that at that moment both sides understood there was another people on this land.

SHAVIT: Yeah, and both wanted, and both - now, there is no - the brutality began in a big way in the late '30s. So in many ways the war of '48 was a result of that, because we moved from innocence to living in a brutal pain. My painful chapter about Lida is there because I think it's my moral obligation to look at things as they were. And I describe at great length what has happened there, which is that the Israeli forces conquered the city and drove away its civilian population. So this is a tragedy. And what I say about Lida is, one, I must acknowledge Lida happened two, we all have to be fair and see that many things as Lida and worse happened in the 1940s three, we have to remember that anywhere that the Palestinians or the Arabs then had a victory over the Jews in that war, worse things happened and the most important thing is really this dialogue, in a sense, that I have with the Palestinians here, which says, yes, I recognize, I acknowledge Lida, but you must not get addicted to Lida. You have to leave that behind and we must build our future in that land, remembering that it happened, remembering and understanding that it's at the heart of your tragedy. But other tragedies happened and let's move on. Let's not get caught in this tragic cycle of trying to bring back that past and not being able to get out of the vicious circle.

INSKEEP: So what does Israel owe the Palestinians then?

SHAVIT: A state. I think that the two-state solution is necessary for political reasons, first of all, but also for moral reasons. I think that it's incomprehensible that the Palestinians will not have a state of their own. But that state should live in peace and it should not try to replace Israel. And regretfully, there are still many Palestinians who have a vision of Palestine that actually in this way or another replaces Israel. I think that after having such a long war, you have malaise on both sides. Our malaise is occupation. We have to end occupation. If we can do it through peace, that will be great. If not so, we have to do it unilaterally in a cautious, gradual way, because we cannot be occupying them. And we owe it to them - they should have a state. What the Palestinians have to do is to realize that their Palestine will live next to Israel and we cannot endanger Israel. Both patients have to be cured.

INSKEEP: Ari Shavit is author of "My Promised Land." Baie dankie.

SHAVIT: Thank you very much.

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My Promised Land : The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel

Winner of the Natan Book Award, the National Jewish Book Award, and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award

An authoritative and deeply personal narrative history of the State of Israel, by one of the most influential journalists writing about the Middle East today

Not since Thomas L. Friedman’s groundbreaking Van Beiroet na Jerusalem has a book captured the essence and the beating heart of the Middle East as keenly and dynamically as My Promised Land. Facing unprecedented internal and external pressures, Israel today is at a moment of existential crisis. Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family’s story, illuminating the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is larger than the sum of its parts: both personal and national, both deeply human and of profound historical dimension.

We meet Shavit’s great-grandfather, a British Zionist who in 1897 visited the Holy Land on a Thomas Cook tour and understood that it was the way of the future for his people the idealist young farmer who bought land from his Arab neighbor in the 1920s to grow the Jaffa oranges that would create Palestine’s booming economy the visionary youth group leader who, in the 1940s, transformed Masada from the neglected ruins of an extremist sect into a powerful symbol for Zionism the Palestinian who as a young man in 1948 was driven with his family from his home during the expulsion from Lydda the immigrant orphans of Europe’s Holocaust, who took on menial work and focused on raising their children to become the leaders of the new state the pragmatic engineer who was instrumental in developing Israel’s nuclear program in the 1960s, in the only interview he ever gave the zealous religious Zionists who started the settler movement in the 1970s the dot-com entrepreneurs and young men and women behind Tel-Aviv’s booming club scene and today’s architects of Israel’s foreign policy with Iran, whose nuclear threat looms ominously over the tiny country.

As it examines the complexities and contradictions of the Israeli condition, My Promised Land asks difficult but important questions: Why did Israel come to be? How did it come to be? Can Israel survive? Culminating with an analysis of the issues and threats that Israel is currently facing, My Promised Land uses the defining events of the past to shed new light on the present. The result is a landmark portrait of a small, vibrant country living on the edge, whose identity and presence play a crucial role in today’s global political landscape.

Praise for My Promised Land

“This book will sweep you up in its narrative force and not let go of you until it is done. [Shavit’s] accomplishment is so unlikely, so total . . . that it makes you believe anything is possible, even, God help us, peace in the Middle East.”—Simon Schama, Financial Times

“[A] must-read book.”—Thomas L. Friedman, Die New York Times

“Important and powerful . . . the least tendentious book about Israel I have ever read.”—Leon Wieseltier, The New York Times Book Review

“Spellbinding . . . Shavit’s prophetic voice carries lessons that all sides need to hear.”—The Economist

“One of the most nuanced and challenging books written on Israel in years.”—The Wall Street Journal


The State of Israel

Too much of the discourse on Israel is a doubting discourse. I do not mean that it is too critical: Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. I mean that the state is too often judged for its viability or its validity, as if some fundamental acceptance of its reality is pending upon the resolution of its many problems with itself and with others. About the severity of those problems there is no question, and some of them broach primary issues of politics and morality but Israel’s problems are too often combined and promoted into a Problem, which has the effect of emptying the Jewish state of its actuality and consigning it to a historical provisionality, a permanent condition of controversy, from which it can be released only by furnishing various justifications and explanations.

In its early years Israel liked to think of itself as an experiment in the realization of various ideals and hopes, but really all societies, including Arab ones, are, in the matter of justice, experiments and existence itself must never be regarded as an experiment, as if anybody has the authority to declare that the experiment has failed, and to try and do something about it. Israel is not a proposition, it is a country. Its facticity is one of the great accomplishments of the Jews’ history and one of the great accomplishments of liberalism’s and socialism’s and nationalism’s histories, and it is not complacent or apologetic to say so. The problems are not going away. I cannot say the same about the sense of greatness.

It is one of the achievements of Ari Shavit’s important and powerful book to recover the feeling of Israel’s facticity and to revel in it, to restore the grandeur of the simple fact in full view of the complicated facts. “My Promised Land” startles in many ways, not least in its relative lack of interest in providing its readers with a handy politics. Shavit, a columnist who serves on the editorial board of Haaretz, has an undoctrinaire mind. He comes not to praise or to blame, though along the way he does both, with erudition and with eloquence he comes instead to observe and to reflect.

This is the least tendentious book about Israel I have ever read. It is a Zionist book unblinkered by Zionism. It is about the entirety of the Israeli experience. Shavit is immersed in all of the history of his country. While some of it offends him, none of it is alien to him. His extraordinary chapter on the charismatic and corrupt Aryeh Deri, and the rise of Sephardic religious politics in Israel, richly illustrates the reach of his understanding.

Nowhere is Shavit a stranger in his own land. The naturalness of his identity, the ease with which he travels among his own people, has the paradoxical effect of freeing him for a genuine confrontation with the contradictions and the crimes he discovers. His straightforward honesty is itself evidence of the “normalization” to which the founders of Zionism aspired for the Jews in their homeland but it nicely confounds their expectation that normality would bring only contentment. Anxiety, skepticism, fear and horror are also elements of a normal life.

Shavit begins Israel’s story at the beginning: with Zionism and its utopian projects of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It has been a long time since I encountered a secular observer of Israeli society who is still so enchanted by the land and still so moved by the original visions of what could be established on it. “Zionism’s mission,” as Shavit correctly describes it, was to rescue the Jews from destruction in exile and he has too much dignity to entertain second thoughts about the appetite for life. “The need was real,” he writes. “The vision was impressive — ambitious but not mad. And the persistence was unique: For over a century, Zionism displayed extraordinary determination, imagination and innovation.” There is something almost wicked about such a full-throated love of country in a journalist so sophisticated — and about such a full-throated love of Israel.

But this is not a hollow or mendacious patriotism. There is love in “My Promised Land,” but there is no propaganda. Shavit knows how to express solidarity and criticism simultaneously. He proposes that Zionism was historically miraculous and he proposes that Zionism was historically culpable. “From the beginning, Zionism skated on thin ice”: There was another people living in the same land. “The miracle is based on denial,” he bluntly remarks. “Bulldozers razed Palestinian villages, warrants confiscated Palestinian land, laws revoked Palestinians’ citizenship and annulled their homeland.” Shavit’s narrative of the massacre and expulsion of the Arabs of Lydda by Israeli forces in the war of 1948 is a sickening tour de force, even if it is not, in his view, all one needs to know about the war or the country. “The choice is stark,” he unflinchingly declares: “Either reject Zionism because of Lydda, or accept Zionism along with Lydda.”

Beeld

Shavit makes his choice. He does not reject Zionism, though he does not make excuses either. He condemns the perpetrators of the crimes, but he does not condemn the war for survival and self-­determination in which the crimes were committed: “If need be, I’ll stand by the damned. Because I know that if it wasn’t for them, the state of Israel would not have been born. . . . They did the dirty, filthy work that enables my people, myself, my daughter and my sons to live.” Is this shocking? Only to the innocent. The appeal to “tragedy” can be easily abused, but Shavit does not abuse it. He refuses to look past what he calls “the baser instincts of the Jewish national movement,” and there is no duplicity, no self-­forgiveness, in his honesty. “My Promised Land” abounds in anguish, and it has the unrelenting tone of a genuine reckoning.

Yet Shavit insists upon a high degree of moral complication. Even if “denial was a life-or-death imperative” in dire or inflamed circumstances — which nation-­state or national movement will cast the first stone? — denial must be brought to an end and the whole nasty tangle must be exposed. But the morally compromised nature of power must not confer moral glamour upon powerlessness. The problem of means and ends will not be solved by suicide. This is all very tricky. The fact that liberty and sovereignty are often won with violence cannot justify anything that any state or any movement might do in the name of liberty and sovereignty. But surely there is also no justice in dying with clean hands instead of living with dirty hands. Palestinians should be able to understand this. Israelis should be able to understand this about Palestinians.

The author of “My Promised Land” is a dreamer with an addiction to reality. He holds out for affirmation without illusion. Shavit’s book is an extended test of his own capacity to maintain his principles in full view of the brutality that surrounds them. “For as long as I can remember, I remember fear,” his book begins. And a few pages later: “For as long as I can remember, I remember occupation.” I admire him for never desisting from this duality of “existential fear” and “moral outrage.” No satisfactory account of the Israeli situation can be given without this double-mindedness, not least because the present-day debate about Israel consists largely of an argument between those who wish to ignore one of the terms and those who wish to ignore the other.

In such a debate Shavit is splendidly unobliging — as, for example, in this comment about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process: “If Israel does not retreat from the West Bank, it will be politically and morally doomed, but if it does retreat, it might face an Iranian-backed and Islamic Brotherhood-inspired West Bank regime whose missiles could endanger Israel’s security.” It is a formulation that will be unhelpful for activists and diplomats and editorialists, but all of it is true.

If the Palestinians cannot be adequately and respectfully grasped when they are regarded solely from the standpoint of the Israelis, the same is true of the Israelis when they are regarded solely from the standpoint of the Palestinians. I do not wish to leave the impression that “My Promised Land” is another book about Israel and the Palestinians. It holds much more. Shavit treats the full plenitude of his country, its history, its culture, its religion, its politics. (I wish he had told more about its language: The creation of modern Hebrew is an even greater astonishment than the creation of modern Israel.)

Shavit chooses 16 dates in the annals of Zionism and Israel, from 1897 to 2013, and not the canonical dates, through which to tell the national story. He reports on ­places and people, he scours archives. In his hands the national story is also a personal story, not only because he traces the roles of family and friends at various turning points in the saga, but also because he is always checking and double-checking his own hold on his country’s realities.

Yet this is not, thankfully, a memoir it is an inquiry enhanced by intimacy. Shavit explores his society with the thoroughness of a man who feels implicated in its fate, and he is unsparing about the fraying of the Israeli republic in recent years. “In less than 30 years,” he memorably observes, “Israel has experienced seven different internal revolts: the settlers’ revolt, the peace revolt, the liberal-judicial revolt, the Oriental revolt, the ultra-­Orthodox revolt, the hedonist-individualistic revolt and the Palestinian Israelis’ revolt.” He worries, perhaps a little excessively, that his country is coming apart: “This start-up nation must restart itself.”

There is certainly no extenuating the economic and social inequalities he describes, or the utter derangement of the settlement policies in territories that Israel has an urgent and prudent interest in evacuating. But Shavit’s admonition that “the old discourse of duty and commitment was replaced by a new discourse of protest and hedonism,” his exhortation that “the immediate challenge is the challenge of regaining national potency,” is grimmer and more draconian than the spirited and capacious voice in which his book is otherwise written. And the rhetoric of “national potency” has unattractive associations. The turbulent and crackling place described in “My Promised Land” will not be healed by a rappel a l’ordre.

“What this nation has to offer,” Shavit concludes, “is not security or well-being or peace of mind. What it has to offer is the intensity of life on the edge.” The blessing of not being Luxembourg, then. It is a mixed blessing, to be sure — but what other kind of blessing is there? By the measure of the Jewish past, and by the measure of the Levantine present, mixed is quite a lot.


Kyk die video: Ari Shavit at UC Berkeley: My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel