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The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  109 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
The untold story, based on groundbreaking original research, of the actions and inactions that created the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories
After Israeli troops defeated the armies of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan in June 1967, the Jewish state seemed to have reached the pinnacle of success. But far from being a happy ending, the Six-Day War proved to be the open
ebook, 480 pages
Published March 6th 2007 by Times Books (first published 2006)
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(showing 1-30)
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Patrick Farrell
Oct 03, 2009 Patrick Farrell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: israel
I don't really know what to think of this book. It was interesting and painted a good picture of the origins of the settlement movement and why it wasn't stopped. Also it allows many parallels between the beginnings and what followed, specifically in the 21st century (which the author speaks to in the epilogue).

I have a couple of complaints that kept it from being a really good book though. One is that for a book that relies heavily on geography there is a dearth of maps (from my count there was
Feb 08, 2009 Wayne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thorough, sobering, highly informative, and excellently written account of just how Israel let the settlement movement happen. Struck me as quite balanced.
Nov 08, 2010 Farrah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant. The best book about Israel that I have ever read.
Dec 30, 2014 Benjamin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book very good. Unlike other reviewers I have a grasp of Judea and Samaria geography so the lack of maps didn't bother me.
Sometimes the narrative was too contrived and dry, as if the author was merely narrating history and its actors, but other times it was as if he was shedding light in very unknown yet important parts of Israel history.
My main reason to read this book though, is my main criticism against it: I wanted to understand how life really is in settlement-cities like Maale
Feb 04, 2010 Joeji rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Losers who forget about the settlements when talking about a "peace process"
Informative, but loses because there are no accompanying maps of Israel - Palestine or the Allon Plan, which is cited throughout. A good critical look at the beginning of the settlement movement, but a terribly misleading title, which makes me suspect that the author was afraid of what the reaction to his book might be. Follows individuals but doesn't give a good overall picture of the major settlements, and only spends a few paragraphs in the epilogue talking about the current manifestation of ...more
Aug 31, 2007 Robin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first third is a bit awkward. It took a while for the writing to become something more than just a vehicle for the listing of events, motives, history, ect., that propelled the first settlements after the Six Days War into existence. It got better. I don't know what or who is worse the secular nationalist/socialist/Zionists or the religious fundamentalist/nationalist/Zionists, but be prepared to finish angry.
Jan 01, 2008 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: folks interested in the Middle East & willing to look at several sides
I got this because Amazon reccomended getting it with 1967. Good call Amazon. Interesting additional take on a very complex & troubling issue & gives a sort of follow on to what has happened since the '67 war. If you have already made up your mind about who is in the right & who is in the wrong in the Occupied Territories/Judea & Samaria, don't bother, but if you want to run the risk of actually LEARNING something, give it a try.
Daniel Frank
Religious devotion, pioneering kibbutzniks, security concerns, incompetence - as Gorenberg correctly points, make up the primary factors for the birth of the settlement craze.

I wish the book was less a point by point recap of history (often, not about the settlements even), and more describing the zeitgeist of the time.
John Lum
Dec 08, 2012 John Lum rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this soon after it was published in 2007 and couldn't help but think of it in recent weeks. Not sure how one wins the struggle against "their" religious extremists by further empowering "our" religious extremists...seems a little more sensible to stand against all religious extremists!
Jan 29, 2013 Jacqueline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit of a slog at times but mostly excellent.
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