The Case for Israel

The Case for Israel

by Alan Dershowitz


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Written in Alan Dershowitz's characteristic hard-hitting style, The Case for Israel defends Israel and its basic right to exist, to protect its citizens from terrorism, and to protect its borders from hostile enemies. This timely and controversial analysis sets the record straight, addressing the accusations leveled against Israel by responding with hard facts and documentation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620457962
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 08/01/2003
Pages: 274
Sales rank: 755,599
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Alan Dershowitz, the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, is one of the country’s foremost appellate lawyers and a distinguished defender of individual liberties. He appears frequently on television and has contributed articles to the New York Times and other newspapers and magazines. His many books include the #1 New York Times bestseller Chutzpah and The Vanishing American Jew.

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Table of Contents

Is Israel a Colonial, Imperialist State?
Did European Jews Displace Palestinians?
Was the Zionist Movement a Plot to Colonize All of Palestine?
Was the Balfour Declaration Binding International Law?
Were the Jews Unwilling To Share Palestine?
Have the Jews Always Rejected the Two-State Solution?
Have the Jews Exploited the Holocaust?
Was the U.N. Partition Plan Unfair to Palestinians?
Were Jews a Minority in What Became Israel?
Israel's Victimization of the Palestinians Has Been the Primary Cause of the Arab-Israeli Conflict?
Was the Israeli War of Independence Expansionist Aggression?
Did Israel Create the Arab Refugee Problem?
Did Israel Start the Six Day War?
Was the Israeli Occupation Without Justification?
Was the Yom Kippur War Israel's Fault?
Has Israel Made Serious Efforts at Peace?
Was Afafat Right in Turning Down the Barak-Clinton Peace Proposal?
Why Have More Palastinians Than Israelis Been Killed?
Does Israel Torture Palestinians?
Has Israel Engaged in "Genocide" Against Palestinian Civilians?
Is Israel a Racist State?
Is the Israeli Occupation the Cause of All the Problems?
Has Israel Denied the Palestinians Statehood?
Is Israel's Policy of House Destruction Collective Punishment?
Is Targeted Assassination of Terrorist Leaders Unlawful?
Is Settlement in West Bank and Gaza A Major Barrier to Peace?
Is This Truly a "Cycle of Violence"?
Is Israel the "Prime" Human Rights Violator in the World?
Is There Moral Equivalence Between Palestinians Terrorists and Israeli Responses?
Should Universities Divest From Israel and Boycott Israeli Scholars?
Are Critics of Israel Anti-Semitic?
Why Do SoMany Jews and Even Israelis Side With the Palestinians?
Conclusion: Israel:The Jew Among Nations.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Eric Hoffer wrote in the '60s about the phenomenon of the assimilated Jew who would, to prove his worth to his betters, oppose the state of Israel and call it conscience. I applaud Professor Dershowitz for his consistent, principled, and reasoned defense of Israel, and, so, of the Jewish people." ?David Mamet

"In a world in which Israel seems always to be the accused, regardless of the facts, Alan Dershowitz's defense offers an oasis of sanity and straight talk. It may be too much to hope that Israel's accusers will read this powerful and persuasive response to their charges. It is not at all too much to ask that fair-minded observers do so." ?Floyd Abrams

"Alan Dershowitz's detailed and penetrating analysis of the issues that fuel the continuing war in Israel should be read by everyone interested in reaching a fair conclusion as to how that tragic conflict should be ended. Every charge leveled by Israel's opponents is dealt with lucidly and convincingly by one of the nation's brightest minds and most effective advocates." ?Mario M. Cuomo

"This is a powerful and brilliantly argued book by a life- long champion of law, freedom, and human rights. Dershowitz faces down the Big Lies one by one and proves that Israel is not guilty of colonialism, apartheid, or "Nazism." Anyone who cares about Israel?and about the truth?will find this essential, even life-saving reading." ?Phyllis Chesler Ph.D, author of The New Anti-Semitism: The Current Crisis and What We Can Do About It

"In this important book, as in many of his writings, Alan Dershowitz remains an ardent and courageous defender of Israel and what the law stands for." ?Elie Wiesel

"The Case for Israel is a marvelous primer for supporters of that beleaguered state who want to d efend Israel from the calamities falsely ascribed to it by its worldwide enemies. Dershowitz has summarized those false accusations and provided the facts, enabling the reader to respond to the anti-Semites and those who are hostile to Israel. More than a great read, it is essential if you want to be equipped to defend Israel in the world of conversation and debate." ?Edward I. Koch

"The Case for Israel is indispensable reading for those of us who are deeply disturbed by the rise of anti-Semitism in American society, even on college campuses." —Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Chairman, Department of African and African-American Studies at Harvard

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The Case for Israel 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Written in a format that recognizes the arguments used by those who single out Israel for harsh judgment, the book uses established, verifiable facts and unassailable logic to refute those arguments and place the burden of explanation back on those who hold Israel to unfair standards in the face of provocation by murderous atrocity. I eagerly await a reply by Chomsky and others who consistently overlook the despotic regimes of Israel's neighbors and other countries and, for reasons deep within their psyche, seek to villify the Jewish state. How can anybody who claims to stand up for the 'underdog' support movements that have consistenly rejected Israel's very existence, a two-state solution, and have fallen into the terrorists' trap of using murder to obtain sympathy in response to Israel's extremely legitimate efforts to prevent such murders of innocents? All one has to do is look at the dead on each side and see that many more Israeli women, chldren and innocents have been killed, whereas virtually all of the Palestineans killed have been men of terrorist age, with terrorist connections, often in their status of combatants. Unheard in the popular press, Dershowitz also makes the reader aware that, at the time of the UN Partition, the land awarded to the tiny Jewish state had a clear Jewish minority that had built the land up from a desert swampland. Read the book for more facts to enlighten!
Guest More than 1 year ago
'The case for Israel' is a candid refutation of the litany of criticisms against the Jewish state. For the author, the task must have simaltaneously easy and painful - simple because so much of the anti-Israeli polemic is just that, and painful because that polemic is poisoning the well of the public discourse. Dershowitz presents few genuinely new defenses, but the strength of the book lies in his legal approach, and the comprehensive nature of the work. In short, the book is the best defense of Israel in a single volume to date. Some have commented on Dershowitz's obession with counterattacks on Said, Chomsky, and Finkelstein. I disagree. As anyone who is remotely familiar with college campus politics and academic trends, Said and Chomsky provide the foundation for Israel's worst critics, and I ask anyone reading this review to examine the 'one-star' reviews above - their recommendations validate this point, as well as their rating. As a serious student of Mideast affairs, I highly recommend this book, but only to those who have already been exposed to Israel's worst critics.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a clearly written, well- researched work which exposes the prejudiced treatment Israel has received not only from its neighbors but from the United Nations, and most nations of the world. It proves the fundamental truth of the Middle East conflict over and over again- and that is that the source of the conflict is Arab rejectionism of Israel. Had the Arabs wanted had the Palestinians wanted they could have settled this conflict over eighty years ago. Their hatred of Israel, their inhumane murder , terror and suicide campaign has forced the Jewish state to defend itself, and in doing so become reluctantly one of the most powerful military states in the world.That it is also the only true democracy in the Middle East is a measure of its success. This success is of course the source of envy for its totalitarian neighbors whose only response to a continually outstretched hand in peace has been violence and more violence.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are a left wing jew who finds him/herself surrounded by uninformed critics of israel, this book is what you've been waiting for your entire life. While admitting to Israel's mistakes, Mr. Dershowitz exposes the double standard that the Israelis have been held to since the inception of the state. My only desire is a response from Edward Said and Noam Chomsky.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The carefulness of the research here gets to you as you begin to realize that most of your misgivings about Israel (if you sympathize with it) or the charges against Israel (if you sympathize with the Palestinians) are not based on facts. After a while you may realize as a 'liberal' that you have been (as Stalin used to call his sympathizers in Western countries) a 'useful idiot' ~ a dupe of Arab propaganda. I now think that Dershowitz, if anything, is too even-handed, given his documentation. After reading this I am going to be much more wary. I have a lot more confidence in ~ and admiration for ~ Israel. They are in a really bad neighborhood and nevertheless have an ethical record in which they can rightly take pride. Their training, behavior, law and courts put them in sharp contrast with their enemies, who glory in the targeting of civilians. Now some of the anti-Israel views I read and hear strike me as unfortunate or unbalanced or ignorant. I realize now that some things people say are really shameful. Dershowitz is not the greatest writer in the world ~ he just soldiers on with his task ~ but what he has to say is so riveting that this is a real page turner. I stayed up two nights in a row with it. So I have to say it is a terrific book ~ it changed my whole outlook.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This timely book provides what is described as a detailed and penetrating analysis of the issues fuelling the continuing war against the Jewish State of Israel, both in the field of propaganda & on the ground itself. A whole plethora of secular issues are discussed in this work in order to provide a pro-active defence of the Jewish State. Despite this the book declares that it in no way defends every policy or action of the Israeli Government but vehemently defends the right of Israel to exist and to protect it's citizens from terrorism under the principle of self defence afforded every sovereign nation. The contents of this work depicting this principle as frequently being denied Israel by some elements of the International community. The latter being depicted as regularly singling out the Jewish State for unique criticism which is not directed at any other nations or at it's neighbouring Arab countries for that matter. The latter entities being demonstrated as having far worse human rights records than Israel. An underlying attitude described in the book as 'International bigotry' which crosses the line into the realms of anti-Semitism. The book addresses many fundamental points such as the historical fact that the Palestinians have been offered Statehood on three separate occasions, in 1937, 1947 and 2000-2001. On each occasion the book describes how each offer was rejected and on each occasion the response has been increased terrorism. A parallel issue addressed here is that the Palestinian Arabs never sought Statehood when they were 'occupied' by Jordan and Egypt and that the claim began as a tactic to eliminate the Jewish State of Israel. The PLO even being formed by Egypt in 1964 when the 'West Bank' and Gaza are described as being Arab occupied. The Arab-Israeli wars also receive attention and the book documents how it was actually the Arabs that were responsible for the Palestinian 'refugee' issue. The so called 'settlement' issue is also addressed, with references being shown that the Arabs/Palestinians refused to make peace with Israel when there were no 'settlements' in existence and also when Ehud Barak offered to remove them all. The Sinai 'settlement' issue being illustrated as no barrier to the 'peace' agreement between Israel and Egypt. The book declaring that the real barrier to 'peace' is that the Palestinians are utterly unwilling to accept the existence of a Jewish State in ANY part of what they describe as 'Palestine'. The book describes that Palestinian propagandists regularly invoke the 'human rights' issue merely as a tactic against Israel, whilst the Palestinian Authority is depicted here as having no respect for tolerance or human rights itself with a policy of 'torturing and killing alleged collaborators', often publicly, without even a semblance of a due process of law or trial. An issue which is described as being of little consequence to World opinion, which prefers to concentrate on alleged Israel wrongdoings. Also relating to 'human rights' the book investigates the UNHCR and what it describes as a substantive assault upon Israel, quoting the vast percentage of it's resolutions being against Israel which is the only nation to be subject to an entire agenda EVERY year. By comparison the book shows that the UNHCR has never passed a resolution against states such as Syria, China, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Chad, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Yemen or Zimbabwe, all of which are depicted as committing gross and systematic human rights abuses. Another disturbing issue addressed is that in chapter 29 of society's growing willingness to attach what is described as a 'moral equivalence between Palestinian terrorism & Israeli responses to terrorism.' A parallel issue also being addressed is the alleged 'moral equivalence' between Palestinians casualties sustained during acts of violence/terrorism against Israeli targets and the Israeli casualties sustained amongst i
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alan Dershowitz deserves a tremendous amount of credit and praise for this work. What he does in it,is go one by one, and systematically refute the arguments anti- Semitic enemies of Israel are presently making against it. In doing so he provides a very readable story of the whole conflict between Jews and Arabs over the Holy Land. His method is to take the charges made by the enemies of Israel, and one by one refute them. He in doing this shows the hypocrisy of the Arab nations and of the U.N. of some of the worst human rights violators in the world in the attacks upon the only democracy in the middle East. He shows how Israel which is singled out again and again for attack on human rights issues is one of the most advanced democratic countries in the world. He has special praise for the Israeli judicial system. Dershowitz is an advocate of the two- state solution in which there would be both an Israeli Jewish state, and a Palestinian Arab state in the land of the West of the Jordan. My own feeling is that since the Arabs already hold eighty percent of the land given for a Jewish state in the Balfour declaration, and since that vast territory could be used as their homeland, the two state solution should mean one on the West Bank of the Jordan( the Jewish state) and the other on the East Bank.( the Arab state). But my disagreement with Dershowitz over the best way to handle the problem does not in any way diminish my enormous respect and gratitude for what he has done. Any rational person of good will reading this book will understand just how terribly Israel is being treated by the world- community, and how it is not only more right than its neighbors, but in fact ' light' to their 'darkness'. This book is recommended to anyone who cares to truly be fair about the Middle East, and to understand what is going on in the conflict between the Jewish state and its enemies.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Considering the complexities of the Middle East, Alan Dershowitz¿s ¿The Case for Israel¿ makes for easy reading, which is not to say that the author dumbs down his prose. Avoiding legal jargon, Dershowitz presents a series of rational arguments to counter those criticisms of the Jewish State which to him appear without merit. Since the author is Jewish, he could legitimately be accused of some bias. Yet some Jewish intellectuals, including Noam Chomsky, Rabbi Michael Lerner and Norman Finkelstein make a case for the other side as do numbers of Jewish students on our nation¿s campuses. Instead of setting down an essay to expound the case, he devotes a small chapter to each criticism of Israel and proceeds in legalistic prose to attack those rejoinders. Among the most important units are: 1) Have the Jews Exploited the Holocaust? 2) Did Israel Create the Arab Refugee Problem? 3) Was Arafat Right in Turning Down the Barak-Clinton Peace Proposal? 4) Is Israel a Racist State? 5) Is There Moral Equivalence between Palestinian Terrorists and Israeli Responses? 6) Are Critics of Israel Anti-Semites? Dershowitz points out that while the extreme right (Nazis, Fascists, and other hate-groups) have been the traditional enemies of Israel, today the Far Left finds it fashionable to condemn Israeli actions in the Middle East if not the very existence of the Jewish state. While the author finds nothing wrong with criticizing some Israeli policies such as the building of settlements, those critics who single out Israel¿s warts in a world that bears witness to genocidal conflicts in areas like Rwanda, Bosnia, and the Congo may indeed be guilty of anti-Semitism. Nor can a legitimate case be made for equating Israel¿s defensive actions with Palestinian terrorism in that the latter specifically targets non-combatants for suicide bombings while Israel regrets the loss of innocent Arab lives snuffed out largely because terrorist groups place military bases in the heart of civilian areas. The Clinton administration solution to the tension which would have given 95%-97% of the West Bank and all of Gaza back to the Palestinians and would have created a Palestinian state was accepted by Israel but rejected by Arafat, presumably because the PLO leader might have feared assassination by Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations. The Far Left in America loves to think that it¿s looking out for the underdog and this book may not convince those who continue to believe that Israel occupies land for the fun of it rather than to seek out and neutralize so-called Arab militants (read: terrorists). Nonetheless Dershowitz makes a powerful case for showing that Israel, not the Palestinians, are the underdogs, in that the tiny Jewish state (which occupies a mere 1/5 of one percent of the land area of the Middle East) would be obliterated if it lost a single war. Israel emerges on the morally just side, a beleaguered nation who would live in peace with neighbors if not surrounded and greatly outnumbered by hostile forces.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Too many times it is 'You are either for me or against me.' The tone of the book makes it sound that either you support the Palestinians or the Israelis, there is no middle ground. Also you either think the Palestinians or the Israelis are evil incarnate. I spent a fair amount of time saying that isn't me rather than trying to follow is reasoning. Dershowitz does a good job of showing the time line for this conflict and it pointed out some demographics that do not get as much attention as they should. Considering the title a decent book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Overall this is an interesting book explaining the Israel-Palestine conflict from Israel's point of view. I found it interesting, though I think some points are repeated on and on in different chapters. Also, there are many statements in the book that don't have any notes, and for me they don't have any weight (like mentioning torture used in France, among others). I think the book is a little bit biased, but nevertheless interesting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book attempts to act as a defense lawyer for Israel in a hypothetic court of justice. At the beginning of each chapter, it excerpts a long quotation accusing Israel of something wrong then attempts to refute it. Neither the accusations nor the responses contain new ideas. Those familiar with the Middle East issues will not learn much from this book. In its treatment of the topic, this book exhibits much bias and one-sidedness, even its title admitting that much. The extremely selective manner in which Dershowitz picks his facts and quotations allows him to reach any conclusion he desires, and many of his assertions have been said ¿ and thoroughly refuted ¿ before. As in any true court of justice, an honest judge would listen to both sides ¿ each presenting their own point of view rather than speaking on behalf of each other. For that reason, I would recommend reading Edward Said (¿Question of Palestine¿ is a good start) or Rashid Khalidi along with this book. Many Israeli historians (e.g., Ilan Pappe, Israel Shahak, Avi Shlaim, Baruch Kimmerling) have also written much more convincing arguments and deserve a serious read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Quite simply, the book Alan Dershowitz claims to have written is a hoax: (1) substantial swatches are lifted from another notorious hoax on the Israel-Palestine conflict, (2) it is replete with egregious falsifications, and (3) the few scholarly sources actually cited are mangled beyond recognition. In this reply, I will only illustrate points (1) and (2). These, along with point (3), will be fully documented in a forthcoming monograph. In 1984, Joan Peters published From Time Immemorial, which claimed that Palestine was virtually empty on the eve of Zionist colonization, and that Palestinians are in fact foreigners who surreptitiously entered Palestine after the Zionists 'made the desert bloom.' The book is now widely recognized as a fraud. Baruch Kimmerling (of the Hebrew University) and Joel S. Migdal, in their authoritative study, Palestinians: The Making of a People, published by Harvard University Press, observe that Peters's book is 'based on materials out of context, and on distorted evidence,' and, citing my own conclusion that the book 'is the most spectacular fraud ever published on the Arab-Israeli conflict,' report that 'similar evaluations were expressed by notable historians' in Israel and Europe. Dershowitz states that he uses only a 'few sources' cited in the Peters hoax. In fact, fully 22 of the 52 endnotes in chapters 1-2 are lifted straight from her without any form of attribution. In his defense, Dershowitz claims that no foul play is involved because he checked Peters's original sources before citing them, a laughable argument were an undergraduate to make it before a plagiarism committee. Dershowitz focuses on a lengthy citation from Mark Twain to argue this point. Yet, although Dershowitz reproduces Peters's page references to Twain's book in his own endnote, the relevant quotes do not appear on these pages in the edition of Twain's book that Dershowitz cites. Furthermore, Dershowitz cites two paragraphs from Twain as continuous text, just as Peters cites them as continuous text, but in Twain's book the two paragraphs are separated by 87 pages. It would be impossible for anyone who checked the original source to make this error. Dershowitz similarly 'checked' Peters's other sources. Quoting a statement depicting the miserable fate of Jews in mid-19th century Jerusalem, Peters cites a British consular letter from 'Wm. T. Young to Viscount Canning.' Dershowitz cites the same statement as Peters, reporting that Young 'attributed the plight of the Jew in Jerusalem' to pervasive anti-Semitism. Turning to the original, however, we find that the relevant statement did not come from Young but, as is unmistakably clear to anyone who actually consulted the original, from an enclosed memorandum written by an 'A. Benisch' that Young was forwarding to Canning. One wonders if Dershowitz also consulted Peters's original source for the term 'turnspeak' - a coinage of Peters, which she says was inspired by George Orwell's 1984, but which Dershowitz, confounded by his massive borrowings from Peters, not once but twice credits directly to Orwell ('George Orwell's `turnspeak,'' 'Orwellian turnspeak'). On which pages of 1984 did Dershowitz find 'turnspeak'?
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book came across as a lame and desperate attempt to defend Zionism and its creation, Israel. Dershowitz hangs on to theories and 'facts' that history had debunked. Dershowitz ought to be following the footsteps of Jewish intellectuals in Europe and Israel who have concluded that Zionism has failed and are now discussing a post-Zionism Judaism. Not only has Zionism (and Israel) failed miserably as an experiance in nationalism, but it has also proven itself to be the worst thing to happen to Jews (not to mention Palestinians and other victims). Time to move on.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿The Case for Israel¿ produces some interesting tidbits of ¿lesser-known¿ information, interpreting it to press the Israeli case. The problem is that the information produced is old news. The book reproduces such ¿evidence¿ as the Faisal-Weizmann agreement of 1919 which in reality is well known, having been reproduced as early as 1939 in ¿The Arab Awakening¿ by George Antonius (which interestingly provides a diametrically opposite interpretation of this agreement, illustrating how individual facts alone are not sufficient for the merit of an argument). Another issue that ¿The Case for Israel¿ makes a big deal of is the story of Hajj Amin al-Husseini and his relationship with the Nazis whom he hoped would drive out the British occupiers of Palestine, which also has been duly recognized in Arab sources, contrary to what this book wants us to believe. What this book omits is the even more fascinating story about Yitzhak Shamir (later to become Prime Minister of Israel) who actively collaborated with the Nazis to put pressure on the European Jews to emigrate to Palestine and fulfill the Zionist vision [see ¿51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis¿ by Lenni Brenner]. I therefore gained little out of reading this book, other than getting doses of pro-Israeli spin. In addition to Antonius¿s classic, Avi Shlaim¿s ¿Collusion Across the Jordan¿ delves into secret Arab-Israeli relations in much more detail.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is quite pathetic. The author goes far out in order to answer the accusations heaped upon Israel. The book is organized into many mini-chapters, each having a question for a title, followed by a succinct ¿Accusation¿ statement, followed by a selected quote from ¿The Accusers¿, followed by the author¿s vision of ¿Reality¿ and his proof. Perceptive readers will immediately notice that the accusation statement is slightly different from the question posed in the title of the chapter. The selected quote is further removed from the topic, and the author¿s ¿reality¿ and proof supplied are usually tangential to the argument altogether. Thus the book provides the illusion of answering each accusation by getting the reader lost in the blah-blah-blah. A perfect example is Chapter 22, which appears to ¿prove¿ that the Israeli Occupation is acceptable since Tibet is occupied by China. Another chapter deems torture and Human rights violations in Israel acceptable because they are much less vicious than in the Arab country. These are the same logical arguments as saying that suicide bombs in Tel Aviv are acceptable since they are in no way comparable to the suicide attacks of September 11. The book is dotted with factual inaccuracies, claiming that the Israeli occupation ¿ended in 1995¿ or that Israel ¿never practiced torture¿ since its High Court ruled torture illegal in 1999. Of course the main weakness is that the quotes from the other side are selected. Any honest judge will let each side speak for itself rather than allow one side to quote and paraphrase the other side as it wishes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alan's book is extremely one-sided!!! It does not evenly present the case for the Palestinian side. It is possible to have a peaceful solution between the Israelis and the Palestinians! This would guarantee Israel's security and the rights of the Palestinians as the same side. Mr. Dershowitz, you have done an incredible disservice to the peace process by your writings. Sir, you should know better!