Jewish History, Jewish Religion - New Edition: The Weight of Three Thousand Years / Edition 2

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Overview

Israel Shahak was a remarkable man. Born in the Warsaw ghetto and a survivor of Belsen, Shahak arrived in Israel in 1945. Brought up under Jewish Orthodoxy and Hebrew culture, he consistently opposed the expansion of the borders of Israel from 1967. In this extraordinary and highly acclaimed book, Shahak embarks on a provocative study of the extent to which the secular state of Israel has been shaped by religious orthodoxies of an invidious and potentially lethal nature. Drawing on the Talmud and rabbinical laws, Shahak argues that the roots of Jewish chauvinism and religious fanaticism must be understood before it is too late. Written from a humanitarian viewpoint by a Jewish scholar, this is a rare and highly controversial criticism of Israel that will both excite and disturb readers worldwide.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

'Shahak subjects the whole history of Orthodoxy ... to a hilarious and scrupulous critique.' --Christopher Hitchens, The Nation

'The voice of reason is alive and well, and in Israel, of all places. Shahak is the latest - if not the last - of the great prophets.’ --Gore Vidal

'The future of the Palestinian people would have looked much brighter if there had been more Israelis like Shahak ... An outstanding personality.' --The Jerusalem Times

Christopher Hitchens
Subjects the whole history of Orthodoxy ... to a hilarious and scrupulous critique.
The Nation
Middle East Studies Association Bulletin
Shahak and Mezvinsky's "Jewish History, Jewish Religion" is refreshing in its critique of Jewish fundamentalism and therefore serves as a welcome addition to the literature in the field.
Christopher Hitchens
Subjects the whole history of Orthodoxy ... to a hilarious and scrupulous critique.
The Nation
George Cohen
Shahak, who came to Israel in 1945 after surviving the concentration camp in Belsen during the Holocaust, contends that the potential for Israel's right-wing Jewish religious movements to seize power represents a threat to the peace of Israel and to the Zionist movement. He posits that Israel as a Jewish state constitutes a danger not only to itself and its inhabitants, but to all Jews and to all other people and states in the Middle East. Shahak, who was raised as an Orthodox Jew, condemns what he sees as discrimination against non-Jewish citizens of Israel. The real test facing both Israeli and diaspora Jews is the test of their self-criticism, which must include the critique of the Jewish past. Most disturbing, Shahak insists that the religion, in its classical and talmudic form, is "poisoning minds and hearts." This controversial attack of Israel by a Jew is bound to alarm Jewry worldwide.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745328416
  • Publisher: Pluto Press
  • Publication date: 9/20/2008
  • Series: Get Political Series
  • Edition description: Second Edition, New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Israel Shahak survived the Warsaw Ghetto and Bergen-Belsen. He arrived in Palestine in 1945 and lived there until his death in 2001. He was an outspoken critic of the state of Israel and a human rights activist. He was also the author of the highly acclaimed Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel (Pluto Press 1999) and Open Secrets: Israeli Nuclear and Foreign Policies (Pluto Press 1997).

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Table of Contents

Foreword to the first edition by Gore Vidal
Foreword to the 1997 edition by Edward Said
Foreword to the 2002 edition by Norton Mezvinsky
Foreword to the new edition by Ilan Pappe
1. The Consequences of Ethnic Cleansing
2. The Jewish Religion and its attitude to non-Jews, part 1
3. The Jewish Religion and its attitude to non-Jews, part 2
4. Conclusions
Notes
Index

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