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The Rape of Palestine and the Struggle of Jerusalem

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The Rape of Palestine and the Struggle of Jerusalem

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The Rape of Palestine and the Struggle of Jerusalem
By Lionel I. Casper
Gefen Publishing House, (2003)
ISBN: 9-6522-9297-4

Reviewed by Anna Dogole - October 27, 2004

In The Rape of Palestine and the Struggle of Jerusalem, Lionel I. Casper has crafted an authoritative, pro-Zionist, and highly readable account of the history of modern Israel from the signing of the Balfour Declaration in 1917 through 2003. The bulk of the text, however, is primarily concerned with the period between 1917 and the reunification of Jerusalem during the Six Day War in 1967. Throughout, he demonstrates the role that Jerusalem has played in the founding of the modern state, and he examines the underpinnings of the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict.

In writing this book, Casper has interwoven a wealth of existing information into a compact, yet thorough history of Israel and the struggle to regain control of Jerusalem. Throughout, he examines how these historic events have impacted the current political climate and how they are intertwined with the current Arab-Israeli conflict. For example, in his discussion of the Six Day War, Casper points out that in 1995, the US Senate passed a law requiring that the US Embassy must be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as it is the capital of Israel. To date, this has not occurred. In part, this is due to pressure from the United Nations (UN), who seeks to keep all embassies out of Jerusalem. Casper examines why the UN is constraining sovereign nations from placing their embassies to Israel in Jerusalem, where they should be. Casper also examines the double-standards that Israel is held up to, which implores the Israelis not to defend themselves, while the Palestinians are given every opportunity to kill and ferment political unrest - with impunity.

As Casper clearly delineates throughout this text, the Jews in Israel have always been held to a higher standard and treated more harshly, by the Western 'powers' than any other group in similar circumstances. Casper clearly illustrates how misreporting and outright lies have been used to taint the Israelis and how the Arab leadership, including Yasser Arafat, often says different things to their Western 'allies' and the media while telling their own people diametrically opposed statements. Casper also shows how the changing policies and agendas of other powers, who feel that they should have say and a stake in the outcome of the current Arab-Israeli conflict, often negatively impact the political and security situation of Israel. Despite these obstacles, the Jews succeeded in making a barren land blossom and in creating a viable and vibrant modern nation.

The Rape of Palestine and the Struggle of Jerusalem offers readers a fascinating and informative introduction to the Arab-Israeli conflict, the history of Israel, and the importance of Jerusalem, both for the Jewish state and in regard to the world political situation. Casper's narrative is gripping and the book reads more like a novel than a traditional history book. More important, the text is written from a Jewish and pro-Zionist perspective. Highly recommended!

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