How about Bruce Hoffman's "Anonymous Soldiers:The Struggle For Israel, 1917-1947"? This is a terrific history of the Mandatory period, and especially the role played by terrorism in getting the British to quit Palestine. For those, such as me, who believe that no cause can ever justify the murder of innocent civilians (or even ordinary soldiers), the book poses challenging questions as to the universality of that principle, and whether it applies to causes we believe are fundamentally just. (My own answer: It does.)

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Sep 26, 2021Liked by Daniel Gordis

I've read "In the Land Of Israel," by Amos Oz. Have you read this? thoughts? most of the people he interviewed didn't like him.

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More from John Moscowitz

John Moscowitz is fine!

Meanwhile, I forgot these:

@ One Palestine, Complete, Tom Segev

@The Body and The Blood, Charles Sennott;

@Wild Goats of Ein Gedi, Herbert Weiner;

@The Jewish State, Yoram Hazony;

@The Edward Said Reader;

and my neighbor Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish’s I Shall Not Hate

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Posting for John M ....

Table For One, Aharon Applefeld

The Zionist Idea, A. Hertzberg

1967, Tom Segev

The Israelis, Amos Elon

A Tale of Love... Amos Oz

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Arthur Hertzberg's The Zionist Idea not just Gil Troy's revised version

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Terror Out of Zion - J. Boyer Bell. History of the Mandate period focused on Etzel and Lehi

A Peace to End All Peace - David Fromkin

Fear No Evil - not specifically about Israel, but yet it is

Perhaps you need a category of Israel and the Nations: if so, Oren’s book on Power, Faith, and Fantasy deserves to be there, as well as Barbara Tuchman’s Bible and Sword

Yoram Hazoni’s book The Jewish State. There’s also the book he edited with Michael Oren - New Essays on Zionism, but I have not had a chance to look through it yet. With those two, I would imagine it is noteworthy.

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Thanks for the good reading list; but if you ever decide to expand it

to 50, consider adding these two gripping books: Begin's "The Revolt"

and Meridor's "Long is the road to freedom".

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Excellent list - I'd add just two:

1) Palestine Betrayed, by Efraim Karsh. Karsh's archival research compellingly refutes the "ethnic cleansing" canard that drives so much of the false and counterproductive discourse about Israel.

2) Nazis, Islamists, and the Making of the Modern Middle East, by the late Barry Rubin & Wolfgang Schwanitz. The best one-volume explication of the totalitarian-Islamist fusion of the 20th century -- driven by many factors, but greatly exacerbated by the 1930s-1945 Nazi-Islamist alliance & propaganda deluge across the region, the key player of which was the Palestinian mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini.

I cover both topics in Chapters 5, 9, and 10 of my new book War on Hate: How to Stop Genocide, Fight Terrorism, and Defend Freedom (R&L, 2021), especially at 130-137, 223-246, and 260-269. Link: https://www.amazon.com/War-Hate-Genocide-Terrorism-Freedom/dp/1793627606.

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If you want to understand the history of Palestinian intransigence, there is no better book than The War of Return by Einat Wilf and Adi Schwartz.

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You began by saying that it was a "highly subjective and incomplete list"...

I have only read a few of the books on your list, but I have no problem with any of them. However, I would suggest adding "From Time Immemorial, the origins of the Arab-Jewish conflict over Palestine", by Joan Peters, even though it is currently out of print....Perhaps someone would republish it. My copy was published by Harper & Row in 1984.

Shana Tova, and Chag Sameach,

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Jews G-d and History is Excellent!

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Thanks for sharing this list. For those who would like to learn more through podcasts, films and TV shows, these are my recommendations



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A few others that I've read that I've found very insightful:

- Bibi : The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu, Anshel Pfeffer

- Killing a King : The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel, Dan Ephron

- The War of Return : How Western Indulgence of the Palestinian Dream Has Obstructed the Path to Peace, Adi Schwartz & Einat Wilf

- A State at Any Cost : The Life of David Ben-Gurion, Tom Segev

- Palestine Betrayed, Efraim Karsh

- Catch the Jew!, Tuvia Tenenbom

- Rise and Kill First : The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations, Ronen Bergman

- My Promised Land : The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel, Ari Shavit

- The Case for Israel, Alan Dershowitz

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I'd suggest Thirteen Days in September by Lawrence Wright and Man in the Shadows by Efram Halevi for more about the diplomatic side of things. I'd also suggest Killing a King by Dan Ephron for a sense of the internal divide in Israel.

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Martin Gilbert's "Israel" is an encyclopedic history, beautifully written.

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Published 40 years ago, but still relevant, is Edward Said's "The Question of Palestine."

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