Reading Israel

Tags: Books, Zionism, Arab World, Terror, Media, News


by Ben-Dror Yemini

The Industry of Lies is one of the greatest frauds of recent decades - a fraud of historic, even epic, proportions. When almost half of all Europeans believe that Israel treats the Palestinians just like the Nazis treated the Jews, when leading politicians assert that the Arab-Israeli conflict is the central cause of violence in the world, and when prominent intellectuals argue that Israel is an apartheid state, the unfortunate reality is that the lies are winning.

As a result, Israel has become the devil incarnate in the eyes of many otherwise good and reasonable people - people who genuinely want to see peace but inadvertently contribute to the continuation of the Israeli-Arab conflict. The tragedy is that they are neither helping the Palestinians nor promoting agreement or reconciliation. Instead, they lend legitimacy to the most fallacious claims of the most extreme activists, empowering not moderates but the worst of the radicals who have no interest in attaining peace.

Israel is not free from flaws. However, this book draws a clear distinction between legitimate criticism and the industry of lies that has emerged from two unlikely sources - the media and academia - undermining their reputation as bastions of truth and knowledge. Ben-Dror Yemini presents an in-depth analysis of the many inaccurate and malicious accusations leveled against Israel and refutes them one by one in this thought-provoking and well-researched volume that invites us to rethink the causes and consequences of the Israeli-Arab conflict.

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written by Sheri Oz

  1. Author Ben-Dror Yemini is very careful about his choice of language. It is perhaps surprising, then, to see that he refers to the Israeli-Arab conflict in the title of his book, yet he believes in a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians. Historically, everyone referred to the Israeli-Arab conflict and after Oslo it came to be known as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What are your thoughts on his use of the former term in the title of his book?
  2. What is the purpose behind the INDUSTRY of lies? It is one thing for Arabs to promote propaganda based on lies -- what can make the non-Arab media and academia promote these lies as well? Do you think the media and academic professionals actually believe the lies are truth, or do you think they are aware they are promoting distortions and lies?
  3. The popular conception in the media is that the Jews of Israel are "settlers" who entered a land inhabited by another people. Yet the religious history of the world's three major religions records that Jews are actually the indigenous population of Israel. How did the lies of Israel’s enemies take hold and why have they been so difficult to root out?
  4. Yemini suggests that the general public, consumers of media messages and students who are still in early stages of their education, believe the lies out of naivety. Others are less generous and believe that those who swallow the lies are antisemitic to start with. What do you think?
  5. When Yemini talks about the two-state solution, do you think he believes the Palestinian state should encompass all of Judea & Samaria, or only Areas A and B, leaving Area C (where the bulk of the settlements are) in Jewish hands and exchanging tracts of Israeli land for it?
  6. How do you reconcile the fact that Yemini acknowledges that all conflicts in the past were solved in part with population transfers, but that he still believes Israel should support the two-state solution?
  7. Yemini uses very strong language: he calls the "industry of lies" a "fraud of historic, even epic, proportions;" that Israel has become "the devil incarnate;" he wonders “how such hateful bile can pass as journalism;” and more. And he admits that the fact that good people who really want a peaceful resolution to the conflict ”does not lessen the severity of the fraud; it only increases our difficulty in dealing with it.” What suggestions, if any, does Yemini offer in his book for ways to deal with the industry of lies? What do you suggest?
  8. When reading this book:
    a. what made you most angry?
    b. what made you saddest?
    c. what surprised you?
    d. what gave you hope?
  9. If you are not an activist on behalf of Israel, was there something in the book that made you think you might consider becoming one? If you already are an activist, what kind of impact did this book have on how you see your role?


"Ben-Dror Yemini's book is a must-read for readers of independent mind. A brilliant and creative Israeli writer-scholar... In his book, The Industry of Lies, he exposes the deliberate fakery of the anti-Israel propaganda industry. This complicates even more the already demanding task of achieving normalcy in the Middle East."
-Ehud Barak, former Prime Minister of Israel

"In a world where we're trying to sort out the truth, the forgotten facts that Ben-Dror Yemini has assembled should be known by all those trying to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict in the future."
-Robert Bernstein, former President of Random House and founder of Human Rights Watch

"I am going to do something unconventional: recommend a book that excoriates me. Ben-Dror Yemini and I have some fundamental differences of opinion. And yet, I think his new book on the global rise of anti-Israeli propaganda is important, thorough, and thought-provoking. For too long, too many good people have been swayed by the derisive campaign that describes the Jewish-democratic state in a distorted, pernicious manner. Industry of Lies offers a robust rebuttal to this campaign. It undercuts the basic arguments of BDS supporters and those who see Zionism as monstrous. Yemini opens the door to a much-needed, balanced, and fair discussion of Israel's achievements and failures."
-Ari Shavit, journalist and author of My Promised Land

"This book is important and deserves a wide readership. It is important because it reveals and explains the big and small lies that underpin contemporary anti-Zionist and anti-Israeli discourse. Yemini himself is a critic of current Israeli policy and believes in a two-state solution. But he asserts that the distortions purveyed in Western university campuses and in the Western media about Israel and the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict are actually an impediment to Arab-Israeli peace."
-Professor Benny Morris, author and historian

"Ben-Dror Yemini's book proves indispensable to those policymakers, journalists and professors, and members of the general public whobelieve that getting the story right in the Middle East is inseparable fromadvancing the cause of peace"
-Professor PeterBerkowitz is the Tad and Dianne Taube senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, StanfordUniversity

"Ben-Dror Yemini belongs to a unique breed of Israeli scholars and journalists. He criticizes Israel's settlement policy and advocates a rapprochement with the Palestinians through the two-state solution. Nevertheless, he takes up arms against the anti-Israel web of outlandish lies and vitriolic propaganda and exposes them for what they truly are: a sophisticated form of hate speech directing its all too familiar venom against the Jewish state and the Zionist idea. This book should be read by all truth-seeking people."
-Professor Amnon Rubinstein, former Israeli Minister of Education on behalf of Meretz

"Ben-Dror Yemini is one of the leading writers exposing the 'fake news' that regrettably permeates so much coverage of Israel and the Middle East among many western media, academics and non-profits, and that so greatly damages peace efforts. Industry of Lies is a vital contribution to the subject."
-Tom Gross, former Middle East correspondent London Sunday Telegraph, contributor to The Guardian and Wall Street Journal

The Reading Israel Book Club: Bring us to your community and be inspired!

Throughout the year, the Reading Israel Book Club of Israel Forever brings you a new literary delight to grow your Israel connection through the written word.

We hope that you enjoy our selections and participate in discussion not only with your friends and family but with an international community of readers in our open discussion group on Facebook.


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Tags: Books, Zionism, Arab World, Terror, Media, News

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