Synopses & Reviews
"Inspired and highly informative: a stunningly fresh narrative of a century old conflict." -- Amos Elon
"During the past two decades, Avishai has emerged as one of the most eloquent and penetrating analysts of the Israeli scene: of its politics, international relations, religious confrontations, and social fabric; of its national triumphs and failures; of its collective hopes and looming perils. This volume can only add to Avishai's reputation. It is indispensable reading even for veteran students of the Jewish State." -- Howard M. Sachar, author of A HISTORY OF ISRAEL
"If justice and reason still count for anything, "The Hebrew Republic" will profoundly change the Middle East conversation, both here and in Israel. If the notions of a Jewish state and a democratic society sit uneasily together -- if they are, in some sense, thesis and antithesis -- then Bernard Avishai has brilliantly delineated the indispensable synthesis. This is an exciting and supremely important book."--Hendrik Hertzberg, senior editor, The New Yorker
"Avishai's book is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand not only the genuine complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but also the real prospects for a sane and peaceful outcome."--Dov Frohman, former CEO, Intel-Israel
"Anyone who cares about Israel, the Palestinians, or peace, should read 'The Hebrew Republi - a comprehensive analysis, a compelling vision, a wrenching cri de coeur. Of all the brilliant, brave voices heard here - and there are many - none is as indispensible as Avishai's, with this book, has now become." -- James Carroll, author of CONSTANTINE'S SWORD: THE CHURCH AND THE JEWS
"Addressing the state of Israel's democracy as well as security, Avishai (The Tragedy of Zionism), a contributor to the New York Review of Books, presents a three-fold approach to obtaining long-term peace and security. Most original and no doubt controversial is the idea of establishing a 'Hebrew republic' that 'would be patently the state of the Jewish people,' but would not privilege Jews and Judaism. (Avishai details current discrimination against Arab Israelis.) The other parts are negotiating a peace accord with the Palestinians along the lines of the Geneva Initiative and forming an Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian economic union. Avishai distills his approach through conversations with 50 Israeli-Jewish, Israeli-Arab and Palestinian figures, including former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, novelist A.B. Yehoshua and Samir Abdullah, director of the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute. He also has a fascinating discussion with some young Israeli Jews who wrestle with how Jewish, and how integrated into the Middle East, Israel should be. His plan for economic union will be achievable only with a peace accord, and Avishai has little to say on how to get there. But he covers a great many key topics relating to Israel's internal dynamics as well as its regional and global position, now and in the future." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Political economist Bernard Avishai has been writing and thinking about Israel since moving there to volunteer during the 1967 War. now he synthesizes his years of study and searching into a short, urgent polemic that posits that the country must become a more complete democracy if it has any chance for a peaceful future. He explores the connection between Israel’s democratic crisis and the problems besetting the nation—the expansion of settlements, the alienation of Israeli Arabs, and the exploding ultraorthodox population. He also makes an intriguing case for Israel’s new global enterprises to change the country’s future for the better.
With every year, peace in Israel seems to recede further into the distance, while Israeli arts and businesses advance. This contradiction cannot endure much longer. But in cutting through the inflammatory arguments of partisans on all sides, Avishai offers something even more enticing than pragmatic solutions—he offers hope.
About the Author
BERNARD AVISHAI is consulting editor at the Harvard Business Review. Formerly a professor of business at Duke University and the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, he has written for the New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, the New York Review of Books, and Slate, among others. He lives in Wilmot, New Hampshire, and in Jerusalem.