Tishby tells her small country’s enormous story with wit and passion. Israel shouldn’t be the only book a reader opens about the Middle East, but it’s an excellent place to start.”
—New York Journal of Books
"A must read."
—Ben Shapiro, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Right Side of History and How to Destroy America in Three Easy Steps
“An energetic and intimate popular history of a fraught land...the author’s candid viewpoint offers good food for thought.”
"Brisk and informative"
“In a funny, surprising, and straightforward voice, Noa Tishby rolls the entire history of Israel into a blunt and insightful read. The perfect anti-textbook for anyone who slept through class, this is not your Bubbie’s history book.”
—Bill Maher, host of Real Time with Bill Maher
“Noa Tishby writes with wit and authority. This is a fascinating—and very moving—book that should be read by anyone for whom Israel is a mystery."
—Aaron Sorkin, award-winning screenwriter of The West Wing and The Social Network
“This is a book well worth the read for anyone who cares about, or needs a crash course on, the Jewish state.”
“With passion, humor and deep intimacy, Noa Tishby reveals the real Israel that continually eludes even many so-called experts. Refreshingly straightforward, Tishby manages to be “simple” but not simplistic. She knows that real love requires honesty, and so she confronts Israel in its sometimes maddening complexity.”
—Yossi Klein Halevi, senior fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and author of the New York Times bestseller Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor
"In this book Noa does what she does best, rising to the challenge of expressing a rooted, spirited, and often personal defense of her homeland when so many others have shied away. Good people like Noa do not remain silent when all else around them is failing. They speak up. Now that we have her toolkit, so must we.”
—Maajid Nawaz, author of Radical and coauthor of Islam and the Future of Tolerance
“Noa Tishby’s contemporary examination of Israel’s past, present and future is the book we’ve been waiting for. With insight, intelligence, levity and humor, she reintroduces us to a place we thought we knew so well. I found myself educated, inspired and ultimately moved to tears as she reclaims this complicated state in the name of its daughters and fights to restore its reputation for the next generation.”
—Sarah Treem, writer, director, Golden Globe winner, creator of The Affair
"Noa Tishby bravely provides a guide to understanding Israel through the personal story of her family. More than anything, this is a hopeful book that calls for a peaceful tomorrow through a courageous look at the past.”
—Gideon Raff, creator of Prisoners of War and The Spy and Emmy-winning screenwriter and executive producer of Homeland
“Noa Tishby is whip-smart, charming, funny, frank, and fearless. So is her book. Here is the real story of Israel told by a natural storyteller. Touching and captivating.”
—Rabbi David Wolpe, author of David: The Divided Heart
“Everything to do with this subject is controversial, but Noa Tishby doesn't shy away. In fact, she leans into it with conviction (and good writing), making the book an engaging and provocative invitation to debate.”
—Rodrigo Garcia, screenwriter and director
“Heartfelt, funny, and genuine – for anyone confused by the furious debates about Israel, time spent with Noa Tishby’s book feels less like a college class than like drinks with a smart and passionate friend.”
—Matti Friedman, New York Times op-ed contributor and author of Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel.
"Noa Tishby's book is a powerful antidote to the widespread misunderstanding and willful misrepresentation that often obscures the truth about Israel. Much like the book itself, Noa is a fearless truth teller in an age of fashionable lies.”
—Congressman Ritchie Torres (D, NY15)
“A timely and significant work, Tishby’s ISRAEL is essential reading for Arabs, Jews, Americans and the rest of the world. As an Arab reader, I am a son of that region, and yet reading the book I learned a lot about my birthplace and saw the other side of the paradox that was invisible to me. This book is supported by hard facts—not for the purpose of argument or debate, but rather, to build bridges between the Jewish and Arab worlds. The result is a beautiful and inspiring human journey which allowed me to learn more about my birthplace, my precious Jewish neighbors and our homeland.”
—Mosab Hasan Yousef, bestselling author of Son of Hamas and star of the documentary The Green Prince
"Having lived in Jerusalem for two years, I can assure the outsider that it is not possible to understand the modern Jewish state without an insider to guide you. Noa Tishby has written this book from that perspective to update our understanding of Israel for the 21st century. This is an important book by an essential voice struggling to find the hidden order within the balagan (Hebrew for chaos) that is the common linchpin of the world’s 3.8 Billion Abrahamic adherents.”
—Eric Weinstein, mathematician, managing director of Thiel Capital, and host of The Portal
"Noa Tishby provides a unique and remarkable perspective on Israel. An insightful writer and powerful woman, she creates a lasting image of the country's entrepreneurial spirit and contributions across the world.”
—Ray Kurzweil, Inventor, Author, and Futurist
A personal, unconventional defense of the state of Israel.
In her first book, Israeli actor, producer, and singer Tishby provides a straightforward yet opinionated look at modern Israel that’s meant to rebut common criticisms and debunk common stereotypes. As a secular, liberal Israeli working in the entertainment industry, she has often found herself in the role of apologist for her homeland. This book is an outgrowth of those experiences, an attempt to educate her peers about Israel. Tishby begins with ancient history. “Israel sits on so much freaking history and archeology it’s unfathomable,” she writes in a characteristically conversational tone, continuing, “when you dig in Jerusalem…you just dig wherever you can, and you’re bound to find something old and priceless buried underground.” The author then moves on to the colonial-era Middle East and early Zionism, leading up to the horrors of World War II and the establishment of the Israeli state in 1948. Tishby discusses the conflicts that have plagued Israel since its founding, especially regarding the Israeli-Palestinian divide. Declaring herself both Zionist and pro-Palestinian, the author argues that the conflict is exacerbated by other Arab nations and poor Palestinian leadership. “The conflict,” she notes, “is not between the Palestinians and the Israelis. It’s between the entire Arab world and Israel.” Finally, Tishby describes the people and culture of Israel, pointing out the many ways Israel has contributed to the global community and what it has to offer to the Middle East going forward. Pointing fingers at the U.N. as well as the anti-Zionism movement and the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions initiative, Tishby encourages her fellow liberals to be educated and fair about their views of Israel. Drawing heavily on her personal experiences as well as on expansive research, the author provides an accessible defense of her people. Scholars will find plenty to debate, but the author’s candid viewpoint offers good food for thought.
An energetic and intimate popular history of a fraught land.