Israel's Challenges

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Israel's Challenges

Modern Israel faces many challenges and those challenges seem to change from year to year. Maybe you need a good grounding in the creation of Israel to be able to keep up with it all. That’s where these books come in handy…
 
My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel by Ari Shavit
If you can only read one book on Israel, let this be it. The author comes from a family with a long history of involvement with Israel, so he loves the idea of Israel, but he is very clear-headed in evaluating the mistakes and problems which have popped up along the way. This book gives a very good overview of the obstacles Israel has faced all along the way and it is written from a very personal viewpoint. Shavit is a wonderful writer, whose personal touches make this a painless way to learn history and become familiar with many of the real people who have helped to create modern Israel. He doesn’t offer any easy answers. He doesn’t even presume that Israel will continue to exist. But he leaves you hoping that Israel will find a way to make it all work and be a benefit to the world.
 
Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World by Seth Siegel
The world is facing a looming water crisis which Israel has been working on for almost 100 yearsstarting back before there was even a state of Israel. Thus, Israel has a huge head start at finding solutions which can help to avert water crises in many places.  With 60% of Israel’s land being desert and with the demand for water increasing every year since it was founded, Israel has managed to overcome its water shortage and create a water surplus. Author Seth Siegel describes the many solutions Israel uses, such as drip irrigation, desalination, recycling and other means. Israel has made an effort to help other nations benefit from what they have learned. This sounds like it will be a boring book, but reading about the entire effort to bring water to Israel is actually impressive and inspirational in ways you would not imagine.
 
Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me by Harvey Pekar
Who would have imagined you could learn so much from a graphic novel? Author Harvey Pekar grew up in Cleveland, the son of Jewish immigrants, and while not an intellectual, he is a very smart and insightful man. His down-to-earth approach to Jewish history is entertaining to read and the graphic novel format is very effective in leading us through it. You can tell by the title that Pekar is not thrilled with the way some things are going in Israel today but this is not an anti-Israel book.
 
The Wall and the Gate: Israel, Palestine, and the Legal Battle for Human Rights by Michael Sfard
The author of this book is one of Israel’s leading human rights lawyers. You may not agree with his politics, but this book will be of interest to anyone wanting to know about the human rights law suits being brought up in Israel. For example, Sfard defended a group of Bedouins who wanted to claim the land where they lived in the Negev Desert. If you want an overview of the ethical dilemmas which face Israel, this is an important book for you to read.
 
In Search of Israel: The History of an Idea by Michael Brenner
The strength of this book is its focus on the history of the idea of Israel. Published in 2018, it has all the latest information on Israel, and it even discusses the impact of the rapidly growing Haredi population of Israel, said to be 11 percent in 2015 and possibly 20 percent by 2039. Changes in the populace have created changes in the way things are done in Israel since its beginnings, making it an ever-adapting nation. The point of this book is that we still can’t know what Israel will end up being as a nation. You will find it very interesting reading.