The Jew, according to the Arab stereotype, is a brutal, violent coward; the Arab, to the prejudiced Jew, is a primitive creature of animal vengeance and cruel desires. In this monumental work, revised and more relevant than ever, David Shipler delves into the origins of the prejudices that have been intensified by war, terrorism, nationalism, and the failure of the peace process.
"The best and most comprehensive work there is in the English language on this subject." (Walter Laqueur, The New York Times)
"A rich, penetrating, and moving portrayal of Arab-Jewish hostility, told in human terms." (Newsday)
The Jew, in the Arab stereotype, is a brutal, violent coward; the Arab, to the prejudiced Jew, is a primitive creature of animal vengeance and cruel desires. There is remarkable symmetry in these images, as Shipler (Russia: Broken Idols, Solemn Dreams points out in this hefty mixture of reportage, personal histories, interviews and scholarship. An act of courage and clarity, the book is an important contribution to the literature on the Middle East. The New York Times correspondent shows how Israeli Jews deny the reality that Palestinian Arabs are victims of forcible displacement and expulsion from what was once their homeland; he describes how a ``synthetic Israeli history'' is taught to Jewish schoolchildren, while Palestinian boys and girls in the refugee camps are taught militant rhetoric and hatred. Shipler explores the corrosive effects of terrorism by both sides, the zeal of Islamic fundamentalists, as well as that of Israeli ultraconservatives. BOMC and History Book Club alternates; first serial to the New York Times Magazine. (September 24)