The Magazine

Under Siege

How Israelis contend with an existential threat.

Feb 28, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 23 • By LEE HARRIS
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Meotti refers to Israel as a “metaphysical nation.” By this, he means that it is made up of people from a diversity of backgrounds, fused together in a common homeland. But it is also metaphysical in the higher sense of the word. At the heart of the Jewish tradition is a metaphysics of radical hope: The world is a good place, and by our efforts we can make it better. Meotti demonstrates that this life-affirming spirit remains alive in modern Israel, and A New Shoah is more than the story of victims of terrorism. It is a tribute to the power of determination and hope, and its final chapter is taken from a memorial plaque dedicated to teenaged victims of a massacre: “Choose life—we will not stop dancing.”

Lee Harris is the author, most recently, of The Next American Civil War: The Populist Revolt Against the Liberal Elite.

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