Thomas Friedman's praise for Ari Shavit's book prompts me to want to read it (November 16) but I must disagree when he claims that Israel is "surrounded by people who hate it not only for what it does but for what it is, a successful Jewish state". I know of nobody who thinks that way, except Israeli apologists who want to accuse its critics of "anti-Semitism". The reality is that Israel's success or otherwise as a "Jewish state" is irrelevant. It is the fact that the state is built on someone else's land and it has been trying to rid that land of its original inhabitants for more than 65 years that is behind what Friedman calls "hate". It would be there no matter what ideological or religious identity Israel defines itself by as long as the occupation continues to treat Palestinians and international law with contempt, and apparent impunity.
Middle East Monitor