Finkelstein at one point claims that it ‘is child’s play not just to poke holes in but also turn on their head all of Shavit’s propositions’ (p.54), but perhaps he does not appreciate the ease with which those yearning for a redemption of the Zionist cause can be swept away by the propaganda of writers like Shavit. Old Wine, Broken Bottle not only blocks such a redemption, but is also a vital tool in the development of a counter-narrative for the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian crisis to that predominantly portrayed in the media. The Jewish-American community’s growing estrangement from Israel may, indeed, not be reversed by My Promised Land. However, with the recent conflict in Gaza yielding over 1,900 dead at the time of writing, what seems more important to focus on is finding the spark that will move greater numbers in Jewish communities, in the US or internationally, to oppose loudly the occupation and current slaughter. As a hugely persuasive challenge to Zionist ideology, which for many underpins their tolerance of the Israeli government’s actions, Finkelstein’s latest critique might just provide that spark.

Read the full review at Counterfire.

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