[OPE] Einstein on Israel

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@telfort.nl>
Date: Mon Jun 01 2009 - 14:27:18 EDT

'Einstein on Israel' reveals essential history of debate over Zionism and a
Jewish state

 Fred Jerome begins his new book, Einstein on Israel and Zionism, with a
great quote from Albert Einstein to a close friend, "Though everybody knows
me, there are very few people who really know me. I am a revolutionary."
Jerome's book goes on to prove this very point. The book is a collection of
Einstein's letters, speeches and thoughts about Zionism and Israel, starting
in 1919 until the end of life in 1955 (The translations were done by Michael
Schiffmann, who includes a moving translator's note written during the
recent Israeli attacks on Gaza). These texts show Einstein's shifting
opinions and relationship to Zionism and his eventual dismay that Israel had
become the "captive of narrow nationalism" that he had feared.
The book does a wonderful job at making it clear what an important figure
Einstein was ("the world's first international media star") and how
important his thinking was on this issue. One of the most interesting parts
of the book to me was the incredible exchange of ideas and debates over the
issue of Zionism and Israel that Einstein took part in. The book contains
correspondence between Einstein and members of government, with luminaries
of his day, and between him and Zionist leadership (as well as members of
the Irgun) debating the Zionist movement.
There are so many good passages you should go buy it, but here is one
portion I particularly liked.

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