The War Within: Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox Threat to Democracy and the Nation. by YUVAL ELIZUR and LAWRENCE MALKIN. Overlook Press, 2013, 224 pp. $26.95.
The Triumph of Israel’s Radical Right. by AMI PEDAHZUR. Oxford University Press, 2012, 296 pp. $29.95.
The highlight of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit in March to Israel -- the highlight, at least, for Obama, although probably not for his host, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- was an emotional speech he delivered to a surprisingly enthusiastic crowd of Israelis at Jerusalem’s International Convention Center. Obama gave an eloquent defense of the dream and promise of Zionism and simultaneously pleaded with Israelis to understand the predicament of the Palestinians.
The audience was made up mostly of college students, who were clearly delighted by the speech. By contrast, the scattering of right-wing Israeli political leaders in attendance appeared rather miserable. They, however, were not the audience members who seemed
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