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Unsettled: The Problem of Loving Israel

Review

Unsettled: The Problem of Loving Israel

So, you want to catch up on current events? Except, to do that, you have to know the history behind every single current event. It's no easy task to be current. Israel is one of those "issues" that seems to be impossible to understand. Just who hates whom? And why?

Enter this book. In simple terms, Marc Aronson explains the history behind the state of Israel, and the hows and whys it was created. Not only that, but he gives the background to Palestine and offers an objective explanation as to why there is so much tension in the area. Neither Israel nor Palestine gets off scot-free in his discussion of the wars, diplomatic measures, or attacks in the Jewish state's history. Each side has contributed to the bloodshed.

Aronson also sheds light on other groups of people living in Israel, reminding readers that Jews are not its only citizens. The United States has a clear "separation of church and state" clause. Israel, on the other hand, was created as a Jewish state; however, as it has only just passed its 60th birthday, there were other groups of people already residing in the area when it was formed, adding to the unique composition of the nation.

What makes UNSETTLED so interesting is Aronson's unique perspective. He is Jewish, has been to Israel, and has studied the issue. But he writes about how not all Jews have the same opinion on Israel or the way the tensions with Palestine are handled.

Aronson's descriptions of Israel are so well written, you'll feel as if you're on a tour bus checking out the country for yourself. Learn what a kibbutz is and what Israel's political leaders have done, and see the significant religious landmarks. To understand Israel, you have to know something about Judaism, and Aronson describes that when necessary. He also makes issues easy to comprehend by relating them to historical events you've likely studied in a U.S. History class.

UNSETTLED never becomes a textbook, though. Because Aronson has such a personal connection to Israel, he includes anecdotes about his family, his friends and his experiences visiting there. He describes why groups of immigrants have chosen to settle there over the years, from Zionists to Holocaust refugees.

This is an excellent book for anyone to read, especially if you enjoy history or are just looking for a clear way to understand (or at least begin to understand) the delicate nature of the state of Israel.

Reviewed by Sarah Hannah Gómez on October 21, 2008

Unsettled: The Problem of Loving Israel
by Marc Aronson

  • Publication Date: October 21, 2008
  • Genres: History
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 1416912614
  • ISBN-13: 9781416912613