Jewish State, Pariah Nation: Israel and the Dilemmas of Legitimacy

Quid Pro Books
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Jewish statehood was restored in 1948 amid a struggle over legitimacy that has persisted in Israel ever since: Who rules? Who decides? Antagonism between the political left and right erupted into bloody violence over the Altalena. Secular-religious discord even made defining who is a Jew in a Jewish state contentious. 

After the Six-Day War, the return of religious Zionist settlers to biblical Judea and Samaria reframed the struggle over legitimacy. Who decides where in the Land of Israel Jews may live: settlers and rabbis or the government? Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982 provoked the first significant eruption of military disobedience, undermining the authority of the Israel Defense Forces with competing claims of personal conscience. 

Ever since the United Nations declared Zionism to be “a form of racism,” Israel has confronted an escalating international assault on its legitimacy. In political, academic, media, and cultural circles it has been demonized as an “apartheid,” even “Nazi,” state that much of the world despises.

These conflicts are explored in this illuminating study of the dilemmas of legitimacy in the world’s only Jewish state and most reviled pariah nation.

A new addition to the Contemporary Society Series from Quid Pro Books.

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About the author

Jerold S. Auerbach, identified as ”America’s foremost intellectual exponent of right-wing Zionism,” is the author of ten books, including Hebron Jews: Memory and Conflict in the Land of Israel (2009) and Brothers at War: Israel and the Tragedy of the Altalena (2011). He is Professor Emeritus of History at Wellesley College.
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Additional Information

Quid Pro Books
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Published on
Apr 6, 2014
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History / Jewish
History / Middle East / Israel & Palestine
Political Science / Geopolitics
Religion / Judaism / History
Social Science / Jewish Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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A collection of essays and insights from the hindsight of a renowned historian: "I was exceedingly fortunate to teach (for forty years) in an elite undergraduate college, where I could mentor intelligent young women who were eager to learn. But Wellesley, still a bastion of Christian privilege a century after its founding, continued to experience (and demurely tolerate) dismaying episodes of anti-Semitism. How ironic that Wellesley and Israel, each in its own distinctive way, had converged to liberate me from my past as a non-Jewish Jew. Regardless of the subjectlaw, modern American history, American Judaism, Israeldeference to the conventional wisdom never had been my style. I always enjoyed the stimulation of writing against the grain: discovering hidden meanings, challenging historical and political pieties, and exposing the self-serving ideology that often lurked beneath self-evident truths. Providing intellectual catnip, it also enabled me to reach readers far beyond the narrow confines of academic journals. My creative work always was done in the solitude of my study, my sanctum within my home. Enclosed within the treasured artifacts, maps, photographs, prints, and books accumulated during decades of research and travel, I explored the historical past that both inspired and reflected my own intellectual trajectory. Virtually every book I have written, to my genuine surprise, contained within it the seed of its successor. That, of course, is discernible only with hindsightwhich, after all, is the distinctive attribute of a historian. I invite my family, friends, and interested readers to accompany me to some favorite destinations during my journey."
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