Book Review: My Promised Land by Ari Shavit

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Published: 2013

Ari Shavit traces the conception and birth of Isreal along it’s zionist routes. In chronological order, he traces the founders of Isreal who believed that one day the Jews would have their own land to call home. Outlining the problem of diaspora for the Jewish peoples, focusing on how their careful surveying and searching brought them to Isreal.

I must say he did not convince me. It felt like a very one sided view of the situation in Israel. He is careful to never shift blame solely on the Palestinians surrounding the current tensions in that region, but he also doesn’t warrant them enough attention. A brief chapter on them would have made it an equal playing field. To be fair, he is condemning the approach that the Israeli took when first planting their roots in Israel, the force that was applied and the lack of at least consideration for the Arab populous. Not too much though as this would have strayed from the purpose of the book. However, it is clear that he supports the idea that Israel belongs to the Jews.

I felt that a lot of excluded from the book, or rather glossed over. I wish he would have discussed more about the tensions. Failing to properly disclose the case of the other side makes this book weak. Rather he chooses to focus on the introduction of oranges to the region by the Jews and it’s prosperity. I mean that’s an interesting fact but does there need to be an entire chapter dedicated to it? I’d rather read about something more meaningful.

Verdict: A great read about one side of the coin, and I feel he tries to be mindful of the Palestinians however could have been written in a more engaging style.

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