From Modern Hatred to Biblical Prophecy

By Mazel, Michelle | Jewish Political Studies Review, Spring 2012 | Go to article overview

From Modern Hatred to Biblical Prophecy


Mazel, Michelle, Jewish Political Studies Review


FROM MODERN HATRED TO BIBLICAL PROPHECY Israël peut-il survivre? La nouvelle règle du jeu (Can Israel Survive? The New Rules of the Game), by Michel Gurfinkiel, Editions Hugo & Cie, 201 1, 304 pp.

Reviewed by Michelle Mazel

Following the 2008-2009 Cast Lead operation in Gaza, French bookstores were suddenly flooded with books about Israel, most of them accusing and condemning the Jewish state. This prompted Jewish writers, both newcomers and seasoned authors, to pen essays and books defending Israel. They bemoaned the perils threatening the country and hinted at a catastrophic future for it.

Thus, in A State Too Many,1 Fabien Ghez notes that today it is more and more widely believed that, if Israel were to disappear, the world would be a better place and peace would break out. In Israel: A Future Compromised, Olivier Burochowitch and Richard Laub openly ask whether the demise of the Jewish state is inevitable.2 In A Name Too Many: Is Israel Illegitimate? , with a foreword by Pierre Andre TaguiefF, Jacques Tarnero wonders why so many people want not only the elimination of Israel but even of its very name. 3 TaguiefF himself recently published Israel and the New Jewish Issue} These and other books highlight the miracle of Israel's renewal and accomplishments as well as the mendacious and virulent campaign against its very existence.

Even in this context, a new book by Michel Gurfinkiel, his seventh, is of special interest. A former editor of the French weekly Valeurs Actuelles and an occasional contributor to the Wall Street Journal and Commentary, Gurfinkiel is the founder and chairman of the Jean Jacques Rousseau Institute, a conservative French think tank on political issues. As he said in an interview to a Jewish website, he had been asked so many times whether Israel could survive that he decided to write down his thoughts about it.5 He also said in the interview that he believed in Israel's ultimate survival. The book itself, however, is not totally optimistic. Indeed, the opening paragraph is gloomy enough: "The twelfth war of Israel will not happen. Such is the hope of the Israelis. They are preparing for it. They know that, should it break out, it will be difficult. And murderous."6

Gurfinkiel discerns two main themes in the accusations against Israel. First, Israel is indicted for being

a colonial state; an artificial state that came into being through arbitrary decisions... having been founded... at the expense of another state - a natural one - Palestine; having expelled the Palestinians in order to settle a new people, the Israelis; persisting in tricks and illegality while pretending to maintain at all costs a Jewish national identity. The Shoah would be the one extenuating circumstance. It cannot, however, excuse everything. Nor can its value last forever. (31)

One by one, using lengthy historical arguments, Gurfinkiel refutes these charges in what is by far the most persuasive part of the book. He then turns to the second theme and to his main thesis. The real reason, he contends, behind the implacable hatred directed at the Jewish state "is not so much the Middle East state called Israel.. .as a transcendental and metaphysical Israel, that of the Bible, of which the state, whether it wants it or not, whether it assumes it or not, is the heir and the last carrier to date" (153). The emphasis here is less on Christianity - though it is significant as there are still some Christians who view Israelis (Jews) as a people of Christ-killers - than on Islam. The latter religion, Gurfinkiel suggests, rejects the very notion of a Jewish state because, first, there is an inherent theological conflict between Islam and Judaism, and second, there can be no infidel state on what was once a territory under Islamic rule. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

From Modern Hatred to Biblical Prophecy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.