• We Stand Divided

  • The Rift Between American Jews and Israel
  • By: Daniel Gordis
  • Narrated by: Fred Sanders
  • Length: 8 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Middle East
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (75 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

From National Jewish Book Award Winner and author of Israel, a bold reevaluation of the tensions between American and Israeli Jews that reimagines the past, present, and future of Jewish life.

Relations between the American Jewish community and Israel are at an all-time nadir. Since Israel’s founding 70 years ago, particularly as memory of the Holocaust and of Israel’s early vulnerability has receded, the divide has grown only wider. Most explanations pin the blame on Israel’s handling of its conflict with the Palestinians, Israel’s attitude toward non-Orthodox Judaism, and Israel’s dismissive attitude toward American Jews in general. In short, the cause for the rupture is not what Israel is; it’s what Israel does.

These explanations tell only half the story. We Stand Divided examines the history of the troubled relationship, showing that from the outset, the founders of what are now the world’s two largest Jewish communities were responding to different threats and opportunities, and had very different ideas of how to guarantee a Jewish future.

With an even hand, Daniel Gordis takes us beyond the headlines and explains how Israel and America have fundamentally different ideas about issues ranging from democracy and history to religion and identity. He argues that as a first step to healing the breach, the two communities must acknowledge and discuss their profound differences and moral commitments. Only then can they forge a path forward, together.

©2019 Daniel Gordis (P)2019 HarperAudio

What listeners say about We Stand Divided

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  • Overall
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Jews Will Argue With Each Other

This is one of the finest books about contemporary Judaism out there and deserves to be compared to such works as Jew Vs. Jew and Like Dreamers. Even if you have no particular interest in Judaism, this book is valuable as an exercise in recognizing that people are going to choose different legitimate values and this will lead to disagreements without anyone being a villain. For example, there is a question that haunts this book; if we were to decide that it is not possible for there to be a peace treaty with the Palestinians and the Arab world and the only Israel that will be possible is one always at war would you still want there to be a Jewish State? Like any serious moral dilemma, the only possible answer is that there are no good answers that one could offer with a clear conscious.

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Thoughtful, important, inspiring

The empathy that Gordis brings to his subjects may be enough to heal significant wounds and overcome fear and pain.

1 person found this helpful

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Profound analysis of the divide between Israelis and American Jews

As someone struggling to understand progressive Jews’ perspectives on Israel, this book has taught me much that I don’t know. It is very deeply researched, well balanced, and contains a lot of historical background. It is also very timely. Highly recommended reading or listening.

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Extremely well thought out

The very educated reader may find some unneeded apologetics, but the author lays out in elegant detail core issues that separate and differentiate the two remaining key Jewish population centers in the world.

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Provocative expose of Jews in US and Israel

Fred Sanders narrates beautifully.
Gordis really digs down into history and explains the evolution of the Jewish American-Israeli relationship using historians, world leaders, poets, literary giants and .orgs. There is a divide that may not ever be completely reconciled however, it cannot be ignored because the survival of both depends on each other in order to guarantee the global Jewish future. This book is a motivator for dialogue and a lot of listening on both sides.

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A must read!

A deep, well researched and unbiased look into a most relevant issue for all Jews.

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Outstanding

Required reading for American Jews, especially progressives, and all Israelis.

Rabbi Dr. Gordes is a brilliant and important Jewish leader.

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We Stand Divided

Daniel Gordis gave me a deep understanding of the history behind the major differences between American Jews and Israelis. It strengthened my already strong support of Israel, yet it also helped me see clearly where those American Jews who disagree with me are coming from.

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A Must Read!

A must read for any American Jew who has any reservation about the significance of Israel to the continuity of the Jewish people.

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Must Read

This book is a must read for anyone concerned about the American Jewish community, Israel, or both. I'd love to attend a course where each class focused on just one chapter. There's so much thought provoking information that I feel I'll have to read it again!