Not the Israel My Parents Promised MeBook |
Taking on the Jewish state posthumously.
Told over the course of a daylong conversation between Harvey Pekar and his artistic collaborator, JT Waldman, Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me is a hybrid history and memoir that explains how Pekar became disillusioned with the idea of Israel. At the start of the book, he recalls his upbringing by Zionists whose enthusiasm for a Jewish homeland proved infectious. But as he grows older, and becomes increasingly aware of the suppression of the Arab populaces and other events, Pekar starts questioning the moral righteousness of Zionism as well as the actions of the Jewish state. Like his previous work from earlier this year, Harvey Pekar's Cleveland, Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me shows off the author's deep knowledge of a subject-- in this case, the journey of the Jewish people through untold challenges to the founding of a new homeland. While both he and Waldman are highly critical of how nationalism and ethnicity have become intertwined to the point of turning Jews against one another, their work remains highly respectful of their people's history and accomplishments. Waldman, in particular, takes key moments such as ancient Jerusalem's destruction at the hands of the Romans, and renders them in the style of hieroglyphics, mosaics, and other antiquated art forms, thereby acknowledging their importance. Ultimately, Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me may not change many people's opinions about Israel, but as one of the final works in Pekar's considerable oeuvre, it ranks among his most ambitious and well-realized.
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