Item description for The Politics of Apocalypse: The History and Influence of Christian Zionism by Dan Cohn-Sherbok...
Dan Cohn-Sherbok traces the transition of Christian Zionism from Puritan times, examining the role of Armageddon in its belief structure and studying its deep-rooted sway on both the Middle East peace process and the American political system.
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Studio: Oneworld Publications
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.7" Width: 6.72" Height: 0.69" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Jun 25, 2006
Publisher Oneworld Publications
ISBN 1851684530 ISBN13 9781851684533
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More About Dan Cohn-Sherbok
Rabbi Dan Cohn-Sherbok is Professor of Judaism at the University of Wales, Lampeter, and is the author or editor of more than 50 books, including "God and the Holocaust" and "Understanding the Holocaust."
Dan Cohn-Sherbok has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Politics of Apocalypse: The History and Influence of Christian Zionism?
Not very good Jul 17, 2006
Dan Cohn-Sherbok has covered plenty of ground in this book, including a histories of both Zionism and Christian Zionism. And in doing so, he has made a special effort to stick with the facts, maintaining strict neutrality politically.
Of course, Dante (1265-1321) once wrote that "the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in time of great moral crises maintain their neutrality." Now, I know that according to Dante, the hottest places in hell were not the worst ones. But it is still clear that Dante did not especially love those who chose such times to be neutral.
Dante was a Christian, and I know that Cohn-Sherbok is not a Christian. And I'm a Pagan! But I still think it is worth noting that neutrality is not always praiseworthy. And in the case of this book, I think the author takes it too far. Way too far.
I feel that the worst problem with this book is that it implies that those who truly support human rights for Israeli Jews are, for the most part, either religious fanatics who are impervious to reason or simply wrongheaded followers of misleading propaganda. And I think it is also implied that the opponents of such support for Jewish rights are basically reasonable secular folks who merely desire justice, even if they often have made poor choices in how to obtain it. But all this is the opposite of reality, and there is no way the author ought to have allowed his book to handle the issue of the morality of Zionism in such a weak manner.
The author does allow himself to make occasional judgments. For example, he says that "Jabotinsky's inability to recognize the national aspirations of the Arab population was a failure of insight." That is an amazingly stupid comment about a person who had plenty of insight and was well aware of Arab sentiments. Jabotinsky made occasional errors of judgment, but that was not one of them.
Let's see how Cohn-Sherbok treats the 1939 British White Paper. He says:
"Such a change of policy was profoundly disturbing to the Yishuv. The Zionists perceived that Britain had abandoned the Balfour Declaration. For many Zionists, it had become clear that force was now required to oppose the White Paper."
All this is true. But the way it is written makes it appear as if the White Paper were simply a political issue and some Zionists didn't like it. A rational reader would not be likely to guess from this description that the White Paper was almost surely one of the ten most evil acts, anywhere in the world, in the entire twentieth century. This is far too much neutrality! One might as well be neutral about the Axis versus the Allies in World War Two.
Of course, the author does not maintain his neutrality when it comes to the West Bank. The neutral term to describe this place is "disputed territories." But Cohn-Sherbok finally takes a stand (an incorrect one, no less), calling these places "the Occupied territories." This is particularly unfortunate, given the misuse of this term in extremely misleading anti-Zionist propaganda.
I was more than a little surprised to read the following about the International Christian Embassy. According to Cohn-Sherbok, "initially the Embassy building was the home of Edward Said." The author goes on to say that it was "confiscated in 1948 and given to the Jewish philosopher, Martin Buber." Is any of that really true? No, it is a repetition of a flat-out lie, and Cohn-Sherbok ought to know it. In fact, Buber lived in the place in the 1930s, but was evicted by Said's aunt. That's the opposite of what this book says!
Given all this, um, neutrality, I wondered what Cohn-Sherbok would say about Arafat. Arafat was a terrible thug, and I think the author should admit it. But instead, there is a total whitewash of Arafat's terrorism. There is an admission that some people regarded Arafat very negatively, but it is implied that by doing so, they clearly went overboard. That's unforgivable. Arafat was one of the worst thugs of the twentieth century. And it is wrong for the author to imply that only a few wild fanatics could have any reason to think so negatively of him.
There is some good information in this book, so I'll give it two stars. But I'm being generous to do so.