Publication Year: 2007
Published by: University of Michigan Press
Title Page, Copyright
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Hebrew Journal Titles Translated
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During the past two decades Israel has been undergoing a historiographic revolution. Scholars in their hundreds have assailed the archives, and a torrent of books, articles, and MA and PhD theses has poured forth. Inevitably, a substantial part of this revolution has focused on the history of Zionism and Israel, and particularly on the main foundational crises—the first Arab-Israeli War of 1948...
The New Historiography: Israel Confronts its Past
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On 11 July 1948, the Yiftah Brigade’s Third Battalion, as part of what was called Operation Dani, occupied the center of the Arab town of Lydda. There was no formal surrender, but the night passed quietly. Just before noon the following day, two or three armored cars belonging to the Arab Legion, the British-led and –trained Jordanian army, drove into town. A firefight ensued...
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Israelis have been revisiting the events of the 1948 war for the past fifty years, not only because they were branded with the personal memories of the generation that lived through them, nor simply because they were crucial to the Jewish state’s political and social makeup, but primarily because they still occupy a major...
The History of Zionist Historiography
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The writing of history cannot be separated from the era in which it is written. Changing perspectives define scope, fields and focal points, attitudes toward the objects of study, and even methodological developments. This essay attempts to trace the growth of Zionist historiography, that is, the writing of the history of Zionism (The Zionist movement and ideology, the prestate...
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The Debate about 1948
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The Contribution of Historical Geography to the Historiography of the Establishment of Israel
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A century of Zionist strivings to create a Jewish polity in Eretz-Israel and half a century of Israeli statehood have spawned a stratified historiography. 1 The events, typically enough, were recorded in both real time and after the fact. The first instance produced a literature of memoirs and diaries; the second resulted in volumes...
“Critical” and “Establishment” Sociology in Israel’s Academic Community
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Israel’s academic community in recent years has been riven by sharp polemics between self-styled critical sociologists and those they refer to as establishment sociologists, with the controversy reverberating among students of Israeli society abroad. A similar debate has been taking place among historians, but here the distinction has been between New and Old Historians. In the...
The Future of the Past in Israel
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Israel’s historical scene has been in turmoil since the late 1980s. Relatively placid in the nation-building period, it has become a stormy arena in the postnational era. Historians passionately disagree on both matters of substance and matters of practice. Some contest, while others defend, accepted truisms about Israel’s past. Some champion suppressed narratives, others archival...
Israeli Historiography and the Ethnic Problem
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Israel’s Jewish ethnic problem—like the national conflict with the Arabs and the secular-religious Jewish cultural divide—poses one of its greatest challenges. While Israeli researchers may dispute its causes, they all nevertheless agree that in religious and national terms it is an internal, Jewish problem involving two...
Dialectical versus Unequivocal
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In November 1994, I helped organize a conference called “Vision and Revision.” Its subject was to be “One Hundred Years of Zionist Historiography,” 1 but in fact it focused on the stormy debate between Zionists and post-Zionists or Old and New Historians, a theme that pervaded Israel’s public and academic discourse at the time. The discussion revolved around a number of topics...
A Palestinian Look at the New Historians and Post-Zionism in Israel
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Nearly six years have passed since this was written, two and a half of which have been dominated by the second Intifada, better known as the Aqsa Intifada. This has dramatically brought the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to a new climax, impacting on, among other things, the essence of the discourse and the views...
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Page Count: 384
Illustrations: 2 Tables
Publication Year: 2007