In this unconventional book, Tsvi Bisk asks: is the purpose of Zionism to recreate the Jewish past, or to create an alternative Jewish future that serves to redeem the past? Do the events of history determine how we must act by mindlessly following its tracks, or is their role to inspire us in how to manage the future?
The Suicide of the Jews is a fable from the future; a cautionary tale about one of the noblest and bravest endeavors in human history - a story of unsurpassed idealism, heroism, invention and imagination. It is the story of a country which, in its infancy, inspired the entire world with its achievements and ability to survive in the face of overwhelming odds, but which may yet self- destruct as a result of policies that cling to the past rather than respond to the demands of the 21st century. The Suicide of the Jews is a ruthlessly logical extrapolation of current events that will please neither the left nor the right – a wake-up call to be heeded by all.
In 2015 Tsvi Bisk brought out a third related book, this one starkly titled
– The Suicide of the Jews: A Cautionary Tale. Darker in tone and
message from the previous two, it urgently warns that “If Israel will not
be a light unto the nations it will not be a light unto the Jews, and thus
will not be able to mobilize the energy and passion needed to survive.”
As a result of misguided policies that cling to the past and have no
investment in the democratic rule of law (theocratic power, settlement
authorization, and land idolatry) Israel may yet self-destruct and become
a third world state.
Working in the prophetic tradition of speaking truth to power, Tsvi
warns that power is being steadily gained by Israelis with little
appreciation for democracy, the Mizrahim (Jews from Arab countries),
the ultra-orthodox, and resolute Greater Israel settlers. He extrapolates
out to 2048, by which time Arabs and Orthodox extremists are the only
ones left, the best and the brightest having gone elsewhere by 2032: “By
2048, the country known as Israel has ceased to exist, 100 years after its
Highly regarded among futurists Tsvi Bisk does not presume to “tell the
future,” but instead ventures extrapolations from current events that
merit pondering by all who appreciate how high are the stakes for Jewry
(a people), Israel (a nation), Judaism (a religion), and thereby, for all of
humanity. Consistent with Tsvi’s pessimism, TechCast’s 130 experts put
the probability of Palestinian-Israeli peace at a low 15 %, and think it
even far less likely Israel will soon be conquered by force (2%
Tsvi would have us recognize as well the threat from within, the
challenges of redirecting cultural, ethical, and political drifts. With crisp,
engaging, and always informative writing, he promotes a nuanced
appreciation of the core challenge Israelis confront: Either become a
light unto the nations, or decline as a lost cause.
Arthur B. Shostak, PhD
Emeritus Professor of Sociology