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Beyond the Promised Land

Beyond the Promised Land

by Glenn Frankel

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Israel is making the transition from a collectivist, mobilized garrison state to a more open, pluralistic, consumer-oriented and democratic country, according to Frankel, former Jerusalem bureau chief for the Washington Post (and now its London correspondent). This superb, gripping piece of reportage is a pivotal account of a new Israel struggling to be born. Frankel views the Palestinian intifada-which shattered Israel's status quo, forcing Yitzhak Shamir's government into a halfhearted peace proposal that almost caused his downfall-as the opening step in the process of change. Among the other catalytic forces he identifies are the slow crumbling of Israel's centralized socialist-oriented economic establishment; the arrival of a half-million Soviet Jewish refugees, which exposed weaknesses in Israel's housing and education sectors and job market; and the rise of the ultra-religious yet populist Shas Party, which preaches reconciliation between hawks and doves. Interviews with Shamir, Russian Jewish activist Natan Sharansky, Israeli army general Amram Mitzna, who was in charge of suppressing the Palestinian uprising, and with Palestinian activists and Israelis of diverse political views flesh out this chronicle. Author tour. (Nov.)
Library Journal
The "Peace Process," which is winding from Madrid through the Middle East, seems to have made the Arab-Israeli conflict pass. Frankel, a journalist with a fond appreciation for Israel, draws a rhetorical picture of the social changes that the politics of peace has brought to the region as well as to the Israelis and Palestinians. Frankel builds upon a spate of books that appeared just before the intifada: Amos Oz's In the Land of Israel (LJ 11/15/83), David Shipler's Arab and Jew (LJ 11/15/86), and Thomas L. Friedman's From Beirut to Jerusalem (LJ 7/89). He covers the agony of the Palestinian uprising and the pain and suffering that both peoples have undergone, the political role of Israel during the Persian Gulf War, and the relationship of the Bush administration with Israel. This is a good general survey of contemporary events, placing them in an understandable context. Strongly recommended for a wide audience.-Sanford R. Silverburg, Catawba Coll., Salisbury, N.C.
Gilbert Taylor
This journalistic narrative spans five years of Israeli history, from the 1987 onset of the intifada to the 1992 electoral defeat of the hard-line Likud bloc. The public now knows that the Labor Party victory was a watershed leading to Rabin's shaking the hand of Arafat; Frankel recounts how that spectacle resulted from innumerable clashes on the ground between Arab and Jew. Frankel tracked these often deadly encounters as the "Washington Post"'s reporter on the spot and fills these pages with detailed narratives of ordinary individuals swept up by the uprising and crackdown. One tale of Palestinian Jad Isaac's jailing is matched by a profile of the Israeli general in charge (Amram Mitzna); similarly, when the scene shifts to the raucous proceedings that pass for Knesset debate, Frankel personifies the underlying questions that agitate Israeli identity (Are you Sephardim or Ashkenazi? Secular or religious?). His purpose with this human-interest method is to mark the passing of the Zionist generation, along with its socialistic institutions and militant posture, and the coming, with grave anxieties, of peace negotiations. A knowledgeable, unflamboyant report that is not as likely to create as huge a demand as did the retrospective of another American reporter's assignment to Israel, Thomas Friedman's "From Beruit to Jerusalem".

Product Details

Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.69(w) x 9.45(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Glenn Frankel worked for nearly thirty years for the Washington Post, as a reporter, a foreign correspondent, and editor of the Washington Post Magazine. As Jerusalem bureau chief, he won the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for "sensitive and balanced reporting from Israel and the Middle East." His first book, Beyond the Promised Land: Jews and Arabs on the Hard Road to a New Israel won the National Jewish Book Award.

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