Cover image for From Herzl to Rabin : the changing image of Zionism
From Herzl to Rabin : the changing image of Zionism
Rubinstein, Amnon.
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Publication Information:
New York : Holmes & Meier, c.
Physical Description:
xiii, 283 pages ; 24 cm
Zionism and the quest for a new Jewish identity -- The meaning of normalization -- Religious versus secular tensions -- Can Israel be part of the Middle East? -- The Holocaust and the struggle for Israel's independence -- From the six-day war to Oslo -- Toward Rabin's assassination -- No more Sabras -- Post-Zionism and Anti-Zionism -- A home: not a temple.
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DS149 .R818 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Traces the history of the Israeli state, showing both the political and religious aspects of Zionism and the attacks on it by the haredim and Post- and anti-Zionists. Argues that to be a Post- or anti-Zionist is to undermine the existence of the state of Israel and its necessary place in the world.

Author Notes

Amnon Rubinstein, a distinguished writer and speaker and former dean of the Tel Aviv Law School, began his political career as founder of the "Shinui" party in 1974. He has been a member of the Knesset (Israel's Parliament) since 1977. At present, he serves as Chairman of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Zionism has been co-opted by violent right-wing extremists and misunderstood by left-wing post- and anti-Zionist intellectuals, argues Rubinstein in this very dense and complex but illuminating account of the movement that resulted in the modern-day State of Israel. The fruit of this co-optation was the 1996 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, he contends. Rubinstein, who has long been a journalist, human rights activist and member of Knesset (he was also a minister in Rabin's government), advocates a return to what he calls the original tenets of Zionism, a movement that sought to establish a democratic home for the Jewish people, not a state governed by Mosaic law. "Only by returning to original Zionism," writes Rubinstein, can Israel continue as a Jewish state and live in peace and security. His most compelling chapter, "Toward Rabin's Assassination," chronicles the rise of religious nationalist extremism, which Rubinstein dates to Israel's victory in 1967's Six-Day War. He traces the rise of Gush Emunim, the ultra-Orthodox group whose members, despite Israeli prohibitions, moved to the Arab-occupied West Bank, forcing the Israeli government to protect them. He also quotes Yigal Amir, who, during an interrogation by the police after he assassinated Rabin, cited newly coined ultra-Orthodox rabbinic statements that he interpreted as sanctioning violence against anyoneÄJew, Arab or otherwiseÄwho disagreed with their vision of the Zionist ideal. Rubinstein's assessment may count in the long runÄclearly he has the ear of Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who contributes a foreword to this book. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

Rubinstein, a member of the Knesset since 1977, has written an important history of Zionism as well as a warning that the Jewish state is caught up in an internal struggle between those who seek peace with the Palestinians and those opposed to the formula of "land for peace." From Herzl to Rabin, the Zionist movement was committed to creating a state that would take its place among the family of nations. Since the Six-Day War, however, this vision of normalization has been challenged by Israel's religious right, which sees itself in an age of messianic expectation and rejects the 1993 Oslo Accords. The author distinguishes between the secular Zionists, who seek to establish a Jewish state that would embody the virtues of peace and justice, and the religious right, who believe the Jews are a chosen people of a living God, viewing the land of Israel as inalienable, and challenging the legitimacy of any Israeli leader who might trade the land God promised to the Jewish people to make peace with the Palestinians. To be read along with Yoram Hazony's The Jewish State (2000). All levels. J. Fischel Millersville University