From the self-hating leftists in Tel Aviv to the self-promoting PLO execs in Ramallah, from the black-clad Haredim of Bet Shemesh to the glowing foreign human-rights activists in Beit Hanina, from Jewish settlers and the Christians who come from abroad to toil with them to ardent Jerusalem monks and Bedouins in surprisingly glorious shacks, Tenenbom takes on the people of the land, getting to know them and disarming them as he breaks bread and mingles with anyone and everyone.
Does Palestinian wife number one hate the Jews more than she hates wife number two? Who finances cash-rich NGOs pursuing a Judenrein Israel? Who sets Palestinian olive groves on fire and why? What is the emotional gravity that pulls idealistic human-rights activists from other countries to Israel and only to Israel? Who are the flaming feminists who sacrifice their lives for the rights of polygamists? Whose land is this, anyway?
By turns poignant, enraging, and laugh-out-loud funny, this unique travelogue lays bare the intensity of this turbulent land in an unprecedented, eye-opening education, person by person, city by city, and meal by meal. You will never look at Israel the same way again.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By David on 13-05-18
A thought provoking book let down by narration
I am half way through this book and enjoying it very much. It is thought provoking and controversial. It is infuriating, frightening and at times very funny. But the narrator is an amateur and this detracts from the pleasure of the audio version. It is surely not too much to ask that a narrator familiarises himself with the proper pronunciation of place names. "Gethsemane" he pronounces as "Geth-semaine". "Selpuchre" he pronounces as "Se-pul-cher". "Manger" he pronounces as "Man-ger". "Aquaba" he pronounces as "Aqua-ba". Such a shame. It would have only taken a moment for (Rabbi) Shlomo Zacks to ask someone familiar with the area how to pronounce these names/places. If I was Tuvia Tenenbom, the author, I would feel badly let down. If Shlomo Zacks was paid for his services we are all entitled to a refund. He simply did not put in the work.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By JeanTarrou on 07-03-16
Hilarious and deeply troubling at the same time.
Any additional comments?
I've spent years reading and researching the Israel-Palestine conflict. I've read Jimmy Carter's Palestine: Peace, not Apartheid, Alan Dershowitz's The Case For Israel, Abuelaish's I Shall Not Hate, The Jewish State by Herzl. I've read the official doctrines of the PA, Hamas, and the major laws in Israel.
But it was only until I listened to this book that I really learned what was going on. This is no longer about Arabs and Israelis. It's about the Europeans vs the Israelis. Even content Muslim Arab Israelis would be considered victims of "occupation". I think about the Muslim Arab Zionist activist Muhammad Zoabi on his Facebook page, or Alaa Waheeb, the Arab Muslim Major - highest ranking Muslim Arab serving in the IDF: I think about these two examples in the contexts of the European NGOs - does Europe want to "save" them too from apartheid, or what about the Arabs who get free education and universal health care? The abuse of the words like genocide, apartheid, occupation, etc. exactly illustrates the mind set and delusions of the left and this only hurts Palestinians. I am a Californian liberal and almost every other liberal I know is staunchly anti-Israel because that is what liberals are suppose to think, regardless of facts.
I'm really happy that I now have this great source to present to my anti-Israel friend, though unfortunately, as I am willing to entertain anti-Israel ideology and opposing views, the same can't be said of most pro-Palestine people.
Thank you Tuvia for risking your life for the truth. This hopefully will open the world's eyes and stop the hate.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By GoingGoingGone... on 25-04-16
As an Israeli, I feel the author has accurately encapsulated the breadth of conflicting interests, opinions and personalities here, and I was grateful that he played the role of a skeptic rather than buying everything he was told without question.
The result will be an eye opener for those who think they know this place just because they've read Max Blumenthal or Farid Zakaria or Thomas Friedman, or reports from ICRC or other NGO's whose true interests belie impartiality I am sad to say, and I think the author would agree, this lone voice of his would have to be amplified substantially if it is to convince Palestinians to reach out in a spirit of compromise. But why should this be so when, as Tenenbom shows, even Israel's ostensible allies' actions stack the deck against Israel and nurture Palestinian hopes to displace Israel rather than live with it side by side?
But, at least now you can get a real sense of what is going down here. Read this book, and you'll be able to call out the nonsense when you see it.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful