Posted by Bob Lord
This may be a long one. I recently finished two lengthy books on Israel-Palestine, My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel, by Ari Shavit, and Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, by Max Blumenthal. In addition, I had an interesting exchange of emails with a Jewish friend who is a self-proclaimed moderate.
I've posted previously on Goliath. It's a masterpiece. Is it one-sided? Absolutely, as it was intended to be. But the case it makes is compelling. Many in the "Israel can do no wrong" community are demonizing Blumenthal, but the great majority have not read the book. Nor will they. As Larry Gross of Truthdig so aptly noted, Goliath contains many inconvenient truths. Actually, the better term may be "uncomfortable truths."
My "moderate" friend provides a great example on that front. He'd read a negative review of Goliath and emailed it to me for my thoughts. I emailed back Larry Gross' review, and suggested that he should have the intellectual curiosity to read Goliath himself and form his own conclusions. His response was that he didn't have time to read many books, so he only could read one on Israel-Palestine, and that would be Shavit's My Promised Land, because it was reported to be balanced. He didn't take kindly to my teasing him about his fearing inconvenient truths, but his explanation regarding his limited capacity to read brought to mind that old expression, "the lady doth protest too much."
More on my email exchange later, but let me turn to My Promised Land. Please join me after the jump.