Paper $27.00 ISBN: 9780745335810 Published July 2016 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada
Cloth $90.00 ISBN: 9780745335827 Published July 2016 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada

What is Modern Israel?

Yakov M. Rabkin

What is Modern Israel?

Yakov M. Rabkin

Distributed for Pluto Press

240 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 3/4 | © 2016
Paper $27.00 ISBN: 9780745335810 Published July 2016 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada
Cloth $90.00 ISBN: 9780745335827 Published July 2016 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada
Usually, we think of the state of modern Israel, as well as the late nineteenth-century Zionist movement that led to its founding, as a response to anti-Semitism which grew out of cultural and religious Judaism. In What Is Modern Israel?, however, Yakov M. Rabkin turns this understanding on its head, arguing convincingly that Zionism, far from being a natural development of Judaism, in fact has its historical and theological roots in Protestant Christianity. While most Jewish people viewed Zionism as marginal or even heretical, Christian enthusiasm for the Restoration of the Jews to the Promised Land transformed the traditional Judaic yearning for ‘Return’—a spiritual concept with a very different meaning—into a political project.
 
Drawing on many overlooked pages of history, and using on a uniquely broad range of sources in English, French, Hebrew, and Russian, Rabkin shows that Zionism was conceived as a sharp break with Judaism and Jewish continuity. Rabkin argues that Israel’s past and present must be understood in the context of European ethnic nationalism, colonial expansion, and geopolitical interests rather than—as is all too often the case—an incarnation of Biblical prophecies or a culmination of Jewish history.
Contents
Acknowledgements
Glossary
Introduction
1 The Land of Israel and its Place in Jewish Tradition
2 The Jews in Europe: Between equality and extermination
3 A Return to the Promised Land as a Return to History
4 The Zionist Enterprise
5 The Nazi Genocide: Its memory and its lessons
6 The making and maintaining of the Zionist State
7 Jewish Opposition to Zionism
8 Israeli society and changing Jewish communities
9 Israel in the International Arena
Conclusion. A State Without Borders
Notes
Index
Review Quotes
Mondoweiss
"One of the most important critiques of Zionism ever published."
Joseph Agassi, Tel Aviv University
"A valuable contribution to the badly needed debate about Israel’s past, present and future."
Edgar Morin, founding member of the International Ethical, Scientific and Political Collegium, Paris
"A work of impressive scope and great precision."
Brian Klug, Oxford University
"Vital for thinking about the conflict."
Georges Corm, Saint Joseph University, Beirut
"A major contribution to our understanding of Israel. The author is a man of ethical and moral principles, and at the same time an historian of great calibre."
 
Shlomo Sand, Tel Aviv University
"Those who believe that Zionism is a sequel of Judaism may do well to read this book; those who believe that Israel is a Jewish state must read it."
Gregory Baum, Officer of the Order of Canada, Centre for Justice and Faith
"Convincingly and thoughtfully, the author analyses current political and religious trends in Israeli society. A remarkable accomplishment: to tell a complex story with such clarity and punch."
Dr. Rev. Pierre Goldberger, former Principal of the Theological College of United Church of Canada
"Erudite and attentive to detail, full of surprises even for those familiar with the subject, and at the same time easily accessible because written in a simple and direct language. Even though it is meticulously referenced, this book reads like a novel and fills an important gap in the extensive literature on Israel and Palestine."
 
Richard Falk, former UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights
"A key text in the search for a sustainable and just approach to the future of Israel and Palestine, and should be read and reflected upon by anyone concerned with the wellbeing of these two peoples."
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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