Jewish Values: Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East

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48 p.
Part of the World Almanac Library of the Middle East series. An enormous range of topics is treated in this 48 page book: ethnicity and religion, art and language, Bedouins and Sephardim, cuisine and costume, Berbers and kibbutzniks. It succeeds in giving a picture of the rich variety of Middle East peoples, but the aggregate presentation of topics too frequently leaves a view slanted against Israel. For example, when referring to refugees who fled their homes following the creation of Israel, only Arab refugees are mentioned, whereas an equal number of Jews fled their Arab homelands. The ingathering of Jewish immigrants to Israel is depicted only as a source of tension among Israelis, but it also represented a welcome fulfillment of an age-old dream and a unique achievement in molding people of diverse cultures into one nation. Like most other books in this series, one finds a lot of useful and correct information, but librarians and teachers must be aware that readers will need guidance in recognizing biased assertions and factual errors.
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