Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Who wins the diversity challenge?

"The Israelis", by journalist Donna Rosenthal, is a terrific read, each chapter devoted to a different group in Israel - the Ashkenazi, the Bedoin, the Mizrahi, the Arabs, the Christians, the Druze, the Ultra-Orthodox, and more.  Who would have thought that the Jewish nation of Israel would contain such insular and varied groups, each with its own customs and agenda? The book reads easily, like an extended newspaper feature, and is enlivened by many interviews with ordinary people trying to live ordinary lives amidst the social and political challenges. Chapters address the army, social and sexual norms and more, filling out the picture of life there.

I could not put this book down. Ultimately, it provides a vastly better understanding of the challenges facing Israel from within as well as from its neighbors, challenges which seem overwhelming.  Highly recommended.

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