These Hard-Hitting Essays on Israel Reveal a Conflict of Interest ; the Monday Book
Pascal, Julia, The Independent (London, England)
THE LAST RESISTANCE
By Jacqueline Rose
Professor Rose, who teaches literature at Queen Mary College, London, proposed an academic boycott of Israel in 2005. The boycott is still hotly debated and, as civil war between Hamas and Fatah hits the headlines, this hard-hitting collection of essays is timely. Here Rose sets Israeli realpolitik against Jewish ethics, but there is no even debate.
Should the Jew be a light unto the nations? This is the simple question beneath a complex study. Rose is for the idea of the super- Jew, who abandons the reality of a Jewish state in Israel because it dispossesses the Palestinian. Whether she is for the dismantling of modern Israel is unclear, but she certainly seems to suggest it. To endorse her anti-Zionism, she finds support in Freud, Zweig and even the novels of the founder of the Irgun, Vladimir Jabotinsky.
One of Rose's best essays is on David Grossman. Her understanding of his despair of, and immense love for, his homeland troubles her. How much easier it is for a Jew in England to call for a boycott than an Israeli novelist. She quotes his central dilemma, to imagine "down to the smallest living detail, a truly democratic, pluralistic and egalitarian way of life in Israel". …