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In GoliathNew York Times bestselling author Max Blumenthal takes us on a journey through the badlands and high roads of Israel-Palestine, painting a startling portrait of Israeli society under the siege of increasingly authoritarian politics as the occupation of the Palestinians deepens.

Beginning with the national elections carried out during Israel’s war on Gaza in 2008/9, which brought into power the country’s most right-wing government to date, Blumenthal tells the story of Israel in the wake of the collapse of the Oslo peace process.

As Blumenthal reveals, Israel has become a country where right-wing leaders like Avigdor Lieberman and Bibi Netanyahu are sacrificing democracy on the altar of their power politics, where the loyal opposition largely and passively stands aside and watches the organized assault on civil liberties, where state-funded Orthodox rabbis publish books that provide instructions on how and when to kill gentiles, where half of Jewish youth declare their refusal to sit in a classroom with an Arab, and where mob violence targets Palestinians and African asylum seekers scapegoated by leading government officials as “demographic threats.”

Immersing himself like few other journalists inside the world of hardline political leaders and movements, Blumenthal interviews the demagogues and divas in their homes, in the Knesset, and in the watering holes where their young acolytes hang out, and he speaks with those political leaders behind the organized assault on civil liberties. As his journey deepens, he painstakingly reports on the occupied Palestinians challenging schemes of demographic separation through unarmed protest. He talks at length to the leaders and youth of Palestinian society inside Israel now targeted by security service dragnets and legislation suppressing their speech and provides in-depth reporting on the small band of Jewish Israeli dissidents who have shaken off a conformist mind-set that permeates the media, schools, and the military.

Through his far-ranging travels, Blumenthal illuminates the present by uncovering the ghosts of the past—the histories of Palestinian neighborhoods and villages now gone and forgotten, how that history has set the stage for the current crisis of Israeli society, and how the Holocaust has been turned into justification for occupation.

A brave and unflinching account of the real facts on the ground, Goliath is an unprecedented and compelling work of journalism.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Brash, gritty, personal, and close to the ground, this is a report from an Israel and a Palestine we seldom see in the mainstream media. The sharp-edged scenes and portraits in this disturbing book show why the chances for lasting peace in the region have gone from bad to worse.”

    Adam Hochschild, New York Times bestselling author

  • “The only worthwhile, honest discussion of Israel can come from someone who possesses two attributes: fearlessness and expertise. Max Blumenthal wields both in abundance, and the result is an eye-opening and stunningly insightful book about the dramatic plight of a country central to America’s political fortunes.”

    Glenn Greenwald, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A rich, roiling examination of ‘the State of Israel during a period of deepening political and societal crisis’…Dense, in-the-trenches reportage revealing details that go from grim to grimmer.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “It is about time someone wrote this book. Anyone who thinks he knows what is happening in Israel and its occupied territories will think again after reading this great work.”

    Charles Glass, American author, journalist, and broadcaster specializing in the Middle East

  • “Blumenthal’s Israel is represented by its basest instincts, a blunt look at a country where citizens are clearly divided into the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots.’”

    Publishers Weekly

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About the Author

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author whose articles and video documentaries have appeared in the New York TimesLos Angeles TimesDaily BeastNationGuardianIndependent Film ChannelHuffington Post, Salon.com, Al Jazeera English, and many other publications. He is a writing fellow for the Nation Institute. His book Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party is a New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller.