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Genesis: Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict

Genesis: Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict [Kindle Edition]

John B. Judis

Kindle-Preis: EUR 16,68 Inkl. MwSt. und kostenloser drahtloser Lieferung über Amazon Whispernet

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Praise for Genesis

“A morally serious and thoughtful work.” —Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

“[Judis] is a careful historian.” —Joseph Dorman, The New York Times Book Review

“Judis digs deeply into history, politics and diplomacy to explain the backstory of today’s headlines . . . [A] provocative book.” —Jonathan Kirsch, Jewish Journal

“A standout book that will both teach and productively provoke . . . [An] excellent book.” —Jesse Singal, The Boston Globe

“John Judis has long been one of America's best political historians. Now he's proved himself one of the best historians of American foreign policy towards Israel. You don't have to agree with all of John's conclusions to be powerfully impressed by the extent of his research, the quality of his insight, and his deep empathy for both Jews and Palestinians in the tortured land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. One of the best books about the U.S.-Israel relationship I have ever read.” —Peter Beinart, author of The Crisis of Zionism

“John Judis fairly and carefully explores Harry Truman’s conflicted attitudes toward the establishment of the state of Israel—and he does far more.  A conscientious attempt to deal with the ethical paradoxes involved in the establishment of the state of Israel, this book makes us aware of the implacable moral ambiguities with which we all must live as we make choices in a deeply flawed world.” —Alonzo L. Hamby, Distinguished Professor of History, Ohio University; author of Man of the People:  A Life of Harry S. Truman

“This is the best kind of history—taking a historical episode we think we know about (Truman recognizing the new state of Israel) and probing what really happened and what it meant for the future. John Judis is one of America's best journalists. In Genesis he brings together both lucid writing and passionate insight in a way that sheds light on current American policy in the Middle East.” —James Mann, author of Rise of the Vulcans and The Obamians
Genesis, John Judis's history of the Truman administration's relationship to Israel and its neighbors, is a smart, unsentimental, and independent-minded rendering of a complicated tale. His arguments and evidence challenge the comforting myths that sustain all sides of this tragic conflict and, in doing so, have the potential to point all its actors in a more hopeful direction in the future.” —Eric Alterman, author of The Cause: The Fight for American Liberalism from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama


A probing look at one of the most incendiary subjects of our time—the relationship between the United States and Israel

There has been more than half a century of raging conflict between Jews and Arabs—a violent, costly struggle that has had catastrophic repercussions in a critical region of the world. In Genesis, John B. Judis argues that, while Israelis and Palestinians must shoulder much of the blame, the United States has been the principal power outside the region since the end of World War II and as such must account for its repeated failed diplomacy efforts to resolve this enduring strife.

The fatal flaw in American policy, Judis shows, can be traced back to the Truman years. What happened between 1945 and 1949 sealed the fate of the Middle East for the remainder of the century. As a result, understanding that period holds the key to explaining almost everything that follows—right down to George W. Bush’s unsuccessful and ill-conceived effort to win peace through holding elections among the Palestinians, and Barack Obama’s failed attempt to bring both parties to the negotiating table. A provocative narrative history animated by a strong analytical and moral perspective, and peopled by colorful and outsized personalities and politics, Genesis offers a fresh look at these critical postwar years, arguing that if we can understand how this stalemate originated, we will be better positioned to help end it.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1372 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 448 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 0374161097
  • Verlag: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (4. Februar 2014)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B00EGJ7L8U
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #271.080 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

  •  Ist der Verkauf dieses Produkts für Sie nicht akzeptabel?

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.0 von 5 Sternen  45 Rezensionen
152 von 190 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen And once again, the smears begin... 15. Februar 2014
Von Pamela Olson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The book is barely out, and already the hasbara (propaganda) brigades are out, creating one- and two-star reviews based on ideology, not on what's actually in the book. (I'd bet good money most of them haven't even cracked it open.) Just unsubstantiated insults and accusations. It's seen on virtually every book that challenges elements of the Zionist narrative, and it's quite tiresome.

Here's some unsolicited advice to low-star reviewers who haven't read it yet: Try actually reading the book. You don't have to agree with everything, but try to keep an open enough mind to just consider that some of what you've been led to believe may have a few holes in it.
118 von 149 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Saving the Soul of Israel 18. Februar 2014
Von Walter Donway - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
I just spent the weekend holding my Kindle Paperwhite and reading this entire 400-plus page book. What could possibly make a book about the history of Zionism, its entanglements in U.S. politics, and the agonized emergence of the State of Israel a page turner? Well, it is an experience almost like that of a person raised in a dogmatically religious household, hearing for years nothing but repetitions of the Bible, knowing no one except bible-school classmates, who suddenly picks up a careful scientific, reasoned,fact-based discussion of religion and reality. And sits muttering to himself: No one ever told me this! Why didn't anyone tell me this? How could I swallow all of that? Even knowing that when he begins to try to discuss his new ideas, his new insights, his mother will start crying--or cursing--and his dad may punch him in the mouth and kick him out of the house.

I am not and never was even FAINTLY as naive as the young man of my parable. I studied history, philosophy, and literature at Brown University. Was a newspaper reporter. Discovered the great novelist and philosopher, Ayn Rand, when I was 17, and dedicated myself to reason, independent thinking, and openness to the facts. But...very early I "bought" what I call the "Israel narrative" of a new nation built, founded, and won against all odds by a mercilessly persecuted people (true), a nation settled and built by men and women with a great vision of a new land where they could be free, secure, and reignite the fire of their religion (true), and who worked toward a society and a nation based on fairness and equality (alas, not true), and were open to peaceful, shared settlement of land occupied by another people (alas, not true), but had to fight off utterly unprovoked attacks (not true), held out offers of peace and justice that were spurned (not true), and were forced by the very struggle for survival to sweep away the occupants of the land (not true), forced to keep them out (not true), and, at last, to pen them indefinitely in walled, wired, military occupied enclaves (a big lie).

And this switch from true, to distressingly less than true, to blatantly untrue, to outrageously false is John Judis's account of how a movement that began infused with idealism, goodwill, and hope deteriorated into a colonialist movement that used and manipulated British imperialism, that came to believe the end of creating a Jewish state justified all means, and that succeeded brilliantly, beyond all expectations, and so put behind it, seemingly forever, considerations of justice and staked its future on a "narrative"--not a record.

And perhaps this book, to me, was a page turner because of the surprising revelation--inescapable as the dispassionate, documented, incisive presentation of the many-side drama unfolds--that my own country became the greatest obstacle to justice and peace between Israel and its Palestinian victims. And that, today, a purely American Zionism so dominates our politics that the prospects are dim that Israel ever may turn its attention from political and economy success, and its mesmerizing narrative of Biblical and historical rationalizations, to what is happening to its soul. It is disturbing, to say the least, to watch unfolding the story of how so many American Jewish citizens, including so many of the most successful, became accustomed, then comfortable, then almost addicted to viewing the good of Israel as their dominating concern. And, as an afterthought, added the coda that, of course, the good of Israel--that is, the will of its present government--is identical with the good of America.

And if American governments--indeed, every Representative, Senator, President, and other voice in government--cannot see that complete equality of interests, then there is no alternative but to drive them from public life.

And yet, if my account makes Mr. Judis's book sound harsh, condemnatory, and extreme that is only because I summarize my own conclusions and reactions--the resentment of one who feels he has been duped by the Israel narrative. The account itself is a resolutely factual, historical account-- vivid, evocative, and dramatic only when the story is so--that builds over many pages as the reader is invited to question the evidence--but mostly the lack of evidence--for his devotion to the Israel narrative.

I will add only that if, having read this book, you become excited about new ideas, new insights, in what really is occurring in Israel and the Middle East, you will do well to discuss them only in the most guarded, circumspect way. And if you do, expect virtually instant alarm--let's say, shock--and then a defensiveness that quickly becomes self-righteous refusal even to entertain such a discussion. It will not take many exchanges before the charge of antisemitism is raised. It is not your ideas, but your motives, that will be attacked. It is not your logic, but your honestly that will be called into doubt. And if you persist you may find yourself literally punished in ways beyond even discourse.

And you may find yourself in good company, with U.S Presidents from Harry Truman through Barrack Obama, when you begin to "take it all back," either directly or in so many words, and either suppress your views on Israel and turn to matters more promising, or pay lip service to Israel narrative because the cost of questioning is simply too high.

To see the world more clearly, for me, at least, is an end itself.
111 von 144 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Zionists will denounce this truthful history because it shatters their media monopoly 13. Februar 2014
Von Michael Hoffman - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Hysterics are resorting to the tiresome “anti-semitic” smear to demonize this book and intimidate potential readers. Author John B. Judis dares to demonstrate concern for facts that support the case of the dispossessed Palestinians, ergo he is “anti-semitic.” Is this the best his critics can do? In his book Genesis, Judis shows that Zionism was a colonial project and demonstrates the influence of the Israeli lobby in the United States. He offers prima facie evidence of how a U.S. President — Harry Truman — was relentlessly pressured into recognizing the theft of Palestinian land and the establishment of an Israeli Judaic nationalist state. In this regard, Judis indicts American liberals who were progressives in matters of civil rights and labor unions, yet callously indifferent to the fate of the Palestinians under Israeli subjugation. These liberals convinced Truman to bow to the Israeli demand for a supremacist, racial-chauvinist state in the Middle East. This book offers a fresh and long overdue perspective on hidden facts heretofore withheld from the American people.
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen History, Lessons from History, & A Primer on Effective Lobbying 13. Juli 2014
Von Michael Heath - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
There are three reasons I highly recommend this book.

The most important is John Judis' reporting on how the U.S. and other western countries contributed to the creation of the state of Israel whose very nature has caused so much needless human suffering.

Not understanding how the U.S. came to our present relations with Israel, and all the suffering it causes, argues strongly that U.S. current policies will continue to fail as they have since the late-19th century in this region. Understanding root causes always results in more optimal corrective action prescriptions; though that doesn't guarantee passage of such. Here we continue to experience bad outcomes due to Zionist influence on U.S. policy, the U.S. inability to practice what it preaches, and self-defeating behavior by the Arab world.

The second reason to read this book is perhaps for the historically literate reader, the most uncompelling of my three reasons.

It's a good thing to learn from history in order to not repeat the same mistakes. And while this book provides voluminous examples of mistakes we unfortunately continue to repeat, the noted mistakes are so remedial and obvious even a middle-schooler already knows such behavior is reprehensible. Obvious except for those who still act out so poorly and oblivious to such obvious lessons; that being Zionists, U.S. conservative Christians, U.S. neo-conservatives, and other non-U.S. theocrats, authoritarians, and conservatives. "Uncompelling" because these mistakes are ones the rational reader will already know is behavior to avoid prior to reading the book; no additional validation that we get here is needed.

These elementary mistakes that Judis reports also makes it easy for rational readers up on current events to predict the mistakes made in the early- to mid-20th century that led to our current state. Reading this book merely validates such accurate hindcasts. So no real surprises here but the one mentioned below.

Another example is that even a grade-schooler knows that, "two wrongs don't make a right". Yet we see the U.K. and the U.S. energetically support Zionist policy that by design harms non-Zionists living in Palestine. Judis does a fine job of explaining how this happened in spite of such recent lessons as WWI and WWII.

Here we also encounter President Truman knowingly supporting the creation of a Zionist state like Israel that will come to no good because they have no compunction to separate church and state and protect individual rights equally, regardless of religion or ethnicity. Strife is sure to follow, a legacy we can thank President Truman for being so culpable in helping to cause. Truman had an opportunity to lead where Judis reports how he instead conveniently pandered to protect his own future electoral chances.

Truman's failures are lessons learned by the U.S. framers 150 years earlier, and then amply validated in many instances prior to Truman failing his test. Yet Mr. Truman's lack of character and cowardice has him knowingly supporting the Zionists anyway. There's a reason President George W. Bush closely identified with President Truman where Truman's failure of character is finely illustrated in this book. At least President Bush had ignorance as an excuse, not so for Mr. Truman who knew his eventual Israeli-friendly policies were anti-human and anti-American.

We also learn that history is not always the good guys vs. the bad guys. Here we find no good guys. The Palestinians are feckless, incompetent, provincial, and incapable of thinking and acting collectively and strategically. The Zionists are more then happy to implement policies based on the same horrific arguments that caused the Jewish people to suffer so much over the ages; that being the dehumanization of, `the other'.

Judis presents many examples of how Zionists and their allies even denied the very existence of those subjected to Zionist policies. Denialism remains a popular thinking defect of authoritarians, whether it's Russia's treatment of gay people or U.S. conservatives inability to acknowledge scientific facts related to evolution and climate change. Here we find authoritarian thinking by the U.S. actors coming from liberals.

So perhaps the one historical lesson that gives good reason to read this book is so that U.S. and U.K. liberals don't forget they too were once prone to authoritarianism and all the thinking defects that accompany such thinking; like avoidance, denialism, and the reliance on logical fallacies to make one's case.

Perhaps the most interesting conclusion and narrative is the third reason to read this book. That's how incredibly competent the Zionists were at lobbying the powerful in order to achieve their objectives during their efforts to create the state of Israel. There are lessons to be learned here on how to effectively lobby, even when one isn't part of the dominant voting demographic.

We certainly see the Zionists' competency today in relation to Israel's influence on U.S. policy. Policies that infringe upon or prohibit the Palestinians': self-determination, voter rights, the right to petition and assemble, and most importantly in this context - equal protection under the law.

I could never have imagined how well Zionists were able to organize and lobby back in the early- to mid-20th century. Consider that Zionists back then were still an emergent group scattered across multiple continents who had suffered horrific casualties during WWII. This incredible portrayal of competency was the surprise of the book. Judis' excellent writing allows the reader to sufficiently appreciate this accomplishment.

And it wasn't like the Zionists' allies' interests were organically aligned with the West's. The most convenient path for the West was to support the emerging interests of the oil industry in the Middle East. A Jewish state was not convenient to establishing the needed supply chains and providing stable assurances of supply of oil outside that region.

When people claim governments react only to monied interests, the influence Israel has on global politics is a compelling rebuttal that influence is far more complicated than reactionary fealty to financial constituents. Judis does indirectly provide a compelling rebuttal to my thesis here. That politics are local where the Zionists' ability to target their financial contributions to specific politicians in key elections and congressional votes provided just the right amount of leverage to achieve their policy goals; in spite of being up against larger, less competent lobbyists like the oil sector. So if I'm wrong, then Judis' reporting here provides another example of how competent the Zionists have been and remain at lobbying.

Perhaps the most inconvenient conclusion is to ask why the U.S. would go out of its way to support policies so antithetic to our self-proclaimed and lauded ideals. The only conclusion I can surmise is our oblivious devotion to racism and sectarianism because we're still steeped in tribalistic thinking. That rather than enlightened thinking; in spite of our lofty rhetoric that has us claiming we're the opposite.
56 von 74 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The Rise, Demise and Tragedy of Zionism 24. Februar 2014
Von Paul Gelman - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
John Judis has writtten a very good book about the beginnings of the Zionist movement and its influence on world leaders and Jews alike.The first half of the book is about the history of the Zionist movement and the second is about Truman's decisions on the establishment of Israel.It shows the complicated way the many advisors of Truman and the Zionists have gone in order to influence Old Harry to support the establishment of Israel.
What was supposed to become a solution to the Jewish problem in the world turned out to be not only a tragedy for the Jews but it has also become a Palestinian tragedy due to the changing and brutal policies perpetrated by the followers of those descendants of Jabotinsky (a big admirer of Mussolini, mind you) and the religious fanatical parties. These things were never on the agenda of the Fathers of Zionism.
Israel is to be blamed for the fact that in contravention to the UN resolutions and interantional law, it sent people to colonize the occupied territories of 1967. This is forbidden according to any international law. Israel's Jews have gained a world of their own, but at the expense of another people. The Palestinians have paid dearly for this and have become a displaced people.
Today Israel has become a state which curtails and limits the rights of the Palestinians- those Palestinians whose very existence was ignored and despised by Golda Meir already in 1969. The Palestinians have no political rigths today and are subject to arbitrary arrest and imprisonment and even torture by Israel's military, and "the continual harassment from the Jewish settlers. That's not the outcome that many of the early Zionists envisaged", concludes Mr. Judis, who has written a very interesting , brilliant and stimulating book about the paradoxes of the Arab-Israeli conflict, using known and new sources in this myth- breaking and highly recommended book.
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