In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Book Reviews 157 Shortcomings notwithstanding, Land and Power is a significant and an excellent contribution to our understanding of Zionism and the Yishuv. I recommend the book highly. Michael M. Laskier World Sephardic Educational Center and the University ofJudaism Society and Settlement: Jewish Land of Israel in the Twentieth Century, by Aharon Kellerman. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993. 321 pp. $59.50 (c); $19.95 (P). The author states in his Preface that the goal of this study is to "present a bridging experiment between general essays on the geography of Israel ... and general works on Israeli society in the past and present" (p. xiii). Rather than concentrating his efforts only on issues of Israeli geography, the author focuses on three broader sets of interactions between geographic and social variables, what he prefers to refer to as "dialectics." This volume is a fascinating study of the political geography of Israel, but from a very distinct perspective. The subtitle, "Jewish Land of Israel in the Twentieth Century," makes explicit the focus on the Land of Israel, Greater Israel including the territories under its control since 1967. Other units of analysis are also discussed here, including the State of Israel, the occupied territories, and the West Bank (or Judea and Samaria), but the focus is on the greater Land of Israel. Within that area of focus, the concentration of this volume is on the process of building settlements and the tensions that have come out of that activity. The three major types of tension-the "dialectics". referred to above-involved in the modern settlement process by Jews in the Land of Israel are related, yet separate. One of these is the relationship between society and social relationships on one hand, and geographical space on the other. This is the general focus of the first part of the book. The second tension involves that between people and social structures; this is the general focus of the second part of the book. The third type of tension involves the conflict between ideology (or "vision") and reality, and how it affects the geopolitics of the region; this is the focus of the third part of the book. It is important to note that the book is rich with data in a variety of forms. There are many tables with both historical and contemporary data 158 SHOFAR Spring 1994 Vol. 12, No.3 from a variety of primary (as well as secondary) sources, ranging from the Central Bureau of Statistics to telephone books to various pre-Statehood archives. Numerous maps and figures are included to illustrate the narrative that Kellerffian provides. - The book is not only broadly thematic, approaching the issues from the perspective of the three major "dialectics" described above, but it also is regionally focused. Specific chapters describe Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the North, and the South, allowing a degree of concentration on regional problems and issues that might not be possible with only a broad thematic approach. In these sections detailed maps permit a degree of discussion about settlements in regions that simply is not found elsewhere. Kellerman concludes that four major phases of settlement (and consequently settlement-related tensions) can be identified in the historical analysis of the "modern Jewish Land of Israel." These "four major phases in the emerging relationship between society and settlements in Israel" (p. 263) each display different priorities in Zionist goals, different patterns of settlement, different articulated values, and different settlement forms. These four periods are referred to by Kellerman as those of "incubation" (1880s to 1920s), "formation" (1920s to 1940s), "maturation" (1950s to 1960s), and "turbulence" (1970s and 1980s). This is a very interesting book, and one that touches upon some very significant issues for the Israeli polity. To take just one example, Kellerman concludes that it is difficult "to assess the geographical ramifications of the Palestinian and the religious conflicts" in modern Israeli society, and that the religiOUS conflict "seems to be the most serious of the three major struggles, because it relates to the very identity ofJewishness in a modern era and under the conditions ofJewish sovereignty" (p. 279). The book is well written and will appeal not only to geographers...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 157-158
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.