Book Review: If I Am Not For Myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew

If I Am Not For Myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew By Mike Marqusee

Verso Books. Reviewed by ASHER

In recent years, there has been a rise in explicitly Jewish anti-Zionist publishing and organising. Jews, both within Israel and in the diaspora, are increasingly moving away from a more passive, silent anti-Zionism towards outspoken attempts at engagement with the wider Jewish community, where a pervasive Zionism is the default political belief for most.

Mike Marqusee’s work follows in this trend, most recently seen downunder in Antony Loewenstein’s My Israel Question (Melbourne University Publishing, 2006). Where Loewenstein focussed on Australian media and political parties’ representations of Israel, and contained a wider history, analysis and critique of Israeli policies, however, Marqusee takes a much more personal stance.

Read the rest of the review at Scoop Review Of Books, and feel free to comment on it on either (or both) website(s).

3 Responses to Book Review: If I Am Not For Myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew

  1. Scott says:

    Good to see you writing for the SRB Asher.

  2. Jamesey says:

    Hi Asher,

    What does Zionist mean to you Asher? To me its a philosophy whose goal is to establish a Jewish homeland in Israel, which is rather understandable considering the persecution they’ve received ever since the diaspora, most particularly the Holocaust.

    As a Jew yourself, I’m actually suprise that you display so little sympathy to the idea, especially since anti-Semiticism has hardly become extinct.

    I completely understand the desire for a place of security and refuge after their treatment even by the Allied Nations leading up to, during, and after World War II, though I too deplore the dispicable actions of the Israeli government in their treatment of the Palestinians and Arab-Israelis since the establishment of Israel in 1948.

    It bears the hallmark of treatment that the Jews themselves received at the hands of the Nazis in the 1930s, though its the violent actions of the Arab nations and terrorist organisations like Hamas that drive the more moderate Israelis into the arms of hardline Zionists like Ariel Shiron and Ehud Olmert.

    I have Israeli friends my age (20s) who are so completely disillusioned with politics that they don’t even bother participating, because its just so corrupt there.

    I’m inclined to believe that the Great Powers allowed Israel to become established, because they knew tha it would create tensions between Israel and its neighbours which would provide them with a justification for them to intervene in the region.

    Unfortunately I don’t see any peaceful means by which a peaceful settlement can be made, because a) there is too much bad blood and b) theres people with vested interests in keeping the conflict going on (Israeli hardliners, Iranians, Anglo-Americans, Syrians etc.)

  3. Alexis says:

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