He shows that virtually every major problem faced by contemporary Israel, a half-century after it came into existence, was foreshadowed by the events and circumstances that precipitated and conditioned its emergence. Sicker examines the seemingly irreconcilable differences between the left and right extremes of the political spectrum; between the religious community and the secular; and between the Zionists and the anti-Zionists. Today, a half-century later, these same issues are causing an increasing polarization of Israeli society, with uncertain ramifications for the future.
Though British rule and the yearning for a Jewish national home contributed to a foundation of solidarity, Exiled in the Homeland presents the many ways in which the message of emigration settled into the consciousness of the settlers. Considering the benefits and costs of their Zionist commitments, Divine explores a variety of motivations and outcomes, ranging from those newly arrived immigrants who harnessed their ambition for the goal of radical transformation to those who simply dreamed of living a better life. Also capturing the day-to-day experiences in families that faced scarce resources, as well as the British policies that shaped a variety of personal decisions on the part of the newcomers, Exiled in the Homeland provides new keys to understanding this pivotal chapter in Jewish history.
"This book tells what should have been known and isn't—that Israel's hidden force is as formidable as its recognized physical strength."
— Israeli President Shimon Peres