The Case for Israel, a New York Times Bestseller, by Alan Dershowitz
Israel, A History, by Martin Gilbert
These two books can be studied together. They complement each other.
The History by Martin Gilbert is a massive tome, of some 800 pages. It is dense reading, difficult reading, yet it is written in an expert and interesting manner.
The book by Alan Dershowitz is openly polemical, yet it contains within it much historical detail which we need to know.
Both of these books have been attacked with viciousness by the Fascist Left which is in league with Fascist Islam… But not answered because they are both essentially truthful. The Fascist Left of the Edward Said school of mystification have attacked Gilbert because he did not source in endless notes. This is rubbish. Everything Gilbert wrote is truthfull and can easily be checked in a hundred sourses readily available. A lie by Finklestein is still a lie even if he adds a thousand sources. Alan Dershowitz actually quotes liberally from Said and co. in order to answer them.
As Trotskyists we will study (not just read) these books hopefully with intelligence. Both Martin and Alan write from inside Judaism. As such one side of Judaism as expressed by these two is that they try to please. It is part of a tradition which tries to please the Gentile and the Antisemite in order to avoid the “trouble”. This leads into an acceptance of capitalist imperialism which is part of that tradition goping back to Herzl and before. keep this in mind however: “Antisemitism is a light sleeper” as the Irish Conor Cruise O’Brien once said. So in that context of antisemitism Herzl trying to get acceptance from Imperialist Powers, Russia, even the Ottomans, was also a way to survive against antisemitism. So trying to please was one side. Good or bad. there is something else which goes along with this however, and that is that Jews in the face of antisemitism could not be romantic, but had to be realistic. From this I discern the side of Judaism which seeks to be truthful and which creates true intellectuals.