Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

This Israeli Memoir Will Shake Up Jewish Liberals

By       Message James Wall       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   2 comments

Related Topic(s): ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Supported 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 4/7/17

Author 72820
Become a Fan
  (19 fans)
- Advertisement -

Larry Derfner's memoir, No Country for Jewish Liberals, is must reading for anyone even slightly interested in the "issue" of Palestine and Israel. Read it before he arrives at a location near you.


(Image by Larry Derfner)   Permission   Details   DMCA
The author is expected to arrive in the U.S. soon to begin a book tour arranged by his American publisher, Just World Books.

He should be seen and heard on any platform from which word can go out to decision-makers, tax-payers, and devotees of honest, probing, revealing and inspired writing.

- Advertisement -

His memoir tells the personal story of an Israeli journalist working in a society which is living a lie, a society that extends from Derfner's birth state of California, to his present home in the Jewish settlement city of Modi'in.

His title , No Country for Jewish Liberals, echoes the opening line from William Butler Yeats' poem, " Sailing to Byzantium" , "No country for old men", a title also utilized for a 2005 book by Cormac McCarthy and a 2007 film, No Country for Old Men.

Yeats wrote his poem in 1926 when he was in his early 60s. Wikipedia writes that the poem "uses a journey to Constantinople (Byzantium) as a metaphor for a spiritual journey". Derfner is now in his early 60s. His life journey began in California as the son of Holocaust survivors. He worked as a journalist during the upheavals of the 1960s before moving to Israel in 1985.

- Advertisement -

Derfner's publisher accurately describes his book as an exploration of his personal and political life, which views "Israel's moral decline through the lens of his own experiences".

In reviewing the book for Mondoweiss, James North writes:

No liberal Zionist who reads this 260-page, sprightly-written book will be able to close it with their complacency intact. And among what Derfner calls the "right-wing chickenhawks of organized American Jewry," there will be teeth-gnashing and a dilemma: should they ignore Derfner and hope that few notice him, or should they launch a campaign to try and smear him?"

Derfner initially arrived in Israel as a "true-blue" Zionist. He confesses he had little awareness of the history that ushered in the modern state of Israel. His change to a new reality as he worked as a journalist, was gradual. His experience as a journalist and his obligatory service in the IDF led to an awakening to what had happened to the country he continues to love.

He recalls one particular incident in the West Bank when he drove with a fellow soldier to transfer a large pile of trash to another location, any location. The driver found the "right site" and dumped the trash next to a large Palestinian garden next to the road.

An outraged Palestinian woman charged the truck, screaming at them in Arabic. The driver used what little Arabic he knew to call her "a prostitute". He told her to shut up as he drove away.

- Advertisement -

Repeated moments of such cruelty led to darker topics and changes in the content and tone of Derfner's increasingly caustic columns for the Jerusalem Post, a conservative Israeli newspaper.

Finally, at the age of 60, in one column he tried to explain what had led to Palestinians "fighting back" violently. He was fired by the publisher. Derfner understood that he had finally crossed the economic fence that kept journalists from writing what smacked them in the face on a daily basis.

He regretted the column and even offered an apology on Facebook. The publisher refused his request to run the apology in the Post. Derfner confessed he had failed to consider his column's impact on a reading public that lived under a dome of denial, a dome he had finally escaped.

One key paragraph in his memoir outlines his understanding of the distorted reality Israel and Israelis have created to live as occupiers. Below is a screen shot of that paragraph:

Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 1   Supported 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

James Wall served as a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois, from 1999 through 2017. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): ; , Add Tags

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Does Israel Interfere in US Elections?

New York Times Flacks for Jewish Groups Against 15 Major Christian Leaders

How Iran Could Be The Next Neocon Target

Ten Swing States Could Decide the 2012 Election; Obama Leads in Nine of Them

White Evangelicals Stifle Values For Trump

What Protestants Could Learn from Ron Paul