The Hiding Room

The Hiding Room by Jonathan Wilson (Secker and Warburg 1995) The Rabin assassination showed that seemingly normal Jews are ready to kill their brethren for a cause. After all, Yigal Amir was no American import attempting to turn the West Bank into the Wild West. Amir’ s group was guided by the life and times … Read more

The Stern Gang

The Stern Gang : Ideology. Politics and Terror 1940-1949 (Frank Cass) by Joseph Heller Blood in Zion (Brasseys) by Saul Zadka Jerusalem: Backgrounds or Memory (Biblios) by Amos Elon Jerusalem: the Endless crusade (Century) by Andrew sinclair When Joseph Heller’s comprehensive study of the Stern Group (Lehi) was first published in Hebrew, it aroused the … Read more

Broken Covenant

  Broken Covenant: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis between the US and Israel by Moshe Arens (London 1995) Moshe Arens’s recollections of the last Likud government will not impress the faithful, recording as they do some candid insights from a seminal figure at the centre of power. Arens was Foreigia Minister in the National … Read more

On Orde Wingate

Orde Wingate: Irregular Soldier by Trevor Royle (London Orde Wingate was a man of passionate convictions who provoked considerable controversy at every turn, a true individualist who would not countenance compromise. He fitted in nowhere and was the classic outsider. No wonder he understood and fought for Jewish aspirations in Palestine. Born into a family … Read more

One Faith, Two Worlds

Piety and Power: the World of Jewish Fundamentalism by David Landau (London 1993)   THE hermetic world of Jewish fundamentalism is an enigma to many Jews and non-Jews alike. The fundamentalists were, for example, against the recent controversial proposal by mainstream Orthodox Jews to erect an eruv in Barnet last month — much to the … Read more

Twilight of the Idols

THE SPIRIT OF THE AGE: AN ACCOUNT OF OUR TIMES David Selbourne For those who felt uplifted by Rocking Bill Clinton’s inauguration, this book is the ideal antidote. Its lurid tales of rape and pillage, Aids proliferation and ethnic cleansing, neo-Nazism and Islamic fundamentalism, are guaranteed to depress even the most questioning optimist’s hopes for … Read more

Mint and Humbug

  THE END OF EMPIRE IN THE MIDDLE EAST. Glen Balfour-Paul Cambridge University Press, £30 UNHOLY BABYLON: THE SECRET HISTORY OF SADDAM’S WAR. Adel Darwish and Gregory Alexander Gollancz, £9.99 HOLY WAR FOR THE PROMISED LAND. David Dolan Hodder & Stoughton, £4.99 TERROR. Conor Gearty Faber & Faber, £12.99 The establishment of a pax britannica … Read more

The Siege: The Saga of Israel and Zionism

The Siege: The Saga of Israel and Zionism CONOR CRUISE O’BRIEN Weidenfeld £20   CONOR CRUISE O’BRIEN’s interest in the Middle East began when, as an Irish UN representative, he found himself sandwiched between the Iraqi and the Israeli delegates. After his first sanitised contribution on the subject — ‘something in it for both sides’ … Read more