The Israel Test

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Richard Vigilante Books, 2009 - Business & Economics - 296 pages
3 Reviews
Israel is the crucial battlefield for Capitalism and Freedom in our time.
George Gilder's global best-seller Wealth and Poverty made the moral case for capitalism. Now Gilder makes the case for Israel, portraying a conflict of barbarism and envy against civilization and creativity.
Gilder reveals Israel as a leader of human civilization, technological progress, and scientific advance. Tiny Israel stands behind only the United States in its contributions to the hi-tech economy. Israel has become the world's paramount example of the blessings of freedom.
Hatred of Israel, like anti-Semitism through history, arises from resentment of Jewish success. Rooted in a Marxist zero-sum-game theory of economics, this vision has fueled the anti-Semitic rantings of Hitler, Arafat, Osama, and history's other notorious haters.
Faced with a contest between murderous regimes sustained by envy and Nazi ideology, and a free, prosperous, and capitalist, Israel—whose side are you on?

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When the Nazis sought to convince the world and themselves of Aryan superiority, they looked to pseudo-science and distorted history to aid them in their quest. They portrayed themselves as victims under assault from an inferior and unenlightened world...I do believe Gilder has taken the Nazi manual and, without any sense of irony, cut and pasted their philosophy to explain the Jewish State of Israel. He cherry-picks his way through economics and looks at history from the narrowest of perspectives while assailing the rest of the world for being exactly who he is: a "blinkered" historian. In one example, he points to a population explosion in a proto-Israel at the turn of the century and attributes it to the immigration of industrious and agriculturally gifted Jews while totally ignoring that Israel's neighbors and most of the world enjoyed a similar rise in population. One can't ignore something like that without being willfully negligent as a historian or economist.
Gilder is no historian, he is a pitchman for an ideology. From the Kurzweil 2000 to conservative pulp, Gilder is a salesman plain and simple.
He's a helluva writer, though. I wish he'd put his talents to a better use.

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Gilder provides an honest juxtaposition of the Muslim world - uniformly inspired by Nazi ideology and medieval interpretations of the Quran - with Israel, a bastion of democracy; racial, ethnic, religious and gender equality; and intellectual openness and honesty. Gilder demonstrates that Israel's virtues are responsible for it overcoming all odds and becoming a technological powerhouse and economic miracle in the midst of a desert with limited natural resources and surrounded by hostile regimes. Gilder sets the line in the sand where individuals must stand who support the thoroughly modern and egalitarian values that Israel has defended at great expense and proves that western leaders who seek to impose 'land for peace' on Israel are guilty of naivete for failing to recognize that Israel's enemies pose as much threat to Jewish survival in the Middle East as to western values around the world.  

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About the author (2009)

George Gilder's bestselling books have sold more than two million copies worldwide. In Wealth and Poverty, one of the most influential books of our time, Gilder made the moral case for capitalist creativity. With The Spirit of Enterprise, Microcosm, Telecosm, and Life After Television, Gilder achieved renown as a stunningly accurate prophet of the direction of technology development and enterprise, including Israel's world˜beating contributions. A contributing editor to Forbes magazine, Gilder has produced the annual Gilder/Forbes Telecosm Conference since 1997, offering leading edge forecasts and analysis from the top technology firms and research centers around the world. Gilder also heads Gilder Technology Associates, a venture capital fund focusing on breakthrough technologies. In 1986 President Ronald Reagan presented Gilder the White House Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence. Gilder is a contributing editor to Forbes and writes frequently for national publications including The Wall Street Journal, Wired, National Review, and The American Spectator.

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