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Paperback Confronting Jihad: Israel's Struggle & the World After 9/11 Book

ISBN: 1593600011

ISBN13: 9781593600013

Confronting Jihad: Israel's Struggle & the World After 9/11

An American journalist living in Jerusalem with his wife and children, Singer is witness to the war for survival waged every day in Israel. In this book he describes how Israelis work and live, how politics is conducted, the role of religion in society, the ups and downs of their economy, and more.


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A good collection of columns

This book is a collection of many of Saul Singer's columns and editorials for the Jerusalem Post. One might think that there would be little for him to say. After all, Israel is a small nation. What it does probably isn't very important. Even if it were to do something drastically different, such as giving away most of its land, or starting a war with a neighbor, or forming a military alliance with Syria, one might wonder why that would be interesting. Worse, Israel's options are heavily constrained: it is unlikely to do much of anything at all. Nevertheless, there's still quite a bit of value in these articles. For one thing, while Israel's options may be limited, it's still worth trying to keep track of what is happening in the region and in the world. A second point is that much of what is written about Israel is intentionally inaccurate, misleading, or simply thoughtless. It's good to have someone around to provide some accuracy and clarity. Finally, many of the problems we see in the Levant have larger implications, and this makes what Singer writes important for everyone. One theme of Singer's is the folly of "evenhandedness." That is, the European Union tends to support the Arabs in their war against Israel. The United States purports to be a fair and honest broker that can bring peace to both sides. Singer points out more than once that this doesn't work. A neutral approach towards ending fights favors bullies. After all, if the aggressor and the victim are to be treated equally, why not be an aggressor? And this is in fact one of the reasons that we don't have serious progress towards peace between Israel and the Arabs. I liked the variety of subjects that Singer addressed and found his views thoughtful and interesting. I recommend his book.

Balanced and sane argument in support of Israel

I read many of the pages of this book in the Jerusalem Post where Saul Singer has both a weekly column, and often writes the editorial page. He is very insightful on the whole subject of the Terrorist war now being waged against Israel. And he understands very well the kinds of media - bias Israel continually faces. He is a very sane and balanced writer, a rationalist who builds his arguments carefully. He is also it can be seen a decent person motivated not by hatred of the ' enemy' but by a strong desire to find a way toward peace in a better Middle East. American born he too has a good insight into the political realities of the world's single superpower and of the US- Israel relationship. There is much to be learned from reading this excellent collection. And for the honest and open- minded there is a deeper understanding of the Arab - Israel conflict than is generally presented in the world's media.

Words of Wisdom out of the Pages of theJerusalem Post

Topical essay collections are often a hit or miss proposition since the essays can appear dated by the time they are re-published in collection form. Yet somehow, writing about the Middle East never seems irrelevant no matter how much time has passed. This is true of Saul Singer's new book. Singer, Jerusalem Post editorial writer and columnist has collected much of his writings for the Post between the year 1998 and the summer of 2003, particularly those concerning the war on terrorism being fought and faced by both the United States and Israel. Singer contends this is the same war and I agree with him. The essays, most of which are unsigned editorials Singer penned for the Post and a number of which are from his weekly column "Interesting Times", are arranged largely, though not totally chronologically and each one is proceeded by an introduction written by Singer this summer, before the book was published. These introductions create a cohesiveness of the essays by tying them to current conditions. For example, on many occasions, post 9/11, the Post was critical of what it saw as American equivocation on Palestinian terrorism. In a number of his introductions to editorials of this nature, Singer acknowledges where his assumptions turned out to be pre-mature or mistaken.Taken together the book is a striking history of the major issue of Islamic fascism facing Israel and the world since Sept. 2000. Looking back at these events reminded me of many things I had forgotten. It is always useful to go back and examine events one lived through since the perspective is very different when one has knowledge of the future.From my perspective Singer, an American who made aliyah a number of years ago, is a centrist, which is to say he would give up land to create a Palestinian state if he thought such a state would live peacefully with Israel. But like much of today's "neo-cons", Singer believes that Israel must win the war in which it is engaged just as the United States must. He is scornful of Israel and American "elite" which try to appease the terrorists. It should also be noted that Singer is a firm believer in the free market and many of his editorials have called for serious economic reform of the Israeli economy, which is still essentially socialist. All in all this book is a must read for anyone interested in a sensible review of the events affecting the peace of Israel and the United States over the past three years. And the Jerusalem Post is a must read for anyone looking for sensible commentary on the current world scene.

Composure, Sanity & Incisive Insight Amidst The Hatred.

Covering the Palestinian/Arab war against Israel from 1997 to the present day, a writer for the Jerusalem Post presents here a series of essays that should be mandatory reading for anyone with the remotest interest in the Middle East.The book covers a whole series of issues relating to the so called "peace process" which cannot all be addressed within the space of a review. One of the principal issues covered in this work is the ongoing construction of the so called "security wall/fence" along the boundaries of Judea/Samaria (West Bank) etc.. The "security wall/fence" being cited in the book as really being "constructed" by the Palestinians and not by the Israelis, with an elaboration being made that the structure only came into being following the many thousands of Palestinian terrorist attacks upon Israelis. Further amplification being made that if the Palestinian leadership fulfilled their requirement under the so called "road map" in disarming and disbanding the Palestinian terrorist groups then the "security wall/fence" would be irrelevant in any case.Further to the "peace process" itself the book describes the European Union as largely taking the Palestinian side in the conflict and that a refusal to label the Palestinians as the "aggressors" has made the conflict virtually impossible to end by providing an "inbuilt incentive" for Palestinians to restart hostilities as soon as any "talks" break down. This is discussed in some detail. Reference is made to the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, or anyone else in authority, having given no indication whatsoever of being prepared/willing to confront Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups. The latter shown to be allowed to operate freely by the Palestinian leadership within all the Palestinian autonomous areas.Page 136 discusses the attitude depicted within these Palestinian groups where they claim a right to "retaliate" after Israel kills what is termed as one of their "terrorist masterminds" responsible for attacking Israelis etc.. The book discusses the matter at length and describes the underlying attitude of the Palestinian terrorist groups as being of "schoolyard logic" which cries "it all started when he hit me back".The book makes a number of comparisons between Israel's "war against terrorism" and the parallel "war against terrorism" of the US. Both are described as facing the same enemy with the same strategy. The US & Israel both also depicted in the book as being at the receiving end of what the same "jihad" & an expansionist war by militant Islam that cannot tolerate any form of non-Islamic power. Having said that, at the beginning of the book the writer describes his first visit to the US following the September 11th terrorist attacks and goes to some length to describe his shock at a fundamental difference in the society of both nations. The book recounts astonishment at the number of US civilians at outdoor cafes and shopping malls without the pres
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