The Last Resistance
A collection of essays examining "Zionist identity and imagination," Jaqueline Rose's book The Last Resistance was an interesting read. I can't say I loved it (the emphasis on Freud went a little over my head), as the guardian review said it wasn't "an easy read. Rose's critique, weaving back and forth between Freud and Zweig, Grossman and Jabotinsky, is a dense tapestry of literature and psychoanalysis that seeks to define the nature of her race and her religion, then strip away the contortions of Zionism." Regardless of the density of the material, I found some of her insights to be extremely intriguing. Her musings on evil and suicide bombings were particularly interesting. The world's first suicide terrorists were probably two militant Jewish revolutionary groups against the Romans, the Zealots and the Sicarii (126).
Suicide bombing is most often considered as a peculiarly monstrous, indeed inhuman, aberration that cannot - or indeed must not - be understood... suicide bombing is in itself an act of passionate identification - you take the enemy with you in a deadly embrace. As Israel becomes a fortress state, and the Palestinians are shut into their enclaves, with less and less possibility of contact between the two sides, suicide bombing might be, tragically, the closest they can get. (127).
While I think Rose spends too much time on Freud in the first few chapters, when she delves into the comparisons between Palestinians and Israelis, it gets extremely interesting. I don't know if I would recommend the book as a whole, some of her essays are definitely worth the read. Try "Failed State" in London Review of Books (On David Grossman). Rating: ★★★