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A Moral Defense of Israel's Wars By Yaacov Lozowick (326 Pages)Publisher: Doubleday, 2003
Yaacov Lozowick decided to write this book after the collapse of the Oslo peace process in a wave of Palestinian suicide bombings. Though Lozowick is a lifelong liberal and peace activist, the global outcry against Israeli "brutality," so at odds with the truth of Israeli intentions and actions, made it clear that it was not just Israel's conduct that was in question but also its very right to exist as a Jewish state at peace with its neighbors. This is what led Lozowick and other Israeli liberals to vote in large numbers for a hard-line government under Ariel Sharon, the most feared and hated man in the Middle East after Saddam Hussein.
Yet it is not enough for Jews to fight for their survival: they must argue for it as well, and Jewish tradition demands that Israel give a moral account of its own conduct. Thus in his attempt to make sense of his own political journey, Lozowick revisits the whole history of Israel, delving into the roots of the Zionist enterprise and tracing the long struggle to establish and defend the Jewish state in the face of implacable Arab resistance and widespread international hostility. Subjecting that history to exacting moral scrutiny, Lozowick applies the lens of classical "just war" theory, which requires meeting clear standards of justice not only in going to war but also in waging it.
Lozowick considers and rebuts dozens of harmful myths and outright lies about the Arab-Israeli conflict, particularly the idea that Zionism is a racist colonial enterprise, that Israeli occupation and settlements are the source of the problem, or that a "cycle of violence" exists in which each side is morally culpable.
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