5 July 2013
The impressive list of people praising this book at its beginning is most certainly not just a flattering array with no substance. It bears testament to the brilliance, as well as impeccable timing, of the publication of a book such as Why Israel? Reading through the comments made by the likes such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Ahmed Kathrada it feels as if anything I will have to say about Why Israel? will appear inadequate or redundant.
However, I can give a review of this book from a different perspective; from the view of not only a young adult but a student. Trying to balance your studies as well as staying informed about the various global conflicts is not an easy task. It is easy to fall into the abyss of ignorance and I have personally witnessed this with so many of my colleagues. And this is why this book is imperative for every single student interested in basic human rights and the Israeli-Palestinian issue at large to have.
The way Why Israel? has been set up and presented makes it the number one tool for all students in combating the myths regarding the Middle-Eastern conflict. We are victims of many misconceptions fed to us via the mainstream media and if one did not look for another source of information it would be convenient to accept these lies as truths. With Why Israel?, each of these misrepresentations are broken down in a comprehensive, yet user-friendly, manner. The index at the beginning makes it beyond easy for you to find out about any subject you are interested in, starting with the origins of the conflict and progressing through the intricate history until present day. It offers you a truthful, yet at the same time unbiased approach to flames fuelling the conflict as well as what has kept the racist ideology of Zionism alive until today, in the 21st century.
Having only had the book for a very short period of time, it has already served me tremendously in my quest of combating the age old foundations used to justify the implementation of Zionism in Israel today. It has also clarified details regarding the various resistance movements established by the Palestinians over the years, and offered a clear plan for the way forward to peace in a very troubled region.
Excellent content aside, it is the presentation of this book that most impressed me. When reading books regarding the conflict one usually has to wade through thousands of pages of information in the smallest of fonts. Undoubtedly the information in invaluable, however, Why Israel? has managed to accomplish the compilation of all the vital details in a font and presentation that would appeal to the masses, particularly the youth. Its full colour 16 page photo insert is also a striking feature, and together with the hard cover and glossy pages I felt as if I had hit the jackpot getting a book such as this one for such a ridiculously reasonable price.
Whether it be needing to brush up on my knowledge regarding the conflict for a debate or workshop, or using it as a resource to write my next piece exposing the lies of Zionism, I know that I have found my essential first aid kit in combating the Hasbara.
From the moment I had my copy of Why Israel?, it was clearly evident the amount of work and countless hours put into its production, for which I commend the authors Dr Firoz Osamn and Suraya Dadoo. Why Israel? is not only for the established political commentators amongst us but well suited for people of all ages, particularly the youth.
Aayesha Soni is a fifth year medical student with a keen interest in Islam, politics and the global perception of international conflicts.
Why Israel? The Anatomy of Zionist Apartheid – A South African Perspective (Porcupine Press, 2013) is available at all bookstores countrywide. E-book and Kindle versions are also available.
The aspiration of the Media Review Network is to dispel the myths and stereotypes about Islam and Muslims and to foster bridges of understanding among the diverse people of our country. The Media Review Network believes that Muslim perspectives on issues impacting on South Africans are a prerequisite to a better appreciation of Islam.