The Anatomy of Israel's Survival
By Hirsh Goodman
(PublicAffairs, Hardcover, 9781586485290, 288pp.)
Publication Date: September 2011
Categories: Modern - General
The question Can Israel survive?” has echoed loud for Israelisand Jews, their supporters and adversaries worldwidesince the Holocaust. The recent upheavals in Egypt, Tunisia and beyond have raised it anew. Israeli journalist and security analyst Hirsh Goodman set out to answer it, through rigorous factual assessment of each of the challenges his country faces, and by consulting experts and participants on all sides of every complex issue. But what he learned was that this once essential question’ has become a dangerous distraction.
In this provocative and deeply informed book, Goodman shares his clarifying analyses both of recent political events and of Israel’s strategic position. He shows how the country’s obsession with dangers posed by outside forces has obscured the harder issues facing it from within ever since its leaders disregarded Ben Gurion’s advice to leave the territories captured during the Six Day War. By yoking itself to the demographic timebomb of the West Bank and Gaza, Israel propelled itself towards an invidious choice: democracy or Jewish identity. Now, Goodman argues, Israel’s survival is jeopardized more by the competence of its leaders and fissures in its social and political system than by any outside threateven the apocalyptic-sounding ones from Iran.
Hirsh Goodman is a senior research associate at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University where he directs the Bronfman Program on Information Strategy. Prior to joining INSS, Goodman was the vice president of the Jerusalem Post. In 1990 he founded The Jerusalem Report and served as its editor-in-chief for eight years. Between 1986 and 1989 he was the strategic fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and four children. This is his fourth book.
Kirkus Reviews, July 7, 2011
“[A] chronicle of the existential insecurity that has tipped Israel’s fall from grace, and a strong plea to quit its role as occupying power to the Palestinians…Tapping into his access to the defense structure, Goodman does a solid job depicting Israel’s ‘ball of thorns.’”
Moment magazine, November/December 2011
“Its mosaic of worries and prescriptions offers unusual clarity. That’s no surprise: Reporting from Israel in the 1980s, I knew Hirsh Goodman as a good man to call when I wanted to hear something sensible.… He has now done something rare in the literature of Middle East analysis by being unpredictable and unvarnished in his comprehensive appraisal of his country’s life expectancy.”
Jewish Journal of Greater LA“a lucid, lively, utterly fascinating and ultimately surprising take on the strategic predicament of the Jewish state.” Jewish Ideas Daily
“It is a relief… to read veteran Israeli journalist Hirsh Goodman's new book, The Anatomy of Israel's Survival. Goodman is no apologist for Israel, but his book makes what has become a novel argument: Why not recognize that Israel is a complex, dynamic, and democratic country and, well, sort of leave it alone?
JTNews (Washington state)
“Summarizing Israel’s history and place in the Middle East, he reviews the challenges to its survival, both internal and external. He offers a hopeful stance that conflict is not inevitable.”