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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Middle East Conflict

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Shows the deep Jewish connection to the Land of Israel

When looking at Media today one often hears the Arab view expressed that the Jews stole the land of the Palestinians and that they are 'colonizers' of the 'poor Palestinians' land'. This book shows the deep historic connection of the Jewish people to the land of their o...
When looking at Media today one often hears the Arab view expressed that the Jews stole the land of the Palestinians and that they are 'colonizers' of the 'poor Palestinians' land'. This book shows the deep historic connection of the Jewish people to the land of their origins. A land where Jewish kings and prophets and judges roamed and where Jewish life flourished for many centuries in ancient Israel/Judea. It also reminds us of the 650,000 Jews that lived in British Palestine before Modern Israel's re-birth and the refusal of the lands Arabs to share the land with its Jewish inhabitants, preferring to try pushing the Jews out altogether.

posted by Anonymous on October 15, 2001

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

If you're looking for pro-Israel material ...

... then this is your best bet.

I wanted reading material that was easy to comprehend and, most important, was unbiased. I haven't been educated much about the Middle East and was looking for an overview of the history of the region. I had only gotten through a lit...
... then this is your best bet.

I wanted reading material that was easy to comprehend and, most important, was unbiased. I haven't been educated much about the Middle East and was looking for an overview of the history of the region. I had only gotten through a little over 50 pages of the book before I had a nagging feeling that the author wasn't being totally fair. I had only to Google "Mitchell G. Bard" to find that he is the director of the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise and the Jewish Virtual Library. I visited the JVL and found several pages authored by Bard to be extremely troubling. He seems to enjoy focusing on the anti-Semitism of Arab states; the way in which he documents slurs and threats against Israel is disturbing. While Bard certainly has the right to express an opinion, I would much rather that he stick to the facts when writing material that is inevitably going to end up in the hands of a reader who knows very little about the Middle East.

While the writing is simple and easy to comprehend, this is perhaps the only strength of the book (besides the bibliography, where, I assume, one who is interested in this region can find truly unbiased literature). I'm extremely disappointed in the franchise for choosing this author.

If you're like me and want to find reading material about the Middle East that is not completely one-sided, I've included some books that NPR has recommended.

posted by Rachel28RW on June 28, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2001

    Shows the deep Jewish connection to the Land of Israel

    When looking at Media today one often hears the Arab view expressed that the Jews stole the land of the Palestinians and that they are 'colonizers' of the 'poor Palestinians' land'. This book shows the deep historic connection of the Jewish people to the land of their origins. A land where Jewish kings and prophets and judges roamed and where Jewish life flourished for many centuries in ancient Israel/Judea. It also reminds us of the 650,000 Jews that lived in British Palestine before Modern Israel's re-birth and the refusal of the lands Arabs to share the land with its Jewish inhabitants, preferring to try pushing the Jews out altogether.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2014

    An idiots avertizement

    Loin poodcan at poopoo all restrooms

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2011

    Historical, factual chronology of Middle East Conflict. A must book!

    This book is a lucid historical chronology of the very complex Middle East Conflict. It is accurat, fair, balanced, responsible and improved from last 2005 edition. It was brought up to date in this 4th edition of 2009. This is the ABC of the conflict. The only criticism that I have is that because of space some events were either not mentioned or mentioned briefly. The San Remo League of nation declaration of Jewish state need was not mentioned. The Napoleon decree of 1799 in favor of a Jewish homeland was not mentioned. I highly recommend the book specifically for schools because of a didactic approach, easy language and cheap price.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2003

    Wonderfully honest... SUPERB

    Finally, a book that is honest! The Author tells it like it is and doesn't leave anything out. I think the last reviewers who posted were obviously ignorant about the Israeli-"Palestinian" Conflict. I would recommend this book to ANYONE who wants to know the TRUTH and not the propaganda you hear all the time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2001

    excellent and even-handed

    This is an excellent book, well- researched and accessible. I have attempted to read histories on this topic and find that I get mired in the verbiage. This book is even- handed, well- organized and well -written. I recommend it to others who find the tightly packed words of densely written texts to be the perfect soporific every time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2001

    Historical facts, not revisionism

    I can see how Israel's adversaries must be confounded by factual history. Particularly, Israel's internal Arab population and external neighbors will be enraged at the book's coverage of two events - the so-called 'massacre' at Deir Yassin and the bombing of the King David Hotel by the Irgun. Both events have been distorted and twisted into veritable myths by Israel's enemies. The history of Jerusalem as the heart of the Jewish people is well covered. I was amazed at the scope of this book, and pleased at the friendly format.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2001

    Concise and factual guide to a complex issue

    Finally a book about the Middle East not weighted down by ideology. It's refreshing to read documented facts rather than hearsay. Anybody who wants an objective perspective on the Middle East and its problems should read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2001

    Of all the books on the subject, this one is a must have

    Unlike most authors, who have written on this subject, Bard brothers (so I assume) do not pick a bad guy and build their arguments to make their point. If you are looking for an educational material, this book is for your. If you have already made up your mind and are looking for facts/arguments to make your point stronger, you may still find this book helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2001

    despite a humble title, a very good book

    The title of this book is very deceptive, for it is not designed for idiots, complete or otherwise. It is a good springboard towards information gathering for people who never had an impulse to learn about the history of the region through the last 4-5 thousand years, or about its history in the last century or even in the last 36 years, but want to begin somewhere. For those who already made such a start, it is a good source book for looking up a forgotten fact or reference or a quote. It is remarkably balanced and the facts are accurate and verifiably so. One doesn't have to be an area expert to ascertain that. I've read a bunch of reviews of this book when it first came out - some berated it as propaganda material, plain and simple; others tried to be more subtle and dismissed the authors's viewes as biased *because* he is affiliated with a non-profit American foundation with ties to Israel. The revisionist post-zionist deconstructionists simply hated the book. Which made it even more imperative for me to go and get it and read it. I did and I liked what I read. This book is simply 'back to basics' - an attempt to present the history of the area, the history of the conflict without emotionalism, without blastering rhetoric and and bombast finger pointing. My suggestion is - don't rely on other people's opinions but form your own. Get the book, read it and see for yourself. If you like what you read, if it spurs your interest, if it improves your understanding - then it is a book worth reading, worth keeping and recommending to others.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2001

    Revisionist historians hate this book

    Arab propagandists, and their left-wing Israeli and American sympathizers, have rewritten the history of the Middle EAst. This book goes back to tell the real facts. Bravo. Buy this book for a clear and accurate understanding of this fascinating area of the world

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2000

    Fun to read, yet educational!

    While this book is fun to read, it actually delves deeply into the issues at the heart of the conflict. Bard has done his homework and presented an objective and fair look at sensitive topics. This book is an excellent guide for those trying to determine whether what they read in the papers is based on fact or propaganda. Would make a great gift for college students and for those interested in the Middle East, no matter what their level of expertise. Even for people who think they 'know everything there is to know' about the Middle East, Bard has much to offer.

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