Saving Israel: How the Jewish People Can Win a War That May Never End
Winner of the 2009 National Jewish Book Award
Israel is beset from all sides. In the international community, it is the only country whose right to exists is still debated. Closer to home, many Arab leaders continue to call for its destruction. Inside its borders, Israel’s own Arab population grows ever more hostile. And now, countless Jews within Israel and around the world have begun to lose faith in the very idea of a Jewish state. Can Israel weather these challenges?
In Saving Israel, Daniel Gordis offers a new defense of the Jewish state, asking first why Israel is necessary, and then discussing what Israel has to do in order to survive its enemies. Gordis begins with a novel discussion of Israel’s purpose, reflecting on the overlooked ways in which Israel has changed the existential condition of Jews everywhere. In the process, he grapples with controversial questions about Israel, Israeli Arabs, Muslims, and the International community that many Israelis and American Jews are loath to confront. Gordis lays to rest an array of pernicious myths about Israel:
- Jews in the United States could thrive without Israel
- Israeli Arabs just want equality, and Palestinians simply want their own state
- Peace will come, if Israel is willing to make appropriate territorial compromises
- Fighting and winning wars is antithetical to Judaism
Gordis suggestions for what Israel must do to survive, and more importantly, for how it must think if it is to have a future, are sure to arouse debate and even controversy. For Gordis’ book is a passionate reminder of Israel’s purpose, a celebration of what Israel has already accomplished, a renewal of faith in the cause, and a bold guide for carrying on the struggle. Saving Israel is a full-throated call to arms. Never has the case for defending the existence of Israel been made with such confidence, passion, and clarity.
Few books can combine the sweep of Israel’s complex and extraordinary history with personal insight and passion. Saving Israel accomplishes this and more, it educates and inspires it readers while furnishing them with well-grounded hope for the future. Daniel Gordis has written an essential text for students, scholars, journalists–anyone concerned with the survival of the Jewish State.
–Michael Oren, Bestselling author of Six Days of War and Power, Faith and Fantasy: American in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present
Daniel Gordis’s morally powerful Saving Israel, from a writer whose reflections are consistently as intellectually impressive as they are moving, engages in an acutely necessary argument: that sovereignty has significantly changed the Jewish condition by influencing how we think. Gordis addresses the exigencies of our time with the urgency they overridingly demand, and with the depth of feeling they inspire.
Daniel Gordis’ Saving Israel is an important book. Bold in his willingness to be forthright and politically incorrect, Gordis sets forth propositions which are difficult for many to accept, such as the fact that Israel’s existence is more important than peace and that Israel can never be a copy of the American style liberal democracy. For, as he notes, what is at stake is not merely a state, but the only Jewish State in 2000 years, and the very future of the Jews worldwide, including those who do not live in that State. Hopefully, Saving Israel will inspire constructive discussion and analysis of core issues that Israelis, Jews everywhere, (and the entire West) have studiously avoided for far too long.
–Natan Sharansky, Former Soviet dissident and Israeli Cabinet Minister; author of Defending Identity: Its Indispensable Role in Protecting Democracy
Daniel Gordis has written a book about the future of Israel that is both heart-wrenching and heart-warming. His has consistently been, these past few years, one of the most engaging voices to have emerged from this time of trial for the Jewish state, and it is impossible not to be moved by his plea for hope in the land whose very existence should be a living symbol of hope.
–Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth
One of Israel’s most thoughtful observers
–Alan Dershowitz, author of The Case for Israel