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The Tragedy of Zionism: How Its Revolutionary Past Haunts Israeli Democracyby Bernard Avishai
Synopses & Reviews
The subject of intense controversy when it was first published in 1985, The Tragedy of Zionism provides illuminating insight into the history behind the headlines. Now revised, this poignant chronicle addresses timely and compelling questions: could Israel be a democratic state if, in the name of being a Jewish state, it discriminated against non-Jews, including a fifth of its citizens who are of Palestinian Arab origin? Could it be a Jewish state without granting a privileged position to Jewish orthodoxy? The Tragedy of Zionism calls for democracy as an end in itself, not as a political luxury, but as an indispensable means to settle disputes nonviolently.
Book News Annotation:
Declaring Zionist ideas "sound in their time," Avishai (business and government, the Interdisciplinary Center, Israel) argues that they were never proper for the running of a democratic state and that their continuing predominance in Israeli political discourse threatens greater and greater cycles of violence. He explores the roots of the tenets and institutions of the Zionist project and analyzes how they have conditioned political realities up until 1985 (when the work was first published). He has appended new material in the form of a prologue and an epilogue that assess the current state of Israeli politics. Distributed by Allworth Press.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
This original and acclaimed book explores how the impetus to settle in the "Whole" Land of Israel after 1967 derived from unexamined Zionist commitments which, though perhaps defensible in the 1930s, have become increasingly dangerous for Israeli democracy since the 1980s. It is also a chronicle of the unexpected, tragic ways the heroic Zionist theories and institutions have come to threaten Israeli democracy and to burden relations with Palestinians since the Six Day War.
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History and Social Science » Middle East » General History