Cover image for Brother against brother : violence and extremism in Israeli politics from Altalena to the Rabin assassination
Brother against brother : violence and extremism in Israeli politics from Altalena to the Rabin assassination
Sprinzak, Ehud.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Free Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xii, 366 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HN660.Z9 V57 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Sprinzak paints a disturbing portrait of the dark side of Israeli politics, exposing the shift from ideological dissent to violence and terrorism, culminating in the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. His book is a remarkable analysis of the violence by Jews against Jews in Israel and the sense of restraint among the conflicting parties.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

As Israel celebrates its fiftieth anniversary, Sprinzak, a Hebrew University political scientist, examines "the origin and evolution of domestic extremism and violence in Israeli society," emphasizing violence between Jews. For Sprinzak, as for other scholars, the Six Day War in 1967 was a watershed. Brother against Brother analyzes the internal tensions of the "First Israeli Republic" (1948^-67) and those of the "Second," which culminated in the 1994 Hebron massacre and the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Sprinzak has studied this subject for decades; his analysis is lucid and nuanced, drawing thoughtful distinctions between different sources of division (political, religious, ethnic, etc.), and tracing (as Karpin and Friedman did in Murder in the Name of God [BKL S 1 98]) the "radicalization of the religious right" in the '90s. But Sprinzak demonstrates that domestic violence is not a new Israeli phenomenon, and that the nation needs to recognize the threat it poses to deal effectively with both domestic and foreign affairs. --Mary Carroll

Choice Review

Sprinzak, an Israeli academician, is one of his country's finest authorities on the phenomenon of violence in Israel. His analysis is set in two periods: the birth of the state (1948) to the Arab-Israeli conflict (1967), and from there to the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin and the massacre of Muslim worshipers in Hebron. The concluding section analyzes why Israeli Jews use violence in pursuit of political objectives. Sprinzak's analysis is purposely set in a historical and cultural context, in which ideologically directed individuals created a Jewish political entity in a region where the threat of external violence from political neighbors combined with their own cultural notion of a sense of folk that opposed violence. Jews in Israel are reared with a reluctance to use violence, but when faced with a perceived threat to their religious and political existence from beyond and within the state, faith and patriotism combine and they resort to violence as a form of defense. Best supplemented by Sam N. Lehman-Wilzig, Stiff-Necked People (1991), and Gadi Wolfsfeld, The Politics of Provocation (1988). Recommended for those interested in the causes of violence and in Israeli politics. Upper-division undergraduates and above. S. R. Silverburg Catawba College