Until recently America was a meritocracy, but no more. At one time in America and the rest of the Anglo-world, there was a hunger for knowledge that was manifested in the reading taste of the average man (and woman) who, although they may not have had the opportunity to attend college, wanted to obtain the knowledge attending college would have provided them. I remember in high school not being allowed to join the “Great Books Club,” (due to poor grades) so every day I would casually (but deliberately) stop in front of a notice board and read/memorize the name of one book. I could still read the book I just didn’t have the opportunity to join this select club. Such behavior was probably not that unusual at the time and afforded me an opportunity to read the same things, just not to join the book club that was limited to academic elites (who have yet to equal my academic achievements, but that’s another story). I seem to recall that Contra Apion was on that list for the Great Books Club.
In the event you have not read it, in the 1st century A.D. a Jew named Josephus wrote a book titled Contra Apion (i.e. against Apion’s ideas). A contemporary of the author, Apion was an Egyptian priest and the author saw right through him, and recognized that Apion was ignorant of the very topic he had written about. It is one of the funniest books I have ever read. Josephus figuratively tears Apion into little shreds, drops them on the floor and sets fire to the shreds. Of course one does need at least a passing acquaince with both history and theology to appreciate what he wrote, but this is not brain surgery (rocket science is extremely easy and it is a bit more than that).
Contra Apion has given me much pleasure over the years and conveniently when writing a piece of fiction recently I was able to mention it in passing. This is first time in years that I have been able to acknowledge Josephus’ splendid work at all. But I dare not tell anyone because I would be labeled and possibly sneered at, let them think I stumbled across it or was searching for something now obscure. What (knowing, reading Contra Apion) would have once garnered admiration or respect now only brings out the worst in my fellow citizens who know all about the latest gadget but do not always know the names of their senators or their state capitals, let alone ancient history or any history for that matter.
Contra Apion is just one book, but there are so, so many classics that are no longer taught, that so many so-called ‘educators’ may never even have heard of, but there is more. The ignorance of Western culture, of Western civilization, of music, art, literature, science, and so much more is astonishing. People refer to colleges and universities as places of learning. They are not. They are glorified trade schools for the most part (plus they are places to get drunk, do drugs, and hook up, but I digress). There are very few colleges or universities in America that are in anyway devoted to learning today. They are devoted to getting the maximum number of people to register as students in order to pay for their top heavy administrations and the bizarro-world courses they offer. The word ‘learning’ is just a red-herring used to deceive the gullible.
Try saying, even implying, that you might read something a little more serious, something a little more traditional or historical than the latest sleazy novel and you are immediately branded as an arrogant elitist. Actually that is pretty mild, in today’s world you are branded a Nazi and/or a racist, or even worst, and sense you are lucky not to have your head removed.
It has come to my attention, in various and diverse ways, that it is not unusual today for adults, people well over 21, to have poor spelling, grammar, math and writing skills – often despite having graduate degrees. In fact it is fairly common. Today one can be holding a fairly innocuous conversation only to discover that the other party doesn’t have a sufficiently large vocabulary to understand what one is saying even though one sticks to fairly common words. This is hardly surprising.
A C average in high school is usually sufficient to be accepted into any state university, where after one year one must choose a major. Those who cannot get into any other college on a campus are always welcome in the College of Education where courses are often limited to the History of Education, the Future of Education, Policies in Education, Procedures in Education, ad nauseam. Rarely do these ‘Education Colleges” require courses in content or any sort of subject beyond some theory* but the theories often state that something would, or must, work because of the theory.
When I was in graduate school twenty years ago the “College of Education,” for good reason, was known as the intellectual sewer to the rest of the university. This description or the ready explanation that other places are not different is something I have heard from other individuals from other states. Education degrees are not respected by those in the know, yet so many in our society continue to act as if an education degree still means something. It doesn’t.
Most schools are staffed and led by individuals who have degrees in education. These are the people who are teaching and leading the schools, they are rarely educated, let alone learned. They are at best sheeple, herded by their unions and required to deal with behavioral problems, follow curriculums devised by the educational establishment and/or their unions, and never, ever permitted to think for them self. They seem to be there primarily to collect their paychecks, and if forced (not all do), basically serve as babysitters. The teacher’s unions seem to believe they exist solely to collect union dues and the politicians rely on the unions to support their campaigns with money and volunteers.
I blame the situation on both the public school system and the teacher’s unions. As someone who didn’t attend public schools until graduate level I have always been mystified. Why do people think that a ‘free’ public school is a good idea? (it is not education, has not been for decades). Doesn’t anyone else know that old saying that “nothing in life is free?” Doesn’t anyone else (I’m talking to you on the right, those on the left are known as ‘low information voters’ for a reason) know that the 10th Amendment (passed in 1791) to the Constitution actually says that education is the responsibility of the states or the individual?
So, if state A wants free education through graduate school fine, but if state B opts out of providing any publically funded education, that’s fine too. This is what works for them, and people in that state are free to change the law or alternatively vote with their feet and move to a state that has policies to suit their beliefs/needs. Hence each state can craft an educational policy that is right for it.
Nearly every state is so different from the others, that education like so much else needs to reflect its needs and differences. It makes a lot of sense for some states to mandate that every child learn to swim. In other states mandating ability to swim makes no sense at all.
It is more than just the problem of national vs. state control. In Amerca state control of education makes sense, national control does not, and in fact is prohibited by the Constitution (note: many states are larger geographically, larger in population, etc. than many countries). Every state and every individual is unique, yet somehow it is thought virtuous by some to make things alike for all children in all locations. (And three cheers to you homeschoolers out there.) Nationalizing the educational system doesn’t really make a lot of sense if you think about it.
When America was a meritocracy it flourished. I’m not advocating a return to the past, that can’t happen, but we can return to some things that were cherished in the past and that is what is needed for the sake of America and Americans. Things such as merit, knowledge, and education, real education, as opposed to degrees and certificates or years spent incarcerated in an ‘educational institution,’ are things of lasting value and are still worth pursuing.
I must go, time for this autodidact to get back to studying the Constitution. Some things never grow old. Some things really are worth studying. The Constitution is one of them.
*It works because of the theory is an old Marxist approach to things. Laura Bush once said, “before we were married my husband and I had a few theories about raising children and no children. Now we have two children and no theories.”
Friend and contributor here at Right Truth, R. J. Godlewski, has a new book available at Amazon.com, Explaining God: Ten Chapters to Introduce the Almighty to the Uninitiated. His books are always interesting to read and always thought provoking.
Godlewski has been interviewed about his books several times by Paul A. Ibbetson of Conscience of Kansas Patriot Radio.
Just in time for Christmas:
What Christianity offers the human race remains more extraordinary than a singular, omnipotent God or a book revered throughout the centuries. Christianity brought into the world a God that literally explained Himself to His human subjects. Furthermore, He did not demand sacrifices in His honor; He sacrificed Himself out of love for us. This fact remains so extraordinary that we must pause and reflect upon it continuously.
A few Chapter titles from Explaining God: Ten Chapters to Introduce the Almighty to the Uninitiated: Just Who Is God?; OK What Is God Then?; So Where Is God?; Now Explain Why There Is A God?
As one holds a copy of Dr. Phyllis Chesler's updated book "The New Anti-Semitism" in their hands, we can all breathe a collective sigh and exclaim "this tome hasn't come a minute too soon." Thanks to the excellent research and prophetic analysis conducted by this acclaimed author, lecturer and activist, the reader is afforded the necessary context and perspective with which to understand the invidious phenomenon of contemporary Jew hatred.
Written over a decade ago in a compelling, easy to read and free flowing style, Dr. Chesler's premise was and still is that classical anti-Semitism as espoused by such nihilists and evil madmen as Hitler and the scores that preceded him has now been deemed to be "politically correct" by the trendy denizens of the Western academy and the "intellectual" crowds. Chesler was among the first to have seen and denounced the suicidal alliance between the Western intelligentsia and fundamental Islam. The anti-Semite needed a new and more acceptable veneer and the little place on the globe known as Israel would serve as the perfect subterfuge. Thus, Zionism does not equal racism but anti-Zionism does. In fact, it is part of what makes the new anti-Semitism "new."
There is no doubt that the al Aqsa intifada and the traumatic events of 9/11 served as an impetus for Dr. Chesler to pen this book as she naturally drew a correlation between the kind of terrorism that had become endemic to the state of Israel and the Jihadic terrorism that was let loose upon the world. "War and a new kind of anti-Semitism had been declared," she writes.
In the decades prior to the 9/11 and the advent of al Qaeda, Chesler is acutely aware of the festering anti-Semitism that appears to be increasingly more ubiquitous with each passing moment. She details major events that she personally encountered during her years as part of the vanguard of the second wave feminist movement and the reader can easily connect the proverbial dots to see and feel the palpable resentment of those who championed the politically correct cause against Israel, now known as liberalism.
Always sensing a strong undercurrent of such bigotry in the various human rights movements that came to define her raison d'etre, Chesler is most disheartened when women's conferences and forums such as Copenhagen and a pre-Durban one were hijacked by Jew hating agendas. She justifiably laments the fact that some important conferences are cancelled because of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel bias. "Women, you see, cannot be accused of racism - unless, of course, they are Jewish women," she sardonically writes.
Because she is keenly aware that anti-Semitism may start with the Jews but never ends with the Jews, she makes the logical connection between the opprobrium that is harbored for both America and Israel by those who assign blame to all forms of human oppression in terms of colonialism, capitalism, and imperialism. "The Palestinian uprising has increasingly been seen as the uprising of all oppressed peoples against their colonial oppressors, that is, Jews, Zionists and Americans," she ruefully observes. And, she notes, few understand that Muslim history is one of imperialism, colonialism, conversion by the sword, gender and religious apartheid, and slavery. Only the post enlightenment Judeo-Christian West are seen as mighty sinners.
Unlike other authors who have offered works of this genre, Chesler's meticulous research is beyond impeccable as she explores the genesis of post 9/11 Islamic terrorism specifically directed against the West and their global interests. Israel, of course is viewed as the little Satan by the retinue of pro-Palestinian apologists and their Western lackeys and Chesler takes the Big Lies and bold propaganda to task by exposing their motives. Case in point: The unfortunate Muhammed Dura incident and the use of "fauxtography" are given more than an ample dose of good old fashioned sunlight as she reveals one of the most egregious anti-Israel hoaxes ever sold to the public; however deceptively.
While reading this book, one is in retrospective mode as we imbibe a seemingly endless litany of horrifying anti-Israel and anti-Jewish events at university campuses that took place in the first decade of the new century and compare them to how much worse they are today. It should come as no surprise that the BDS movement and physical and verbal violence against pro-Israel Jewish students has gained a dangerous degree of momentum, power and economic viability in institutions of higher learning.
Chesler cites the palpable but surreal bellicosity that has become an endemic part of campus life for Jews who wish to express pro-Israel sentiments. Physical attacks, heckling of speakers, academic boycotts, incendiary street theater predicated on distortions, the lies being promulgated at the annual Jew roasting, better known as Israel apartheid week and the infinite amount of Orwellian rhetoric being circulated in every facet of academic life to just name a few. "The New McCarthyism on campus consists of the anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian point of view. No other view will be tolerated," she writes.
Chesler is under no illusions and does not even attempt to sugarcoat the obvious. European anti-Semitism is at pre-World War II levels and the flames of destruction are being consistently fanned not only by the "usual suspects" but by the formidable fourth estate. The European press she writes "have continuously held Israel accountable for Palestinian terrorism, and justified human homicide bombing as a function of Palestinian "despair."
This book is easy to read yet it is filled with a voluminous amount of facts and is definitely driven by concrete and verifiable data. What causes the words to leap off the pages, however, and to embed themselves in our collective psyches are the nuanced and urbane analyses proffered both by Chesler and by an extensive array of experts. Frightening as it may be, they provide us with the kind of perspective we need to tackle anti-Semitic diatribes.
Yes, Dr. Chesler cautions us to grant this matter the gravitas it deserves and not to dismiss it as mere blather. In the expanded last chapters of the book she prodigiously confronts the Big Lies and blood libels as she challenges the sheer mendacity of pseudo and rather lethal Palestinian narratives in ways that are both comprehensible and thought provoking. On an uplifting note she provides us with ways in which each of us can support Israel and Judaism, either through economic empowerment against boycotts of Israeli made products and development of community and college based pro-Israel programs connecting with individual Israelis as part of our families.
In one of her final exhortations, Dr. Chesler has stumbled upon what may be the most important component in staying afloat as a people as we navigate the turbulent tide of anti-Semitism. She writes: "Dare I say it? I must. I implore Jews to stop fighting with each other. Even if we disagree, we must try to do so respectfully, soulfully....We are an eternal people engaged in an eternal struggle with evil." Definitely words to heed.
To purchase a copy of "The New Anti-Semitism" please click on this link:
Why is it that so many efforts by liberals to lift the black underclass not only fail, but often harm the intended beneficiaries?
In Please Stop Helping Us, Jason L. Riley examines how well-intentioned welfare programs are in fact holding black Americans back. Minimum-wage laws may lift earnings for people who are already employed, but they price a disproportionate number of blacks out of the labor force. Affirmative action in higher education is intended to address past discrimination, but the result is fewer black college graduates than would otherwise exist. And so it goes with everything from soft-on-crime laws, which make black neighborhoods more dangerous, to policies that limit school choice out of a mistaken belief that charter schools and voucher programs harm the traditional public schools that most low-income students attend. In theory these efforts are intended to help the poor—and poor minorities in particular. In practice they become massive barriers to moving forward.
“From affirmative action to welfare, a devastating examination of the real-life effects of good intentions gone terribly wrong. This thoughtful, lucid, and often restrained account of the wreckage produced by racial politics marks Jason Riley as one of the nation’s rising political writers.”
“Please Stop Helping Us by Jason Riley is a much-needed fundamental education on the facts about race in America. It is an honest discussion of race in plain English, without the evasive rhetoric and outright cant that have become the norm in these politically correct times. It packs a lot of facts and a lot of wisdom into 204 pages of very easily understood writing. I cannot think of any book that has said so much in so few pages since Milton Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom back in 1962. This book would be an especially valuable gift for someone who has just graduated from a college that pushes the usual politically correct line on racial issues. A few doses of the truth can work wonders.”
“Boom! A combative, conservative shot to the jaw of liberal dogma about black America. Riley is brash in calling out the phony leaders, the false prophets. He exposes the weak thinking behind so many of the smiling faces with good intentions that lead to bad results for those of us most in need of help.”
Get your copy now and buy an extra one for a friend or your local library. My copy will be donated to my local library as I do all review copies of books.
Sleeping with the Crawfish by D. J. Donaldson is a fast-paced, high quality mystery set in New Orleans. We love New Orleans, the restaurants, the food, the architecture, the music ... did I say the fresh seafood???? So a mystery set in New Orleans naturally interested me.
Sleeping with the Crawfish is the fourth book in a series of mystery novels starring “plump and proud” medical examiner Andy Broussard as he tackles mysterious cases that occur in New Orleans. In this latest installment, Broussard discovers that the body of a dead man belongs to a convict whom prison officials claim is still alive in his cell. Together with his gorgeous sidekick, psychologist Kit Franklyn, the two set out to find the truth behind the bizarre turn of events.
What’s great about the series is that each story is a standalone mystery, and the action is top notch. Donaldson’s familiarity with New Orleans especially adds character to the story, and you can tell that the author really understands the essence of the city, from the dialogue, the people, and the food. It’s a book that appreciates the setting of New Orleans ...
If you have ever visited New Orleans, you will be immediately transported back to familiar streets, buildings, sights and sounds as you read Sleeping with the Crawfish. You might even catch yourself imagining the delicious smells...
Here's a short excerpt:
The driver’s floor mat lay on the back of Kit’s legs. Her thighs were pressed against the steering wheel. Both arms dangled, the car’s scant headroom folding them at the elbows. From around the doors, water seeped into the car and pooled on the inside of the roof. As the level rose, it lifted her hair and covered her hands. Still unconscious, she knew nothing about any of this.
Gradually, the water deepened, creeping over Kit’s wrists, the spilled contents of the glove compartment quietly spinning in tiny eddies. Her watch went under and stalled. The drooping floor mat on the passenger side let go and splashed into the water, creating ripples that pushed a floating Paper Mate pen in her direction, where it became moored in the auburn sargassum of her hair. A minute later, the rising water caressed the crown of her head. Outside, in the weeds along the bank, a hundred pairs of amphibian eyes watched the car sink lower in the water, their owners as oblivious to Kit’s plight as she was.
Fifty yards up the road, Ozaire Chevalons was listening to “Ma Petite Fille” on a Blackie Forestier tape, an open beer bottle nestled between his legs.
A few yards before his headlights picked up the skid marks that would have led him to Kit’s car in the bayou, he threw his head back and sang a few bars himself. By the time he looked back at the road, he’d missed her.
When the water reached Kit’s eyebrows, she woke.
For an instant, she was disoriented, her head throbbing from the blow she’d received and the blood pooling in her brain from being upside down.
Then she knew.
There in the dark, the water rising, she was seized by dread as black as the watery grave claiming her an inch at a time.
You know you want to keep reading ... I think you will enjoy it.
I especially like stories with a medical slant, as long as the writer gets the medical facts accurate. No problem with that in this book:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
D.J. Donaldson is a retired professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology. His entire academic career was spent at the University of Tennessee, Health Science Center, where he published dozens of papers on wound-healing and where he taught microscopic anatomy to thousands of medical and dental students.
He is also the author of seven published forensic mysteries and five medical thrillers. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee with his wife and two West Highland terriers. In the spring of most years he simply cannot stop buying new flowers and other plants for the couple’s prized backyard garden.
Be sure to check out the other books in this series and also other books by D.J. Donaldson here.
“D.J. Donaldson is superb at spinning medical fact into gripping suspense. With his in-depth knowledge of science and medicine, he is one of very few authors who can write with convincing authority.” -- Tess Gerritsen, NY Times best-selling author of the Rizzoli & Isles novels
Andy Broussard, the plump and proud New Orleans medical examiner, obviously loves food. Less apparent to the casual observer is his hatred of murderers. Together with his gorgeous sidekick, psychologist Kit Franklyn, the two make a powerful, although improbable, mystery solving duo.
Strange lesions found in the brain of a dead man have forensic pathologist Broussard stumped. Even more baffling are the corpse’s fingerprints. They belong to Ronald Cicero, a lifer at Angola State Prison… an inmate the warden insists is still there. Broussard sends psychologist Kit Franklyn to find out who is locked up in Cicero’s cell. But an astonishing discovery at the jail and an attempt on her life almost has Kit sleeping with the crawfish in a bayou swamp. And Broussard, making a brilliant deduction about another murder, may soon be digging his own grave.
D.J. Donaldson’s brilliant first-hand knowledge of forensics, combined with a sultry flavor of New Orleans, equals a series that provides “sheer pulse-pounding reading excitement” (The Clarion Ledger) and “genuinely heart-stopping suspense” (Publisher’s Weekly). With ingenuity and authentic detail, Donaldson presents a first class forensic procedural within an irresistibly delectable mystery.
The 9th memorial of the Disengagement Plan from Gaza (2005) in which Israel unilaterally withdrew, dispossessed and destroyed its Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip will be marked this coming Thursday, July 31, 2014. That controversial historical event remains relevant to this day as rockets and underground terrorist tunnels from Gaza target Israel.
A new book review on the novel Grains Of Sand The Fall Of Neve Dekalim has come to my attention. Might you run it? I've attached a copy of the book cover for your use if it's a go.
"...Thanks to this book I could enter and experience what life was like there. I connected with Efrat worrying about her test grades and studying for the bagruts. I could relate to her being frightened from projectiles because here in Ashdod we’ve also been hit by rockets – ..."
Amazingly, the last biography of Vladimir Jabotinsky in English appeared close to twenty years ago: Lone Wolf, a two-volume doorstop by Shmuel Katz (1996), which at almost 2,000 pages, deserves its reputation as “compendious.” Now, in a new biography, Jabotinsky: A Life, Hillel Halkin has done the impossible: He has gracefully condensed the story of this complex tragic figure into a page-turner that is at once concise and a rattling good read.
Jabotinsky, known principally as Zionism’s most polarizing and bellicose crusader, was also a cultured, indeed aristocratic, polymath— multingual, a prolific journalist, lawyer, translator of Poe and Dante, playwright, poet, playwright and author. (His novel Samson the Nazarite (1926) was later made into a Cecil B. DeMille movie with Hedy Lamarr and Victor Mature.) That he may also have been a lover of women seems probable, given his early bohemian life in Rome and elsewhere, and his lifetime of traveling so much without his wife. Not that he embodied le beau ideal; indeed, though a fastidious dresser, he was small and rather “froggy” around the eyes, in Halkin’s words.
How a protean genius of Jabotinsky’s talents and superhuman energy arises among “normal” people is always a mystery, but Halkin suggests that the place of his childhood—Odessa, “carefree, contented Odessa,” Jabotinsky called it—may provide some clues. Born there in 1880, he left for the bohemian life abroad when he was only 17, and “said a last goodbye to it before World War I,” but “a part of him always remained there,” this intoxicating, cosmopolitan city where he studied, worked as a young journalist, and played the rascal as a boy.
Odessa, Halkin writes, was the only large Russian city in which Jews were not barred. A city with no established Jewish institutions, the thousands of Jews who flocked there were thus “less traditional and less subject to rabbinical influence” than other Jewish communities. A sophisticated, international city, Odessa’s lingua franca was for a time Italian before yielding to Russian. It was in Russian that Jabotinksy was raised, and his widowed mother kept a minimally observant home, perhaps engendering his lifelong laxity in Jewish ritual and his dedicated secularism.
Author of THE LION’S GATE: On the Front Lines of the Six Day War
Q: You’ve made a name for yourself writing about the wars of ancient Greeks and Macedonians (Gates of Fire, Virtues of War, The Afghan Campaign). What was the impetus for writing about one of the most influential moments in Jewish history?
A: I say as a joke, “A Jewish mid-life crisis,” but there’s a bit of truth to that. It suddenly hit me, “I’ve been writing about wars of other nations for years (and even been made an honorary citizen of Sparta in Greece). Why have I never written about my own people?” And the Six Day War: what a story! It ranks with Thermopylae, the Alamo, Trafalgar, any of the epochal military events in history.
To go even deeper into this question, what makes a military event immortal? Who cares about what an army does? If we’re not military history buffs, why should we be interested?
It isn’t just the political effects or the aspect of “turning points in history.” It goes far deeper, into the soul of the event. Western civilization was saved by the naval battle of Salamis in 480 B.C. That was the victory that made Xerxes and the Persians pack up and head for home. But no one remembers Salamis; they remember the stand of the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae (which was actually a defeat for Greece and the West.) We remember the 300 because they knew that if they remained in the pass they were going to die, but they stayed and gave their lives anyway. And that act of valor and sacrifice resonates in the soul of any people—and any individual—to this day.
The Six Day War was another immortal event in soul terms. A people who had been scattered in exile around the globe for 2000 years, suffering ungodly persecutions and horrors, had provisionally “come home” nineteen years earlier. A state for the Jewish people had been established in 1948. But that state was hanging by a thread in 1967. And it had never truly completed its repatriation, since its ancient capital, the Old City of Jerusalem (and all of Judaism’s most sacred sites), still remained in the hands of its enemies. Now these enemies marshaled to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. All her friends had deserted her, including the United States. On 5 June 1967, it looked as if Israel was hours away from destruction. Then, in the span of less than a week, the tables were totally turned. Israel had routed her enemies and reclaimed, for the first time in two millennia, the soul-center of the Jewish people—the Western Wall of Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem.
News photos of Israeli paratroopers weeping as they stood before the Wall expressed the humility and jubilation of this moment of return—”next year in Jerusalem”—that the Jewish people had waited for for two thousand years.
That moment was what made me want to write about his war. Because all of us—not just nations, but individuals—exist in some form of exile. That is the modern condition, and possibly the existential condition of mortal man, modern or not. To return from exile means to reclaim the center of your soul, and that can never be done except in the face of life-and-death opposition. No one gives it to you. You can’t get it as a gift. You have to earn it. You have to fight for it.
Q: Why write about the Six Day War now?
A: That’s a great question. On the shelves in my office, about five feet from me now as I write this, are 127 books about the Six Day War. Almost every one (except Michael Oren’s great Six Days of War) was written in the immediate aftermath of the war. In other words, these books addressed the war as a topical event. Something that had just happened that possessed massive import, something whose details had to be recorded right now, like journalism, like dispatches to Life magazine or TheNew York Times.
Even Michael Oren’s book treats the war as history. Michael Oren was Israel’s ambassador to the United States; he wanted to record not just the military events of the war but the diplomatic and political facts, which are fascinating, I must admit.
I wasn’t interested in any of that. I felt like the state of Israel and the Israeli people were, and are, under siege in the media today. There are movements to divest investments in Israel. The IDF is portrayed as an army of occupation, brutally subjugating the Palestinian people. Worse, a huge part of the anti-Israel sentiment these days comes from Jews themselves.
I couldn’t stand that. To me it’s a crime. A well-intentioned crime, but a crime nonetheless. When Israel is outnumbered fifty-to-one by its Arab enemies, any of whom would drink its blood if they could, how can movements be set in place by U.S. and Israeli Jews to work against Israel? Address injustices, yes. Strive for greater empathy and open-handedness, you bet. But blast Israel with both barrels? Portray it as a fascist state? Compare it to Nazi Germany?
Somebody had to speak up and I decided to be one of those voices.
This goes back to writing The Lion’s Gate in the first person. I wanted readers to hear the voices speaking in their own words. I wanted them to get a sense of fifty, sixty, seventy Israelis who fought that war—men and women—as individuals, as human beings. I wanted them to hear Yoram Zamosh tell about dropping his two-mill coin among the British paratroopers.
Israel is being portrayed in the media today as Goliath. Nothing could be further from the truth. For all its skill and energy and armed readiness, Israel is David.
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