I don't read as many books as I would like. Sure, I buy a lot of books, just ask my wife. I just never finish them. The last book I read from entirely start to finish was "The DaVinci Code". Prior to that it was "In Defense of Internment" by Michelle Malkin. Last night I went out and purchased the latest book from Alan Dershowitz: "The Case Against Israel's Enemies: Exposing Jimmy Carter and Others Who Stand In the Way Of Peace". Just as the title of Malkin's book was controversial, Dershowitz's is also. He appears ready to "name names" in this book and apparently is critical of Jimmy Carter's role. I'd like to know more…
With the latest outbreak of violence between Israel and Hamas in Gaza I realized that I don't know as much as I would like about the facts surrounding Israel, Palestine, Islam, Judaism, Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, previous failures and successes at peace agreements. Basically, my direct knowledge of hard facts, figures, names, deals, and accords that have occurred over the past half century is limited. I want to know more. (Why this book? I suppose the fact that I saw Dershowitz was on Larry King last week probably had something to do with it.)
So, I've read the `Introductory' chapter of the Dershowitz book and feel compelled to continue on to the Chapter 1 which is titled: "The Case Against President Jimmy Carter".
First, let me share some of the reviews on the back of the book.
"Dershowitz knows how to construct an argument… Especially effective at pointing to the hypocrisy of many of Israel's critics" – New York Times Book Review
"This is a compelling book that unmasks the dangerous revisionism that distorts the real Israel. Dershowitz debunks former President Jimmy Carter's apartheid analogy, Walt and Mearsheimer's canard of dual loyalty, the immorality of the British boycott of Israeli academics, and the bigotry of the anti-Israel hard left and right. He also assesses the existential threats against Israel and the options available to the Jewish state. A must read for all who care about international justice and Israel's survival; in a world of biased enemies." – The Honorable Irwin Cotler (Member of Parliament and Former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)
First, Dershowitz points out a few facts that I pretty much already know but he, being a Harvard law professor speaks much more eloquently than I.
- "It is remarkable indeed that a democratic nation born in response to a decision of the United Nations should still not be accepted by so many countries, groups, and individuals. No Other UN member is threatened with physical destruction by other member states so openly with so little rebuke from the General Assembly or the Security Council. Simply put, no other nation is hated as much as the Jewish nation."
Already, I feel some anxiety when I try to imagine myself living in Israel. Imagine trying to live a normal life with your family. Imagine the constant threat of annihilation by Iran. The restraint Israel has shown in my opinion throughout its history should be commended. Of course they have made bad decisions (the settlements and occupation of Gaza for example) just as every other country in the world has done at one point or another. In general, they have held their heads up and tried to take the high/moral road. It's the ONLY democracy in the region. The Israeli Arabs citizens (more than a million of them) have the same rights as the Jewish and Christian citizens of Israel.
In 2001, the French ambassador to the European Union, Daniel Bernard, told a group at a meeting that the current troubles in the world were all because of "that shitty little country Israel." This is coming from the country that deported its Jewish citizens to Auschwitz.
- "Israel's most dangerous enemies are those who wield the power-political, academic, religious, and military – to challenge Israel's continued existence as a Jewish, democratic, multiethnic, and multicultural state. These include Western political leaders, led by former president Jimmy Carter, who would delegitimize Israel as an apartheid regime subject to the same fate as white South Africa."
This is news to me, good thing the next chapter is called "The Case Against President Jimmy Carter."
- "Then there is the military danger posed by Iran, which has explicitly threatened to destroy the Jewish state in the name of Islam. This threat converts the concept of individual suicide terrorists into a suicide nation, which is willing to incur millions of casualties among its own citizens as the price of destroying a religious enemy. Former Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani "boasted that an Iranian nuclear attack would kill as many as five million Jews. Rafsanjani estimated that even if Israel retaliated by dropping its own nuclear bombs, Iran would probably lose only fifteen million people, which he said would be a small 'sacrifice' from among the billion Muslims in the world.""
I shouldn't be surprised by this former Iranian leader's statement but man, that's pretty outrageous.
The introductory chapter ends with these two hypothetical scenarios that should make you stop and say "hmm". I ABSOLUTELY agree.
- "If Israel's military enemies—Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, and other terrorist groups and nations—were to lay down their arms, stop firing rockets, stop sending suicide bombers, and stop threatening to wipe Israel off the map, there would be peace."
- "If Israel were to lay down its arms, there would be genocide.
Next, Chapter 1: "The Case Against President Jimmy Carter"