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Diary

Naomi Shepherd: Israel’s longing for normality, 3 February 2005

... In Tel Aviv, the windows of tall office buildings blaze all night long, conspicuously consuming. The brightest lights of Jerusalem, during Chanukah week, were those of a huge electric candelabrum at the city’s gate: an expense for which the municipality, dominated by religious factions, was much criticised – the holy city is notoriously the poorest in the country ...

Within the Pale

Naomi Shepherd, 8 February 1990

Memoirs of a Jewish Revolutionary 
by Hersh Mendel, translated by Robert Michaels.
Pluto, 367 pp., £19.50, February 1989, 0 7453 0264 5
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Arlosoroff 
by Shlomo Avineri.
Peter Halban, 126 pp., £10.95, March 1989, 1 870015 23 1
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Golda Meir: The Romantic Years 
by Ralph Martin.
Piatkus, 416 pp., £15, April 1989, 0 86188 864 2
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... With the virtual disappearance of the Jewish working class in the Diaspora, and the decline of the Labour movement in Israel, Jewish socialism is beginning to look historically limited, rather than an intrinsic part of a cultural heritage. The idea that the Jews are somehow natural radicals by virtue of their internationalism, messianism and inherited ethic of social justice does not stand up to scrutiny ...

Israel’s Caesar

Naomi Shepherd, 26 November 1987

Sharon: An Israeli Caesar 
by Uzi Benziman.
Robson, 276 pp., £12.95, September 1987, 9780860514343
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Sands of Sorrow: Israel’s Journey from Independence 
by Milton Viorst.
Tauris, 328 pp., £16.50, September 1987, 1 85043 064 0
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... Ariel Sharon is both hero and bogeyman: brilliant military tactician and rogue general, master both of the pre-emptive strike and of the cover-up, populist leader and – in the eyes of liberal Israelis – perennial threat to Israel’s democracy. Uzi Benziman’s portrait is a commendable first attempt to evaluate the Sharon phenomenon. It is a journalist’s book – lively and readable, though sloppily translated and edited ...

Jewish Blood

Michael Church, 7 February 1985

Moving Pictures: Memories of a Hollywood Prince 
by Budd Schulberg.
Penguin, 500 pp., £4.95, September 1984, 0 14 006769 8
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Baku to Baker Street: The Memoirs of Flora Solomon 
by Barnet Litvinoff.
Collins, 230 pp., £11.95, June 1984, 0 00 217094 9
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Wilfrid Israel: German Jewry’s Secret Ambassador 
by Naomi Shepherd.
Weidenfeld, 286 pp., £12.95, March 1984, 0 297 78308 4
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The Smiths of Moscow: A Story of Britons Abroad 
by Harvey Pitcher.
Swallow House Books, 176 pp., £5.95, September 1984, 0 905265 01 7
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Family Secrets 
by David Leitch.
Heinemann, 242 pp., £8.95, October 1984, 0 434 41345 3
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... reference swells to majestic grandeur in Wilfrid Israel: German Jewry’s Secret Ambassador. Naomi Shepherd’s biography labours under a severe handicap: while her subject is remembered by many with awe and gratitude, very little documentary evidence of his work remains. Einstein described him as ‘one of the finest and most noble individuals I ...

’Oly, ’Oly, ’Oly

D.A.N. Jones, 20 December 1990

From Early Life 
by William Cooper.
Macmillan, 180 pp., £13.95, August 1990, 0 333 52367 9
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Son of Adam 
by Denis Forman.
Deutsch, 201 pp., £12.99, September 1990, 9780233985930
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A Welsh Childhood 
by Alice Thomas Ellis and Patrick Sutherland.
Joseph, 186 pp., £15.99, September 1990, 0 7181 3292 0
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Alarms and Excursions: Thirty Years in Israel 
by Naomi Shepherd.
Collins, 220 pp., £16, August 1990, 0 00 215333 5
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Birds of Ill Omen 
by Marie Seurat, translated by Dorothy Blair.
Quartet, 168 pp., £10.95, September 1990, 0 7043 2694 9
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... is mediated by a bright, bustling author, determined to make sense of it all. At least, Naomi Shepherd starts out that way, though her thirty years in Israel have led her to a grave, almost pessimistic outlook. London-bred, Oxford-educated, she became the Israel correspondent for the New Statesman in the Sixties, under John Freeman’s ...

Balfour, Weizmann and the Creation of Israel

Charles Glass: Palestine, 7 June 2001

One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs under the British Mandate 
by Tom Segev, translated by Haim Watzman.
Little, Brown, 612 pp., £25, January 2001, 0 316 64859 0
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Ploughing Sand: British Rule in Palestine 1917-48 
by Naomi Shepherd.
Murray, 290 pp., £12.99, September 2000, 0 7195 6322 4
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... to protect Jaffa’s Arabs from eviction. For Israel’s new historians, among them Segev and Naomi Shepherd, the Zionist project is part of the saga of white settlement, as in North America and Rhodesia. The settlers declared independence only when they no longer required the Mother Country’s soldiers to subdue the natives. Presenting Israelis as ...

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