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Exclusive Book & Movie Reviews: Explaining Zionism What Do Zionists Believe? by Colin Shindler, London: Granta Books, 2007, 112 pp., $14.16

by Mitchell Bard

A lonely voice of reason among the academic advocates of boycotting Israel, Colin Shindler teaches courses on Israel in one of the hotbeds of anti-Israel activity in Britain, the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. Shindler has taken up the challenge of explaining and making the case for Zionism at a time when even Jews seem allergic to the term.

In this thin volume, Shindler does a masterful job of tracing the ideological and political roots of the notion that Jews are a people entitled to self-determination in their homeland, which is Israel. As someone mired in the ethos of left-wing radicalism, Shindler does his best to explain how this seemingly progressive idea has come to be associated with the worst 'isms and to be epitomized as the root of all problems in the Middle East. Alas, it is difficult to convince the irrational mind with facts and logic. For everyone else, What Do Zionists Believe? offers a brief but valuable primer on the much maligned concept that should be required reading for young people, especially Jews, for whom Zionism has little or no positive meaning.

Sources: Mitchell Bard is the AICE Executive Director