Blum can’t turn his back on Netanyahu’s work. Running away from his upbringing like the rest of us and so obsessed with him, he can’t stop reflecting on his past. He spent sleepless hours reading through Netanyahu’s writings, “For the first time in my life I’ve ever looked back and compared who I was with who I had become. I’m a tenure-track historian and secularist. was an active participant in American life wandering in the attic-mind of an obscure Israeli academic as if I were one of the ancient Jews he wrote about, a convert forcibly returned to the faith I had abandoned And the interior was also consumed by turmoil, until the hour noticed—shocked by the chatter of the amateur birds—I would turn the curtain aside and it would be morning outside the window.
Through it is the story of Blum’s home life, including his wife, Edith, who misses New York, and his daughter, Judy, who, like all daughters, is a little more generous than him. She is now writing her college essay – the topic is fairness – and is ready for the nose job, which will get her at all costs. On a Thanksgiving visit, Edith’s mother summed up Blum’s impossible situation: “If you decide to go and hire this Jew, they will say Jewish partisanship. If you decide not to hire this Jew If you do, they will say that you are trying to avoid the presence of Jewish partisanship.”
Blum, of course, is said to host Netanyahu through the rigors of a hiring weekend: a job interview, a guest lecture, drinks at the local. Netanyahu brings along his three sons and his wife, Tzila, and Edith shows Netanyahu his American hospitality. To say that it gets chaotic from there is an understatement, but more so, the chaos is just a simple layer that is also there in this book, a brilliant examination of the role of the Jew in American society, always a tense place. is. The success of Jews in America does not outweigh the danger; No, success creates danger.
The book is about the hold of the American Jew (and its secret girlfriend, Israel). “The Netanyahus” offers a thorough history of the feuds of Zionism at its founding, and the unimaginable account of what, in addition to a dynamic and compelling story, when the Jews eventually had a national homeland and a place to go, When, according to Netanyahu in this book, the Jews ceased to be mythical people who roamed the earth, who were followed around the earth, and began to be the people who could record their own history. They – we – were real after all.
It feels heavy, yes. And it is! But I promise the book is both readable and, in spots, I absolutely shuddered with laughter. I hesitate to say that it is accessible, only because of the amount of unnecessarily blue-chip words that appear throughout. And here I will take a paragraph on this. It was not clear to me whether these words appeared as a way of expressing the character of Ruben Blum – perhaps as a pompous professorial type? If so, it’s lost on me, because the net result was the same: I lost some rhythm in the sheol of Internet vocabulary searches, though, to be clear, I don’t pay attention to these words, lest my own Less vocabulary sticking out like a carbuncle. (Also: Shiny! Cathex! Strappado! It moves!)
“The Netanyahus”, as an appendix to the book, was inspired by a story that literary critic and academic Harold Bloom told Cohen toward the end of Bloom’s life. Blum, however, appears to be a completely fictional character, even though in real life Benzion Netanyahu spent some time at Cornell as a professor. It is not clear what else is true about the book.
But I don’t care either. Because it was a great book to read during the weeks after it was handed over to me, as tensions between Israel and Gaza escalated and there was nothing to say about the matter, but few to get in touch with. There was nothing to live for. Things move on and share my distress and also my inability to share that distress widely. It was a good book to read, while tensions escalated, and friends reached out to me who were just “wondering” what my point of view was, in terms of logic, and people I didn’t know, He tweeted me to see where there was my support for an oppressed people, and my peers – who are well aware that the roadblocks to my job policy when tweeting about politics – Liked Those tweets, like being Jewish meant I had to answer for Israel or its government, which I had not chosen.