For more than a half-century, Israel has been forced to defend its existence against international political disapproval, racist calumny, and violence visited upon its citizens by terrorists of many stripes. While nations have always been made to defend their moral, political, economic, or social actions, Israel has the unique plight of having to defend its very right to exist.
Covering Israel’s struggle for existence from the British occupation and the UN’s partition of Palestine, to the dashed hopes of the Oslo Accords and the second intifada, Yaacov Lozowick trains an enlightening, forthright eye on Israel’s strengths and failures. A lifelong liberal and peace activist, he explores Israel’s national and regional political, social, and moral obligations as well as its right to secure its borders and repel attacks both philosophical and military. Combining rich historical perspective and passionate conviction, Right to Exist sets forth the agenda of a people and a nation, and elegantly articulates Israel’s entitlement to a peaceful coexistence with its surrounding Arab neighbors and a future of security and pride.
About Right to Exist
In July 2000, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat refused to negotiate a peace offer made by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak at Camp David. At the end of September the Palestinians then launched their second intifada, an outbreak of terrorism in the heart of Israel’s cities that continues to this day. The unprecedented violence drove Barak from office and brought to power the feared hard-liner Ariel Sharon.
In RIGHT TO EXIST, Yaacov Lozowick, an Israeli historian, describes his evolution from a liberal peace activist into a reluctant supporter of Sharon. In making sense of his own political journey, Lozowick rewrites the whole history of Israel, delving into the roots of the Zionist enterprise and tracing the long struggle to establish and defend the Jewish state in the face of implacable Arab resistance and widespread international hostility.
Lozowick examines each of Israel’s wars from the perspective of classical “just war” theory, from the fight for independence to the present day. Subjecting the country’s founders and their descendants to unsparing scrutiny, he concludes that Israel is neither the pristine socialist utopia its founders envisioned, nor the racist colonial enterprise portrayed by its enemies. Refuting dozens of pernicious myths about the conflict—such as the charge that Israel stole the land from its rightful owners, or that Arabs and Jews are locked in a “cycle of violence” for which both bear equal blame—RIGHT TO EXIST is an impassioned moral history of extraordinary resonance and power.
“An intelligent polemic. . . . Largely persuasive.” –The New York Times Book Review
“Essential. . . . Lozowick contends that the story of Israel is, crucially, the story of its wars–and that any attempt to evaluate Zionism must be anchored in the larger context of the morality of war.” —National Review
“Unusually illuminating. . . . Liberal American critics of Israel who wonder why Israeli intellectuals don’t share their views will find Right to Exist eye-opening.” –Philadelphia Inquirer
“Where has this book, or others like it, been all this time? . . . A powerful handbook for anyone interested in Israel.” –The New York Post
“[Lozowick] concedes basic justice in the Palestinian cause, and he deals respectfully with the arguments made by both sides. . . . He is also honest about such matters as the historic cohabitation of Muslims and Jews.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review