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Striking Back: The Munich Olympics Massacre and Israel's Deadly Response
Aaron J. Klein
1400064279
December 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Told in remarkable detail, author Klein (Time's Jerusalem correspondent) chronicles the tragic Israeli hostage massacre at the 1972 Munich Olympics and the secret assassination campaign that followed. The execution of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches by members of Black September is presented as the result of the colossal ineptitude of West German and Bavarian officials. From this horrific event, the author departs on a fascinating examination of the Israeli response-a shadow war in which "Mossad combatants...were charged with carrying out the assassination orders, which had been passed down from Golda Meir to each successive prime minister." The Mossad quickly identified assassination targets for their involvement in the Munich Massacre; as the program evolved, however, the Mossad's goals expanded, creating a...


Man in the Shadows : Inside the Middle East Crisis with a Man Who Led the Mossad
Efraim Halevy
031233771X
April 4, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Never mind the dramatic title and jacket: readers expecting fireworks from the former head of the Israeli secret service will be disappointed. Written with the dispassion of an intelligence report, Halevy's memoir turns out to be a 20-year political history that includes much secret maneuvering but little skullduggery. Born in London in 1934, Halevy joined the Mossad in 1961 and quickly moved up to become a deputy division chief. His book opens in 1988-89, when the end of the Iran-Iraq war and the invasion of Kuwait suddenly changed the terms of Mideastern politics. The U.S. increased pressure on Israel to settle its Palestinian problem, and the first intifada heated up. Diplomatic progress was glacial; most of it involved careful political negotiations, dully detailed. The text perks up when Halevy becomes head...


Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-semitism and the Abuse of History
Norman Finkelstein
0520245989
August 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Finkelstein, a political science professor and author of The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering, has conducted a rancorous public feud with Harvard Law professor and pro-Israel stalwart Alan Dershowitz over the latter's The Case for Israel, and here expands his arguments into a vigorous polemic on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The first part of the book examines what he feels is a growing tendency of pro-Israel commentators to use spurious charges of anti-Semitism to deflect and discredit legitimate criticism of Israel. The second, much longer, part is a line-by-line debunking of The Case for Israel, which he compares to Communist apologetics for Stalinist Russia. Rebutting Dershowitz's claims about Israel's "superb" human rights record, Finkelstein cites human rights...


All the Shah's Men : An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror
Stephen Kinzer
0471678783
August 12, 2004
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
With breezy storytelling and diligent research, Kinzer has reconstructed the CIA's 1953 overthrow of the elected leader of Iran, Mohammad Mossadegh, who was wildly popular at home for having nationalized his country's oil industry. The coup ushered in the long and brutal dictatorship of Mohammad Reza Shah, widely seen as a U.S. puppet and himself overthrown by the Islamic revolution of 1979. At its best this work reads like a spy novel, with code names and informants, midnight meetings with the monarch and a last-minute plot twist when the CIA's plan, called Operation Ajax, nearly goes awry. A veteran New York Times foreign correspondent and the author of books on Nicaragua (Blood of Brothers) and Turkey (Crescent and Star), Kinzer has combed memoirs, academic works, government documents and news stories to...


A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time
Howard M. Sachar
0679765638
February 1996
Paperback
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From Library Journal
Contemporary Israeli history since 1974 is analyzed by a prominent Jewish-American historian and presented as a sequel to his History of Israel: from the rise of Zionism to our time (1979). Sachar provides more than a compendium of information but a genuine source of perspective. The author looks at the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, which had a traumatic political aftermath; the attempts by Egypt to restructure its relationship with Israel and the ensuing diplomatic accords, which were overshadowed by the failure of Israel to deal effectively with Palestinian demands for self-determination; and, finally, the Israeli incursion into Lebanon. Throughout, Sachar attempts to distinguish between the verbiage of Zionist nationalism and the actions of an independent sovereign state. Highly recommended for a broad range of...


The Israelis
Donna Rosenthal
0743270355
Feb 2005
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Today's headlines leave the impression there's little to know about Israel outside of its conflict with the Palestinians. Using Hedrick Smith's landmark The Russians as a model, journalist Rosenthal, with years of experience in and knowledge of the Middle East, defies that notion, giving an in-depth look at the rich variety of people in the Jewish state. Relying on dozens of interviews, she gives a lively, variegated portrait of all facets of Israeli life. Terrorism and relations with the Palestinians are covered, but so are secular-religious tensions, Ashkenazi-Sephardi divisions, Israeli Arabs and Jewish immigrants from Ethiopia and Russia. Throughout, Rosenthal stresses the contradictions in Israel: a country steeped in historical and religious tradition that is trying to develop a high-tech economic future; a...


1001 Facts Everyone Should Know about Israel
Mitchell Geoffrey Bard
0742543587
January 2006
Hardcover
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Book Description
Hardly a day passes when Israel is not in the news. This book provides essential facts about not only the political events in the news, but also the positive contributions Israel is making in the arts and sciences. This is not a recitation of facts and figures, but a mosaic of the most important aspects of Israel's past and present. The book will entertain those interested in some of the fascinating trivia about Israel and inform those doing more serious research about the economy, government, and culture of the Jewish State.

From the Author
The book is designed primarily for those people who don’t know much about Israel and are looking for a quick way to learn, or people who do know a lot about the Jewish state but want a good, quick reference book to learn more in-depth...


The Battle for God
Karen Armstrong
0345391691
January 30, 2001
Paperback
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Book Review
About 40 years ago popular opinion assumed that religion would become a weaker force and people would certainly become less zealous as the world became more modern and morals more relaxed. But the opposite has proven true, according to theologian and author Karen Armstrong (A History of God), who documents how fundamentalism has taken root and grown in many of the world's major religions, such as Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Even Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism have developed fundamentalist factions. Reacting to a technologically driven world with liberal Western values, fundamentalists have not only increased in numbers, they have become more desperate, claims Armstrong, who points to the Oklahoma City bombing, violent anti-abortion crusades, and the assassination of President Yitzak Rabin as evidence of...


Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team
George Jonas
0743291646
December 2005
Paperback
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Book Description
Vengeance is a true story that reads like a novel. It is the account of five ordinary Israelis, selected to vanish into "the cold" of espionage secrecy -- their mission to hunt down and kill the PLO terrorists responsible for the massacre of eleven Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972.This is the account of that secret mission, as related by the leader of the group -- the first Mossad agent to come out of "deep cover" and tell the story of a heroic endeavor that was shrouded in silence and speculation for years. He reveals the long and dangerous operation whose success was bought at a terrible cost to the idealistic volunteer agents themselves."Avner" was the leader of that team, handpicked by Golda Meir to avenge the monstrous crime of Munich. He and his young companions, cut off from any direct...


On the Road to Armageddon
Timothy P. Weber
0801031427
Oct 2005
Paperback
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How Israel Lost: The Four Questions
Richard Ben Cramer
064168259X

Hardcover
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Jerusalem
Karen Armstrong
0345391683
Apr 1997
Paperback
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Book Review
The city of Jerusalem stands as a religious crossroads unlike any place in history. As such, it possesses a volatile chemistry that--as we are made painfully through news reports and television--explodes on a regular basis. Karen Armstrong, a former Roman Catholic nun who teaches Judaism and is an honorary member of the Association of Muslim Social Services, has compiled a thorough narrative of the city's fascinating 3,000-year history. Though she emphasizes the city's religious turning points, she recounts battles, earthquakes and various other events, such as invasions by the Romans and the Crusaders, just a millennium apart, that nearly wiped out the city. Her comprehensive explanations provide a context to the current strife in Israel.

From Publishers Weekly
British religious...


The Missing Peace : The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace
Dennis Ross
0374529809
June 1, 2005
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
This is the ultimate insider's account of the roller-coaster ride of the Middle East peace process from 1988 to the breakdown of talks in 2001. More than anything else, Ross, the chief U.S. negotiator for Presidents Bush 41 and Clinton, has written an epic diplomat's handbook. We see the moves and countermoves on both sides, the preparation that goes into any statement or gesture, the backroom wheeling and dealing and the dance of language and meaning. Ross lays out, in painstaking detail, the "one step forward, two steps back" approach that finally led to such breakthroughs as the handshake on the White House lawn. He offers detailed accounts of Yitzhak Rabin's assassination, the rise and fall of Benjamin Netanyahu and a picture of Arafat "seeking to have it both ways... La-Nam (no and yes in Arabic)." Ross's...


Jews and Arabs: A Concise History of Their Social and Cultural Relations
S. D. Goitein
0486439879
March 2005
Paperback
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Book Description
This fascinating history by an eminent scholar explores the relations between Jews and Arabs, all the way from their beginnings 3,000 years ago into the 1970s. Although written in 1954, this book remains relevant because of its focus on social and cultural relationships as opposed to political and military issues. Its examinations of the reciprocal influence between these two peoples provides many valuable insights into the present-day impasse in their relations. Topics include the myth of the so-called Semitic races; the Jewish tradition in Islam; the actual and legal position of Jews under Arabic Islam; the rise of Jewish philosophy under Islamic influence; Jewish and Islamic mysticism and poetry; and law and ritual.


The Road to Martyrs' Square
Anne Marie Oliver
0195116003
Jan 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. With the beginning of the first intifada in 1987, American scholars Oliver and Steinberg spent six years living in Gaza, collecting interviews and Palestinian political ephemera, much of it related to the multifaceted organization known as Hamas, which first carried out suicide bombings during that time. The pair characterize Hamas's ideology as schizophrenic; the book they have produced feels intentionally disorienting. Part one episodically traces Hamas's development through a political biography of its leader, Sheikh Yasin (who was killed by an Israeli missile last March). Oliver and Steinberg offer a tremendous amount of anecdotal texture, giving a chilling sense of what it was like to live in Gaza as it was engulfed by an Islamism that professes "not only not to be afraid of death, but...


Gideon's Spies
Gordon Thomas
0312339135
Mar 2005
(Paperback) - Revised Ed.
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Book Review
The Mossad was formed in 1951 to coordinate the intelligence-gathering efforts of the still-young nation of Israel. In the nearly half century since, it has become a force to be reckoned with, boasting an impressive track record of counterterrorist actions and assassinations. Gideon's Spies is loaded with anecdotes of their greatest exploits (and a few colossal blunders). Among the most interesting sections are the suggestions that Mossad agents killed media tycoon Robert Maxwell in 1991, that the agency's attempted recruitment of Henri Paul, the driver of Princess Diana's car that fateful night, may have caused sufficient emotional distress to be a contributing factor in the accident, and that Mossad operatives in America had tapes of the phone-sex conversations between President Bill Clinton and his lover Monica Lewinsky....


The Military History of Ancient Israel
Richard A. Gabriel
0275977986
October 30, 2003
Hardcover
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Review
“[A] good chronological narrative of the military history of ancient Israel....Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.”–Choice
“[P]rovides an excellent opportunity for addressing some thorny issues in the field of the military history of the Bible.”–The Journal of Military History
“Drawing on findings from archeology, demography, ethnography and other relevant disciplines, Gabriel analyses the Bible as if it were a militory history of ancient Israel; he makes a particularly significant contribution to Exodus studies. Gabriel an experienced infantry officer and military historian, offers astute military insight into the Biblical narrative and makes comprehensive some of the mysterious explanations for well known events.”–Jewish Book World


Where God Was Born: A Journey by Land to the Roots of Religion
Bruce Feiler
0060574879
September 2005
Hardcover
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Book Review
Bruce Feiler's latest book combines now familiar elements into his own peculiar, delightful alchemy. Any particular page may be found effortlessly weaving together strands of theology, biblical exegesis, physical exploration, history and personal reflection as Feiler continues his journey of discovery, looking at the common roots of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. The Middle East has become a more dangerous place since the writing of his first book in this vein, Walking the Bible. But Feiler is impelled to answer his continued call, even when a flak jacket is necessary. He explores tunnels under Jerusalem. Goes to where David may have slain Goliath. Even looks for the Garden of Eden in Iraq while acknowledging that "the garden would never be found." It is this externalization of searches typically only made in...


Raid on the Sun: Inside Israel's Secret Campaign That Denied Saddam the Bomb
Rodger W. Claire
0767914252
March 2005
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
This gripping account of Operation Babylon, the Israelis' 1981 raid on the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak, is the first to draw on planners' and pilots' own memories. The raid was planned to follow a long campaign of espionage, sabotage and outright assassination by the Mossad, which had failed to prevent the French-built reactor from being about ready to produce weapons-grade plutonium in the summer of 1981. Then the Israeli air force, taking its new F-16s on their first combat mission and one far beyond their designed performance, struck, obliterating the reactor with no losses, few misses and only one civilian casualty. Tactics, technology and weapons are all presented in a clear manner that does not slow the pace. L.A.-based journalist Claire's group portrait of the eight superlatively skilled and trained...


Scars of War, Wounds of Peace : The Israeli-Arab Tragedy
Shlomo Ben-Ami
0195181581
February 1, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Equal representation of all sides should be a goal for anyone who seriously wants to reconstruct the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, which has proved itself to be one of the most persistent in modern history. In that respect, this book, which begins with the birth of Zionism in the late 19th century, comes as close as one could possibly hope for. Ben-Ami, who has served as both Israel's minister of foreign affairs and minister of public security and who is also an Oxford-trained historian, quotes sources from both sides of the conflict and takes great pains to represent all the major points of view. Equally notable is the evenhandedness of his criticisms. Ben-Ami proves perfectly willing to take to task near-mythic heroes from both sides—he's as critical of David Ben-Gurion (for his paranoid and...


Palestinian People P
Baruch S. Kimmerling
0674011295
Mar 2003
Paperback
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Review
Rashid Khalidi, University of Chicago : This remarkable book recounts how the Palestinians came to be constituted as a people. The authors offer perceptive observations on the status of Palestinian citizens of Israel, the successes and failures of the Oslo process, and the prospects for both Palestinians and Israelis of achieving a peaceful future together. A dispassionate and balanced analysis that provides essential background for understanding the complexities of the Middle East.

Book Description
In a timely reminder of how the past informs the present, Baruch Kimmerling and Joel Migdal offer an authoritative account of the history of the Palestinian people from their modern origins to the Oslo peace process and beyond.

Palestinians struggled to create themselves as a people...



The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions
Karen Armstrong
0375413170
March 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Having already recounted "a history of God," the redoubtable Armstrong here narrates the evolution of the religious traditions of the world from their births to their maturity. In her typical magisterial fashion, she chronicles these tales in dazzling prose with remarkable depth and judicious breadth. Taking the Axial Age, which spans roughly 900 B.C.E. to 200 B.C.E., as her focal point, Armstrong examines the ways that specific religious traditions from Buddhism and Confucianism to Taoism and Judaism responded to the various cultural forces they faced during this period. Overall, Armstrong observes, violence, political disruption and religious intolerance dominated Axial Age societies, so Axial religions responded by exalting compassion, love and justice over selfishness and hatred. Thus, the...


Jesus & the Forgotten City: New Light on Sepphoris and the Urban World of Jesus
Richard A. Batey, J. Robert Teringo (Illustrator)
0801010160


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How Israel Lost
Richard Ben Cramer
074325029X
Sept 2005
Paperback
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Book Review
It may seem surprising that a lengthy exploration of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians could be entertaining. But Pulitzer Prize-winner Richard Ben Cramer manages to pull off just such a feat while sacrificing neither the gravity of the situation nor the intricacies of a political and religious war that seems to grow perpetually more bloody and intractable. He argues that Israel is being slowly destroyed by their continued occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, which is in turn destroying the Palestinians' hopes for a homeland of their own. Cramer's book is divided into four questions about the conflict ("Why do we care about Israel?", "Why don't the Palestinians have a state?", "What is a Jewish state?", and "Why is there no peace?") modeled after the questions asked at a Passover seder. It's tricky to bring...

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