Reader Comments on the new book "Old Wine, Broken Bottle"

March 21, 2014

In Blog

Finally, the antidote (and more) to  Ari Shavit’s over hyped, excuse for war crimes book, My Promised Land.   In a devastating critique Norman Finkelstein in Old Wine, Broken Bottle, penetrates the clouds of clichés and the underlying colonial and prejudicial assumptions comprising Shavit’s arguments that seek to justify the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.  If you don’t want to be duped byMy Promised Land, read Finkelstein.


Michael Ratner, President Emeritus, Center for Constitutional Rights



Dear Norman Finkelstein,

Just finished reading your excellent Old Wine, Broken Bottle.

Thanks for all your hard work and ongoing contribution.

Best wishes,

John Duggan
Manhattan NYC


Professor Finkelstein,

“Broken Bottle” arrived on the 13th and I read it by the 16th. Really very glad you wrote it as Shavit (not to mention the predictably awestruck usual suspects) needed taking down a peg or two for “My Promised Land”. I love the way you occasionally assume the author’s premises and pass over some of his assertions, just to show he is wrong often even when one takes the most charitable view of his assertions! 



Dr. Finkelstein,

I’ve literally been racing through the pages of Old Wine, Broken Bottle! (If one can do such a thing with the swip of a finger on an e-reader..)  I’ve always enjoyed your writing, but I have to say this most recent book jumps off the pages and absolutely destroys Shavit’s poor attempt at new-age propaganda.  Do my generation a favor and never stop writing these types of books!  Your books are weapons for my generation against the ever-present barrage of Israeli apologia. 


Marshall Watson



Norman Finkelstein’s Old Wine, Broken Bottle brilliantly dissects Ari Shavit’s book, revealing the propaganda, the selective history, and the sentimental stories about the early days of Zionism – all of which obscure rather than illuminate. For despite the accolades, My Promised Land is an unsatisfying and troubling book. Its success shows that readers are willing, and perhaps even eager, to grapple with Israel and Palestine – past and future. But as Finkelstein notes, Shavit’s triumphalist narrative brings us no closer to the political and moral reckoning about Palestine and Israel that we need. Old Wine, Broken Bottle should be required reading for anyone who reads My Promised Land.


Ellen A.