Page 32 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 8 (1949-1950)

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The great interest in Israel brings with it an obvious desire to
know more about the land and its people, with both Jews and
non-Jews concerned with the recent developments in the Holy
Land. That Israel provides a blueprint for the development of
the other nations of the Middle East is the contention of Maurice
Gershon Hindus. His book
In search of a future
(Garden City,
Doubleday, 1949) is a fine travelogue'in which fact and description
are interwoven and thoughtfully interpreted. He believes that
Jewish Palestine, in achieving a workable agricultural economy
and proving that desert lands may be prosperous, provides a work-
ing plan for the other nations of the Middle East. He maintains
that though envious and hostile toward the land experiments in
Israel, Persia, Egypt and Iraq will be “ in search of a future” if
they don’t follow suit. These countries must adopt some of the
agricultural methods and social reforms already provided in Israel
if they are to achieve internal security.
Who and what these peoples and governments are and especially
some of the recent developments among them are discussed in
short history of the Middle East
, by George E. Kirk (Washington,
Public Affairs Press, 1949). Covering the period from 600 C. E.
to the early days of the Palestinian war last year, his account of
the struggle for Palestine between Jews and Arabs is notably
dispassionate and factual. He does not blame or praise; he simply
recounts. On the other hand, in
We need notfa i l
by Sumner Welles
(Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1948), one does meet with some blame
for those who were in no small degree diplomatically responsible
for the conditions that led to the war situation in the Holy Land,
throwing a cold light on British and American policy. He contends
that our policy, which seems to have been to offer sympathy to
the Jews without doing anything to solve their problem, was not
even good selfish politics, since the preservation of peace in the
Near East is essential to our security.
The military and political state of affairs in the Middle East
and the spots where the differences between Jew and Arab influence
current events have been ably surveyed in
Hate, hope and high
a report on the Middle East, by George Fielding Eliot
(Indianapolis, Bobbs-Merrill, 1948). I t contains flashes of insight
which seem to have eluded many a writer on the subject. Mr.
Eliot’s estimate of the military capabilities of the respective sides
in the Palestine dispute is striking. He was profoundly impressed
by the organization, leadership and competence of the Israeli forces
and especially by their discipline. The State of Israel now an