I Wonder What Civil Libertarians Think of Us Now...
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, October/November 2013, Pages 11, 45 Special Report NSA Not Only Spies on Americans, But…More...
Wedding dresses are displayed above stalls at a market in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, Sept. 14, 2013.
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, October/November 2013, Pages 8-10 Special Report With Israel in Mind, U.S. Targets Syria as…More...
A young Palestinian waits to travel through the Rafah border crossing into Egypt.
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, October/November 2013, Pages 18-20 Two Views Crossings—in Palestine and America Languishing in Limbo at…More...
Islam and the Near East in the Far East: Despite Its Rhetoric, Israel Would not Be Pleased With a Palestinian Mandela
On his first trip to a foreign country after being released from prison, South African anti-apartheid leader and African National Congress (ANC) member Nelson Mandela (l), in Zambia to attend a meeting of the ANC National Executive Committeee, warmly gree
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, October/November 2013, Pages 21, 45 Islam and the Near East in the Far East…More...
(L-r) Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) amendment calling for a suspension of military aid to Egypt was opposed on behalf of AIPAC by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John McCain (R-AZ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ).
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, October/November 2013, Pages 28-29 What They Said Whatever AIPAC Wants: Senators Debate Suspending U.S. Military…More...
At a Sept. 1 ceremony in Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (r) hands a decree to Marzieh Afkham appointing her Foreign Ministry spokesperson, the first woman ever to hold the position.
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, October/November 2013, Pages 26-27 Special Report Its Image Tarnished and Relevance in Arab World…More...
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, November 2005, page 42
Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and The Abuse of History
By Norman G. Finkelstein, University of California Press, 2005, 332 pp. List: $22.50; AET: $15.
Reviewed by Sara Powell
AUTHOR Norman Finkelstein shows chutzpah himself, when he opens his new book with a quote from Alan Dershowitz—“The world is full of evil people and it is important to stand up to evil”—taken from Dershowitz’s Letters to a Young Lawyer. What is beyond chutzpah, according to Finkelstein, is Dershowitz’s book A Case for Israel.
After an introductory—and cautionary—section on the danger of using Holocaust and “perpetual victim” claims to silence all criticism of Israel, Finkelstein’s argument follows a two-pronged approach. In the main body of Beyond Chutzpah, Finkelstein demolishes Dershowitz’s case for Israel through careful documentation, primarily from respected human rights sources such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and B’Tselem, of accounts directly contradicting Dershowitz’s assertions.
Beyond Chutzpah’s refutation of Dershowitz’s evidence and conclusions deals a fatal blow to A Case for Israel. Finkelstein, however, adds a coup de grace in the form of a devastating appendix. Using Harvard’s own definition of plagiarism, his second prong of attack proves (irrefutably, to this reviewer) that renowned Harvard Law professor Dershowitz plagiarized much of A Case for Israel from Joan Peters’ long-discredited From Time Immemorial.
Not surprisingly, Dershowitz tried to prevent publication of Beyond Chutzpah, and Finkelstein’s first publisher succumbed to the pressure. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the University of California Press went to unprecedented lengths to protect against litigation, using six (instead of the usual two) outside peer reviewers, and running the book by its board, as well as the usual 20-member editorial committee, and a team of lawyers. Apparently, many agree Finkelstein makes a strong case. In Beyond Chutzpah Finkelstein has served Dershowitz an unappetizing dish of crow, but Washington Report readers will enjoy a savory dish, liberally peppered with irony.
Neocon Middle East Policy: The “Clean Break” Plan Damage Assessment
By Adam Shapiro, E. Faye Williams, Khaled Dawoud, Muhammed Kaddam and William Martin, The Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, Inc. 2005, 108 pp. List: $9.95; AET: $8.
Reviewed by Sara Powell
In the course of covering and/or participating in Middle East-related events, one hears the repeated lament that there are no think tanks unbiased toward Israel. While it certainly is true that most of the well-known and oft-quoted American think tanks accept—and perpetuate—as gospel the standard misinformation about Israel, there are a few think tanks that question the dominant paradigm. The Palestine Center is well known among students of the Middle East, but there’s a new kid on the block which has made a valuable contribution to the dissemination of truth. This comes in the form of its slim volume, Neocon Middle East Policy: The “Clean Break” Plan Damage Assessment.”
The collection of essays considers the significance and repercussions of the 1996 policy paper written for Israel’s new (at the time) Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu by a variety of authors, including several prominent policymakers in the George W. Bush administration. As one of the recommendations of the ”Clean Break” plan was the overthrow of Iraqi President Saddam Hussain—since duly carried out by the Bush administration under what have proven to be false premises—the possible ramifications of implementing the paper’s other points become highly problematic.
The main thrust of the analyses presented are that the plan was shaped to ease the way to Israel’s greatest desire, the conquest and consolidation of Israeli facts on Palestinian ground, by creating regional conditions more favorable to Israel through the removal of any strong or independent Arab regime. The complete text and its examination by several Middle East experts make this a valuable tool in the ongoing work for a just U.S. Middle East policy.
Sara Powell is director of the AET Book Club.