Thursday, 28 April 2016

Jeremy Bowen's written a book on The Six Day War

It seems that Jeremy Bowen wrote a book on the Six Day War. Reviews are as you'd expect, here's a few:

'1.0 out of 5 starsJeremy's prejudices, masquerading as history, surrounded by a false halo of "respected BBC ME correspondent".
on 30 July 2015
If you want the facts read history Professor Oren's book. Jeremy wasn't there, yet is able to quote Israeli Generals verbatim in the heat of battle. Of course if you believe, as does Jeremy, that Nasser consistent threatening to wipe out Israel since 1948, (apparently, according to Nasser himself, humiliating forced retreat from a position of great strength in 1948), his blockade of Eilat,(Suez was always closed to Israeli ships), his amassing multiple armies on Israel's Border, his joint military agreements with Syria and Jordan, a very nasty 6 months of radio propaganda towards Israel and provocation of sniping and artillery into Israel by all three countries, was nothing more than empty rhetoric. (Probably the Israelis didn't see it that way, you wonder why?). Therefore, in Jeremy's view, this was not a preemptive strike by Israel but a War of Aggression, then this book is for you, for those who want real facts, read Oren.
If you hate Israel you will love this book
on 15 July 2015
If you hate Israel you will love this book. It makes no pretence of being history, right from the first page. Why Simon and Shuster agreed to publish this re-writing of history is a mystery. Did they even read it, or did they assume it was clean because the author is a BBC correspondent? It tells a fantastic story of a mighty Israel attacking its pathetic Arab neighbours to conquer their territory, and weaves little bits of fact with very imaginative fiction. If you had no knowledge of the truth, it would be easy to believe this propagandist book is factual and, as I said, if you are looking for a justification to support your anti-Zionism this is it. I assume most of those who have reviewed the book favourably here are simply people who hate Israel and therefore love the book because it justifies their hatred, or part of the Muslim supremacist campaign against Israel who have not even read it.
Typical BBC pro-Palestinian propaganda
on 13 January 2009
Jeremy Bowen isn't known as al-Bowen around the 'net for nothing. This disgraceful book is simply an extended piece of apologia for the Arab cause. To give just two examples, Bowen dismisses Nasser's bloodthirsty threats against Israel as just Arab rhetoric. This you know how, Jeremy? By the fact that they weren't executed?

He also fulminates against Israel's bombing of an anti-aircraft position in a civilian area and hints darkly that this was a war crime. Here he has his case exactly wrong - the war crime, if any, consists in siting the gun battery there in the first place. If someone does so then the other side is quite entitled to attack it. Bowen hates Israel however and so this side of things never gets an airing.

Finally, you will struggle to find any mention of Islamofascist terrorism in this book. Bowen thinks Hamas and their ilk are freedom-fighting, peace loving victims of Israeli oppression.

A book so malignant it verges on being evil.
Profoundly tendentious
on 5 June 2007
Bowen is convinced the Arabs weren't out to destroy Israel, that the Israelis knew they would wipe the floor with their Arab antagonists. This hardly explains the Israeli chief of staff's (Rabin) nervous breakdown, or the then PM's (Ben Gurion) white hot fury with him for what he perceived as an existential danger.

Oren's book is far more extensively sourced from Arab, Hebrew, Russian documents as well as English one - and unlike Bowen evidently strives for precision and balance. The comparison between the two is highly illuminating.
Rife with anti-israel bias
on 10 January 2007
The book is superficial, derivative and rife with standard anti-Israel prejudice, namely, the portrayal of Israel as the source of the Middle-East conflict and the whitewashing of Arab-Palestinian rejection of Israel's legitimacy and decades of relentless violence against the Jewish state.
Problems With Credibility
on 22 May 2004
After Michael Oren's excellent history of the same war ("Six Days of War"), this book turned out to be a disappointment. Like so much of the reporting from the region (Bowen was a BBC journalist), it is unscholarly and superficial. One can't help suspecting that Bowen's main motivation might be something other than just an interest in history. Oren's book was highly praised so Bowen, by choosing an almost identical title, may have seen a chance to make a quick buck. But mostly he probably wanted to give his own version of events -- he is famous for his strong anti-Israel bias and his tendentious "reporting" for the BBC. Don't bother with this book; it's not a serious history. For now, Oren's book remains the definitive work on this war.'
I could carry on with the one star reviews. 
I could also post some favourable reviews to make this a fair and balanced article on Jeremy Bowen's book but if he's not unbiased about Israel why should I be unbiased about him? Also I'm not a BBC employee

I do wonder what the Balen Report said about Jeremy Bowen, don't you?

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