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Book Reviews 121 policies when they were applied might indicate as much. Other reasons to wonder about his own orientation are the downplaying of terrorism in connection with the PLO and excessive stress on the importance of domestic factors (pro-Israel interest groups) in shaping foreign policy on this particular issue. He also overlooks legal issues, such as the legitimacy of Israel's continued occupation of the territories in the absence of peace treaties. If one can keep these qualifiers in mind, this book can be a helpful resource that enables us to comprehend the context in which Israelis and PLO representatives began to negotiate directly. The inclusion of the texts of numerous key documents as appendices is especially useful. Harold M. Waller Department of Political Science McGill University The State of Israel inJewish Public Thought: The Quest for Collective Identity, by Yosef Gorny. New York: New York University Press, 1994. 279 pp. $40.00. Within three days of my having finished my reading ofYosef Gorny's The State ofIsrael inJewish Public Thought, I came upon articles in the New York Times and the Jerusalem Report that discussed the following public figures and their activities: David Levy and the largely Moroccan group he is leading in a split-off from Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party; Itzak Rabin, Shimon Peres, and Yasir Arafat and the resumption of their interrupted negotiation over the autonomous PLO-run area on the West Bank; Natan Sharansky and his announcement ofthe creation of a political movement designed to look after the interests of those Russian Jews who have emigrated to Israel over the last decade. Not a single one of those names appears in the index of Gorny's book. Gorny's stated subject is "the collective thinking ofJewish intellectuals ," and since the period on which he focuses is the half-century between 1942 and 1992 he does not feel called upon to venture very often or far into the tangle which is world Zionism in the'earlier period. The trouble is that he draws his parameters so narrowly as to exclude almost everybody connected with the world of practical politics, particularly Israeli but also everyone who played a military role. The result is that for much of the time the reader is likely to have the impression that Zionism was essentially an intellectual exercise, and that the only real violence-or action, for 122 SHOFAR Summer 1996 Vol. 14, No.4 that matter-underlying the creation and then maintenance of the State of Israel was the verbal violence engaged in by delegates of various Zionist factions meeting in the Hotel Biltmore or whatever other generally New York City hotels were used for their meetings. Gorny's book is chockfull of the name of such Zionists, many pages containing a dozen or so of them. But two sets of names ofAmerican Jews who were decidedly peripheral to the ongoing Zionist movement call attention to themselves: that of the young New Left Jews who for a very few years in the 70s can be said to have flirted with the idea of Israel, and the neo-Conservatives like Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz whom Gorny singles out for his critical attention. Where the New Left types are concerned, Gorny strikes me as being rather indulgent, much like middleclass American liberals who for so many years have beamed on their radical sons (and since the 60s, their. daughters) for doing the kinds of things they would never themselves do. As for Kristol and like-minded Jewish neoConservatives -and Gorny writes as if all the neo-Conservatives are Jews, and therefore have always had a special responsibility to the Zionist cause-Gorny, for reasons which are not entirely clear to me, is as venomous and personal in his writings about them as he is going to get in this largely dry, impersonal book. In his treatment of this important development in the social and political thought of the larger American society, Gorny approaches fatuity when in an attempt to balance what he regards as New Right and New Left he characterizes the neo-Conservatives as having espoused a "utopia of the right." At least Gorny spells Kristol's and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 121-123
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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