HADRIAN’S ECHO: The whys and wherefores of Israel’s critics Steve Apfel

About the Book

Books on the Arab-Israeli conflict are almost a genre, but Hadrian’s Echo is a different book entirely. “There is more than one conflict, and unless we know which one we mean we are doomed to move round Israel’s detractors and not through them, and be left with understanding but no insight.” (From Hadrian’s Echo) The author proceeds with penetrating analysis to give that insight as he sweeps the reader through the fascinating contest of words, images and law.

Questions, perhaps never before addressed, are tackled: What is the difference between a critic of Israel and an activist against Israel? Why do some Israelis toil to make their country an outcast among nations? How do people manage to deny the Holocaust without denying it? By what methods are our perceptions of the conflict manipulated by the media? Why do activists hold Israel to seemingly absurd standards? Why do critics of Israel accuse their opponents of trying to gag them when the opponents are doing no such thing?

But the reader will find Hadrian’s Echo much more than a scholarly work. It has a creative force that flows like a passion. And notwithstanding the grave issues handled, a sardonic humour runs through the book. We encounter species like the ‘Uniquely Jewish bomb,’ the ‘Cauliflower man,’ the ‘Juggernaut Jew,’ and the ‘Dinner-jacket denier.’ Parts of the book have an interactive form that gets the reader involved. Other parts recreate a tribunal with the reader in the jury box. Hadrian’s Echo is a book that entertains while it enlightens. All in all, it is both an essential work of reference and a wonderfully good read.

A brilliant demolition of the standard pretence that anti-Zionism is about frustration with Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians rather than an obsessive fixation with the Jewish state.” – Efraim Karsh – Director, Middle East Forum & Research Professor of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies, King’s College London

I recommend Hadrian’s Echo to anyone who wants to understand the phenomenon of Israel-bashing ” – Professor Gerald M. Steinberg, Bar Ilan University and Executive Director of NGO Monitor

View the Press Release

About the Author

A man of wide experience, Steve Apfel was born in Johannesburg, attended school in Pietersburg, did his national service as a naval cadet, studied politics and economics at the University of Witwatersrand, and has a master of economics from the University of SA. He was a District Officer in the former Rhodesia, an analyst for an international mining house, research manager for an electrical group, import agent in Britain, and since 1997, has been Director of the School of Management Accounting, Johannesburg. His travels and work have taken him through Western and Eastern Europe, Turkey, South America and the Middle East. His novel The Paymaster was published in 1997, and a second novel is in the pipeline. In 2002 he turned to activism and writer against the anti-Israel movement, and over a decade has upset apple carts aplenty.