Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Seems To Disappoint

As I blogged in September, I was waiting for a new book to come out.

It has.

The Amazon blurb reads:

Israeli academics Pedahzur (The Israeli Secret Service and the Struggle Against Terrorism) and Perliger (Middle East Terrorism) point out that Muslim extremists don't hold a monopoly on terrorism: Israel has seen hundreds of attacks by Jewish terrorists — most directed against Palestinians, but some against the state itself.
[Jewish "terrorists" is misleading. There was the communal violence of the 1930s when Arab gangs, like today, indiscriminately attacked Jews, mainly civilians, as there was no Jewish army, and Jews, from the Hagana and Irgun responded in form, and for a short period between December 1947 - May 1948. The current terrorism is much different and you can't lump them together.]

The authors present a carefully constructed theoretical model, positing that radicalization within a specific counterculture, fostered by a threatening external event and portrayed by spiritual leaders as catastrophic precipitate violence — not just by Jewish extremists but any counterculture that adheres to a totalistic ideology. [that's so brilliant - being sarcastic there]

Indeed, the authors see clear parallels between Jewish terrorist cells and their Muslim counterparts, [what?] and stress that mere faith isn't enough to create violent intent (they note that religious terrorist groups...made up less than 15 percent of all terrorist groups active in the 20th century). Pedahzur and Perliger occasionally slip into academese and assume a close knowledge of Israeli political minutiae, but in combining exhaustive analysis with straight-forward language and compelling nonfiction narrative, they provide excellent insight into a little reported and even lesser understood reality.

No comments: