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Critical Essays on Israeli Society, Politics, and Culture

Books on Israel, Volume II

Ian S. Lustick, Barry Rubin

Publication Year: 1988

By comparing these and other modern issues to those of ancient Israel, Sharkansky shows that Israel’s deeply-rooted problems as a nation are likely to continue, occasionally punctuated by violent outbursts.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. iii-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Preface

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pp. vii-xi

We are pleased to present twelve critical essays by American and Israeli scholars, reviewing recent work in a variety of disciplines concerning modem Israel. Although structuring their contributions as evaluations of new books (in Hebrew and in English) the authors present their own perspectives on the issues in question, as well as overviews...

Part 1: History and Politics

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1. Revisionism and the Reconstruction of Israeli History

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pp. 3-25

As the Israelis. Americans. and British gradually open their archives from the 1940s and 1950s. the history of Israel's early years. both its domestic policies and its foreign relations. is undergoing far-reaching and controversial revision.The appearance of these two volumes represents an important addition to a growing body of revisionist literature based on these newly available sources.

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2. The Ambiguities of a 'Binational' Israel

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pp. 27-40

This volume has a catchy title and subtitle, but unfortunately neither provide sufficient thematic focus or conceptual clarity to produce a coherent volume. Although Ofira Seliktar provides in the lead essay a reasonable consideration of subjective, political, and legal aspects of binationalism the other contributors ignore her efforts. Probably her essay was not available to them when they wrote...

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3. Ideological Politics or the Politics of Demography: The Aftermath of the Six-Day-War

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pp. 41-61

Since the Six Day War both Israel's internal and external political life have been radically altered. Two "new" actors- the Likud and the PLO- have assumed commanding significance. A juxtaposition of three recently published books- one looking at the period before the metamorphosis. the other two after- allows us to inquire into the dimensions and significance of these changes. Whether the...

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4. Sovereignty, Legitimacy, and Political Action

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pp. 63-73

The place that Jewish law. or halacha. occupied for the Jews of Palestine shifted after the establishment of the state of Israel. Citizens of Israel. be they Jewish. Muslim or Christian. had several vehicles for the creation of state laws which could. but need not have reflected halachic values. These were political parties. national elections and the Knesset. Neither these modem instruments of national...

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5. Testing for Democracy in Israel

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pp. 75-90

Various strands of Israeli research literature have for many years been characterized by a tendency to view Israel as an exceptional phenomenon, which cannot be understood by means of existing research tools, In this respect Yishai's research, which applies interest group theory to Israeli politics, constitutes one among several laudable attempts to reduce Israel to its proper dimensions,...

Part 2: Society, Culture, and Religion

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6. Between the Promised Land and the Land of Promise: Israeli Emigration and Israeli Identity

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pp. 93-108

Although the phenomenon of emigration from the land of Israel has been a feature of the Zionist enterprise in Israel since its very inception, it has become a topic of serious social science research only in recent years. Whether or not emigration from Israel. or yerida., is actually on the increase, and whether or not it has reached inordinate proportions, it is clearly perceived as a danger to the very...

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7. National Neurosis in Israeli Literature: A.B. Yehoshua

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pp. 109-128

A significant change occurred in Israeli literature in the 1970s as writers attempted to contend with the objective features of the Israeli condition and to fashion a fictional world constituting a paradigm of Israeli society. The most prominent example of this change is found in the work of A.B. Yehoshua, whose innovation is the presentation of a model opposed to that of conventional Zionism.

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8. Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel

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pp. 129-143

These three books are all concerned with religion and nationalism, with the state of the extreme "right-wing" in Israel today, although only Mergui and Simonnot, perhaps as Europeans, use the notion of "the right" unselfconsciously. Lustick's central concept is "fundamentalism," and Aronoff casts his net rather more widely, to ask questions about Israel's political culture as a whole. In...

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9. Exploring Answers to Zionism's Decay: Two Israeli Authors Rediscover Happiness

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pp. 145-163

The most recently translated novels of Israel's two pre-eminent writers. Amos Oz and A.B. Yehoshua. refer only obliquely to the country's political situation. However. both contain curious parallels which illuminate Israeli literature's complex psychological relation to Zionism. One could make a strong case that Yehoshua. at least. intended to produce a novel dealing only with its characters'...

Part 3: Foreign Relations

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10. Human Rights in Israel's Territories: Politics and Law in Interaction

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pp. 167-183

Since the Yom Kippur War of 1973 there has not been a major, total war between Israel and an Arab state. and since the Lebanon War of 1982 the effectiveness of the Palestine Liberation Organization as a military challenge to Israel has declined dramatically. At the same time. however. the Arab-Israeli conflict has gone through a metamorphosis. acquiring a new form of confrontation. a Palestinian-Israeli intercommunal...

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11. American Public Opinion toward Israel and the Palestinians

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pp. 185-192

Compared to the rhetoric and polemics which often masquerade as social science regarding Middle East issues. it is gratifying to come across two reasonable volumes which report carefully collected data. Political preferences and predispositions are sometimes evident in the analyses. but they are not allowed to emasculate the data. The reader is left with enough information to check the authors' conclusions.

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12. Palestinian Leadership on the West Bank

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pp. 193-200

Emile Sahliyeh's In Search of Leadership: West Bank Politics since 1967 is a timely publication. It sheds light on a region which, since the eruption of the Palestinian Intifada in December 1987, has become an important focus of world attention. Sahliyeh's book systematically examines the basic characteristics of West Bank politics, the role played by the major internal and external actors involved,...

About the Contributors

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pp. 201-204

About the Editors

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pp. 205-


E-ISBN-13: 9781438411460
E-ISBN-10: 1438411464
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791406465
Print-ISBN-10: 0791406466

Page Count: 229
Publication Year: 1988

Series Title: SUNY series in Israeli Studies
Series Editor Byline: Russell Stone