Saturday, January 15, 2011

Book Review

Breakthrough: Transforming Fear Into Compassion - A New Perspective on the Israel-Palestine Conflict
by Richard Forer


Ever wonder what goes on inside the head of a Zionist? Anyone who is concerned about the Palestine-Israel conflict, about the Middle East, who has heard about the influence of the Zionist lobby on US politics, has probably wondered why so many people support Israel unconditionally.

And if the way to achieve peace in the Middle East is to convince people who think Israel can do no wrong to take a hard look at the facts, to convince them to learn what happened during the bloody formation of Israel, to make them see what is still happening to the Palestinian people today, you might want to know what makes a Zionist tick.

Richard Forer is one of those people who is very reflective, very self analytical. In telling the story of how he himself went from being a die hard supporter of Israel, from someone raised in a Reform Jewish household who saw Israel as that plucky little democracy trying to provide a secure home for the long-beleaguered Jews, to someone who now supports the Palestinians in their struggle for justice, he provides us with an inside look into the mind of a Zionist -- his own -- and how being confronted with the more grim reality changed his mind.

Forer may have had in mind as one of his main audiences Jews like himself, or rather, like he was, whose uncritical loyalty to Israel has come to be a liability for Israel, since the rest of the world is slowly but surely learning the truth about Israel.

But the book goes beyond that.

As someone who has followed the Palestinian struggle myself for several years now, I have come across many stories of the different tragedies that happened to the Palestinians, the massacres, the dispossessions, the theft of water resources, the home demolitions, and the different propaganda techniques Israel and its supporters use to cover up Israel's actions, to divert attention, to delay the peace process while more Israeli settlements are built and more land is confiscated.

In Forer's book I have found a concise and inclusive account of all it. In describing the succession of injustices done to the Palestinians, he provides a comprehensive history of the formation of Israel, and a vivid description of the Palestinians plight up to the current moment. It's all here in one place.

In laying out this story, in explaining the deep, emotionally rooted motivations behind Zionism, in explaining how Israeli propaganda works, Forer actually points the way toward a resolution. But as part of that resolution, Zionism and its myths must be confronted, and here are the all facts you'd need to counter any Zionist's argument. It's the best argument against Zionism I have ever read.


The book can be purchased directly from the author's web site or from Amazon.

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