Ben White’s questionable book

This is a guest post by Modernity , who blogs at Modernity Blog

Ben White should be known to Engage readers, in the past he often commented and debated issues here.

White’s column at Comment is Free is fairly popular and an outlet for his journalistic endeavours.

More recently White has published a book on Israel, a novice’s guide, entitled “Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide”.

Not unsurprisingly with such a provocative title White’s book has aroused much interest and criticism.

A sample of the book can be found here.

It even has its own Facebook page, White updates readers from his blog and main site.

Jews for Justice for Palestinians and War on Want are both advocates for the book.

Criticism of White’s book is varied, but of interest to academics is White’s use of doctored quotes and the inclusion of Roger Garaudy, the well-known Holocaust denier, as an apparently authoritative source on Israel and Zionism.

Discussions on White’s book and how it was promoted can be found at Zblog in several threads.

Seismic Shock has also detailed criticism of White’s handling of material and other matters.

Additionally, my own blog includes a few short pieces, not forgetting Liberal Conspiracy and Mondoweiss.

White’s response to the initial review by Jonathan Hoffman is here.

Eric Lee’s An East London horror story.

Shuggy on Understanding anti-Semitism and Ben White.

15 Responses to “Ben White’s questionable book”

  1. Ben White, Stop Digging. « ModernityBlog Says:

    […] 10: I have a guest post on Engage relating to this topic. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Political Answers.White […]

  2. modernityblog Says:

    Another excellent article is The Warped Mirror: The ‘Israeli Apartheid’ gospel by Petra Marquardt-Bigman

    http://cgis.jpost.com/Blogs/warpedmirror/entry/the_israeli_apartheid_gospel_posted

  3. Joshua Says:

    From a review of the book at Amazon UK by Nur Masalha, “Reader in Religion and Politics, St Mary’s University College”:

    “This book provides one of the best introductions to the Israel/Palestine conflict. It reveals what mainstream media in the West seeks to conceal from the public: that Israel has an apartheid regime which has been obsessed with demographic racism and ethnic cleansing for six decades.”

    http://tinyurl.com/n4h9gk

    From a piece about Nur Masalha at Wikipedia:

    “Nur-eldeen (Nur) Masalha (Arabic: نور مصالحة‎) (born 4 January 1957, Galilee, Israel) is a Palestinian writer and academic.”

    “Masalha studied as an undergraduate and a postgraduate at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.”

    http://tinyurl.com/mw33r2

  4. modernityblog Says:

    Another review from Amazon:

    “The Israel haters will undoubtedly be delighted. But they despised Israel already. The supporters of Israel will be turned off immediately and will never read it. Those in the middle will immediately recognise that this is more like political propoganda than reasoned analysis. It serves no purpose. Except that is, if your purpose is to perpetuate half-truths and outright distortions of the kind that wind their way through the book. One does not want to be impolite, but this book is a waste of space.”

    http://tinyurl.com/nkbhe4

  5. Absolute Observer Says:

    “seeks to conceal”………

    What an interesting turn of phrase.

    For those who force Israel into the straightjacket of “apartheid, , the “mainstream media” don’t merely get it “wrong” – i.e. offer a different account of the situation – but they “seek to conceal”; yet further evidence of a vicious conspiracy to silence “the Truth” believed to exist by the paranoid fantasists.

  6. Lynne T Says:

    Like Nur Masalha, another leading light of the boycott movement, Omar Bhargouti, recently completed his PHd at an Israeli university, but does anyone know, statistically, the proportion of Israel’s non-Jewish citizenry that attends its universities?

    My guess is that it is reasonably proportionate to its size, and the students aren’t compelled to attend classes separately, based on faith or whatever (but may do so as a matter of choice).

  7. Engage Guest Post « ModernityBlog Says:

    […] in Uncategorized by modernityblog on July 21, 2009 3:10 pm I forgot, I have a small guest post at Engage. leave a comment « Jacko And […]

  8. zkharya Says:

    Here is the introductory chapter to Ben White’s book:

    http://jfjfp.com/?p=3582

  9. modernityblog Says:

    Indeed zkharya,

    But what you’ll notice is that JfJfP expressly left out Jonathan Hoffman’s final summation which deals with White’s reply.

    Here it is, http://blog.z-word.com/2009/07/more-damn-lies-about-israeli-apartheid/

  10. zkharya Says:

    I understand, Mod. I’m just interested as to what others would make of it, but especially academics, in sociology, history or whatever.

  11. modernityblog Says:

    zkharya,

    Well, it is a bit hard to review a book based only on the introductory chapter.

    It would be far better for White to post the bibliography and it would show the breath and range of White’s reading, obviously including Roger Garaudy, the Holocaust denier, and others.

    Even better if White could post the pages with the doctored quotes on them.

  12. Absolute Observer Says:

    Well, jjfp is not the most safest of places for references! After all, that is the place where they took “The Israel Lobby” as a serious work, quoting any old get who mentioned it as if it were a real thing. Needless to say, Obama is in office for barely a year and has peeved Israel off both as regards settlements and Iran (with a long way

    (Not bad for a President whose chief of staff is “a Jew” and who was himself alleged to be part of “the Lobby”.)

    So, they’re publishing a part of a tract of poorly referenced propoganda as well as hiding the full discussion around it is not really surpising, is it? That’s what they do!

  13. Absolute Observer Says:

    Well, jjfp is not the most safest of places for references! After all, that is the place where they took “The Israel Lobby” as a serious work, quoting any old get who mentioned it as if it were a real thing. Needless to say, Obama is in office for barely a year and has peeved Israel off both as regards settlements and Iran (with a long way

    (Not bad for a President whose chief of staff is “a Jew” and who was himself alleged to be part of “the Lobby”.)

    So, their publishing a part of a tract of poorly referenced propoganda as well as hiding the full discussion around it is not really surpising, is it? That’s what they do!

  14. Dr Harry Hagopian recommends Ben White book at Ekklesia « Seismic Shock Says:

    […] choose to write in an article on Israeli-Palestine at Ekklesia in which he cites Ben White’s new book: The British journalist Ben White writes in his new book Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide, […]

  15. Ben White, David Irving, An Israeli And Oxbridge Types. « ModernityBlog Says:

    […] will remember Ben White. He’s not very keen on Jews or Israelis having an opportunity to put their point of view, if it […]


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