"Arthur Neslen’s sharp insights into the Israeli Jewish mentality are a must read for anyone wishing to understand that society beyond simplistic and reductionist descriptions."
Ilan Pappe, author of A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples
"This book is a fascinating journey through the Israeli Jewish psyche in its multiple manifestations. It invites us to understand the Israeli predicament through Israeli eyes."
Ghada Karmi, Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter
"Brutal and searingly honest accounts. ... A compelling book."
Yvonne Ridley, Political editor of the Islam Channel
Israel's founders sought to create a nation of new Jews who would never again go meekly to the death camps. Yet Israel's strength has become synonymous with an oppression of the Palestinians that provokes anger throughout the Muslim world and beyond. How are Israelis able to see themselves as victims while victimising others? What does Israeli Jewish identity mean today?
Arthur Neslen explores the dynamics, distortions and incredible diversity of Israeli society. From the mouths of soldiers, settlers, sex workers and the victims of suicide attacks, Occupied Minds is the story of a national psyche that has become scarred by mental security barriers, emotional checkpoints and displaced outposts of self-righteousness and aggression.
From vignettes to in-depth interviews, more than fifty Israelis offer their accounts. What they reveal is in turn powerful, haunting, subtle and disturbing. Illustrated throughout with photographs, this unique book offers an unrivalled insight into Israeli consciousness, private and public.
It charts the evolution of a communal self-image based on cultural and religious values towards one formed around a single militaristic imperative: national security.