Occupied Minds: A Journey Through the Israeli Psyche by Arthur Neslen

Review contributed by Amer Saidi.

Israel’s founders wanted to create a sort of new Jew, one that would never go meekly to the death camps again. They have succeeded, but some would argue that in the process they have created a monster. Israel’s strength has come to be identified with an aggressive foreign policy and an oppression of the Palestinians that provoke anger throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds, and even beyond. Yet many Israelis see themselves as victims, even while they victimize others.

Drawing upon interviews with more than fifty Israelis from different walks of life, including soldiers, settlers, sex workers, and the victims of suicide bombings, Arthur Neslen, a British Jew, offers a fascinating look at this diverse, dynamic, yet very disturbed, society.

I found this to be a most interesting, insightful read, critical of Israel and her conduct yet also quite understanding of the Israeli predicament. It made me look at Israeli society as I had never done before. It also taught me about certain historical events from an Israeli perspective. Highly recommended.



  1. Amer, I personally congratulate you for being open minded enough to read into this topic. Too much aggression, too little peaceful compromise/understanding these days. IMO, the only way forward for the region is open mindedness and multi-perspective education. Living in the past will get us no where. And that’s the end of my digression 🙂

  2. Amer Saidi

    Thanks Gilly! I agree!

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