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Book Rec: Israel by Noa Tishby

Updated: Apr 9

Israel. The small strip of arid land is 5,700 miles away but remains a hot-button issue and a thorny topic of debate. But while everyone seems to have a strong opinion about Israel, how many people actually know the facts?


Noa Tishby, a self-proclaimed secular Jew and Zionist, she brings first-hand experience into the Israeli-Palenstine-Middle East conflict. She opened my eyes to lots of different issues, including the United Nations impact on the Israeli reputation. While I'm not sure she adequately stresses the impact religion plays on some of these topics, she does a great job of parsing out the fact from fiction. As an Israeli American, Tishby is able to address delicate issues through the eyes of both cultures.


book jacket in blue with outline of Israel and the words "a simple guide to the most misunderstood country on earth"

Offering a fresh, 360-degree view, Tishby brings her “passion, humor, and deep intimacy” (Yossi Klein Halevi, New York Times bestselling author of Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor) to the subject, creating an accessible and dynamic portrait of a tiny country of outsized relevance. Through bite-sized chunks of history and deeply personal stories, Tishby chronicles her homeland’s evolution, beginning in Biblical times and moving forward to cover everything from WWI to Israel’s creation to the disputes dividing the country today. Tackling popular misconceptions with an abundance of facts, Israel provides critical context around headline-generating controversies and offers a clear, intimate account of the richly cultured country of Israel.


Discussion Questions

  1. Do you think anti-Zionism can come without anti-Semitism?

  2. What did you know about the BDS movement? Did it align with Noa Tishby's account?

  3. How does this book change your perceptions of Israel?

  4. Are you now a Zionist? Why or why not?

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