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Israel Matters


Discussions about Israel often focus on controversial issues: the hardships of the Palestinians, Israel's internal social problems, and secular-religious conflicts. When you hear criticism of Israel, what do you think? Do you know whether the criticism is accurate or not? Do you try to find out? Not everyone likes to debate, but you may still want to find out the answers for yourself to make your own judgments.

Israel Matters explores the historical and political forces that created the Jewish state, influence the unrest in the Palestinian territories, shape the peace process, and affect Israel’s security today. It was written to help anyone sort out the complexities that surround the Jewish state and offers a place to begin a conversation.



What Reviewers and Experts Say About Israel Matters

“Mitchell Bard has a way of taking complex and important topics and explaining them simply. Once again, in Israel Matters he has taken his gift for identifying what is important and making it accessible. If ever there was a time to explain to a wide audience why Israel matters, this is surely that time. This book does so in a compelling way—indeed, in a way that specialists and non-specialists alike will find useful."

Dennis B. Ross

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

“In Israel Matters, Mitchell Bard offers a comprehensive yet handy text that gives students a practical understanding of the State of Israel--its historical importance, and its relevance today. Bard provides a noble service for students who want to connect with and learn about a nation-state that has changed the world.”

Senator Joseph Lieberman

"Israel Matters is an excellent introduction for everyone who feels a gnawing connection to Israel but doesn't know why -- as well as for everyone who wants to speak up for Israel but doesn't know how. Instead of the cardboard cutout descriptions of Israel one reads either in the popular media or promotional literature, Mitchell Bard presents a three-dimensional Israel -- full of political debate, cultural clash and the human dilemmas of real people. If you didn't have your Bar Mitzvah at the Western Wall, haven't been on a Birthright trip, and missed more than your share of Sunday school classes -- and even if none of these categories applies to you -- Israel Matters will open your eyes to the wonder, complexity and challenges of the Jewish state."

Robert Satloff

Executive Director, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

"Without ignoring some of the controversial aspects of life in modern Israel, Israel Matters conveys the broad scope of Israeli history and culture in an engaging and accessible manner. The mini-biographies of everyday Israelis and the sections entitled “What Would YOU Do?” are particularly helpful in connecting young readers with the context and moral dilemmas of daily life in the Jewish state. Israel Matters very successfully addresses the long recognized need for a text that presents contemporary Israel to American youth."

Dr. Robert Wexler

President, American Jewish University

Israel Matters is probably the best text around for Jewish teens to use in a curriculum that has a course on the State of Israel. Non-Jewish schools, too, which offer coursework about Israel, would do well to include it in their syllabus.

Andrea Rapp

Isaac M. Wise Temple, Association of Jewish Libraries Review 

"Israel does matter, but how little we really know about its history, current challenges, and how to find our way about it. This extraordinarily readable and valuable book by Mitchell Bard—an outstanding expert on all these topics—is just what is needed.”

Ilan Troen

Director, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, Brandeis University

“Comprehensive, balanced, rich and appealing.”

Richard Skeen

Birthright Israel NEXT

“Lively, substantive, accessible.”

Dr. Gil Troy

Professor of History, McGill University



Israel Matters: Understand the Past - Look to the Future