Tracing the portrait of Arabs through the twentieth century, Ben-Ezer selects excerpts that make clear how Jewish writing in Hebrew has gone through distinct stages. First, around 1900, came the period of romantic fascination, when fiction writers saw Arabs, in the editor's words, as "devoted farmers and courageous fighters." Then, starting with Theodor Herzl and until World War I, sprung up the motif of Arabs who appreciated Zionism as a source of economic development for themselves and who saw Zionists as Semitic brothers with whom to form a political alliance. This sentimental view shattered on the hard rock of the 1920s, when the fullness of Arab antagonism became clear. "In the struggle between the romantic, biblical view of the East, and the bitter reality, a pessimism emerged that emphasized the grimmer aspects of the Jewish national experience in Palestine." Success in establishing the State of Israel in 1948 turned the Arab from enemy into moral problem: what to do about a neighbor who does not wish to live in peaceful coexistence? That Israelis had to fight and kill Arabs only exacerbated this dimension. In the words of one author, "We came, shot, conquered, burnt, blew up, shoved away, pushed and banished. What the hell are we doing here?" As, year after year, Israel met with unrelenting hostility, the Arab loomed larger as a threat, eventually becoming "an existential nightmare, devoid of illusions." Personal characteristics dissolved away, replaced by an abstracted menace. With the victory of 1967 and the sudden confrontation with large numbers of Arabs under Israeli rule, the picture again became more nuanced, with "living and breathing" individuals taking the place of earlier caricatures. Through all that has happened in the thirty-plus years since 1967, the fictional Arab in Hebrew increasingly is a complex entity, one whose characteristics result more from the views of an individual author than from the temper of the times.