An enduring question.
10:00 AM, Jul 14, 2011 • By ROGER KAPLAN
Looking to other lands, including areas in the Muslim world, Gurfinkiel does not find the same obsession with a catastrophe, even when the disaster in question was at least as devastating, and often more so, than the one that befell the Arabs of mandatory Palestine. The Muslims of the Indian sub-Continent experienced a catastrophe when the British withdrew in haste, well over a million slaughtered by fanatical Hindus and millions more displaced to a new nation, Pakistan, soon to become two new nations when Bangladesh (the eastern portion) broke away.
It is, frankly, difficult to see how this relentless process of imposing a new conventional wisdom—conventional fiction, rather—can be reversed. It suits too many purposes. Whether it can be resisted is another question. So far it has been, and Gurfinkiel, familiar with the long history of relations between America and Israel, knows that ebbs like the current policy climate in Washington have been followed by flows. In the interest of resistance, it would, at any rate, be an act of considerable merit to get this book translated as quickly as possible.
Roger Kaplan is a frequent contributor.