The Founding Myths of Israel

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9780691016948: The Founding Myths of Israel


The well-known historian and political scientist Zeev Sternhell here advances a radically new interpretation of the founding of modern Israel. The founders claimed that they intended to create both a landed state for the Jewish people and a socialist society. However, according to Sternhell, socialism served the leaders of the influential labor movement more as a rhetorical resource for the legitimation of the national project of establishing a Jewish state than as a blueprint for a just society. In this thought-provoking book, Sternhell demonstrates how socialist principles were consistently subverted in practice by the nationalist goals to which socialist Zionism was committed.


Sternhell explains how the avowedly socialist leaders of the dominant labor party, Mapai, especially David Ben Gurion and Berl Katznelson, never really believed in the prospects of realizing the "dream" of a new society, even though many of their working-class supporters were self-identified socialists. The founders of the state understood, from the very beginning, that not only socialism but also other universalistic ideologies like liberalism, were incompatible with cultural, historical, and territorial nationalism. Because nationalism took precedence over universal values, argues Sternhell, Israel has not evolved a constitution or a Bill of Rights, has not moved to separate state and religion, has failed to develop a liberal concept of citizenship, and, until the Oslo accords of 1993, did not recognize the rights of the Palestinians to independence.


This is a controversial and timely book, which not only provides useful historical background to Israel's ongoing struggle to mobilize its citizenry to support a shared vision of nationhood, but also raises a question of general significance: is a national movement whose aim is a political and cultural revolution capable of coexisting with the universal values of secularism, individualism, and social justice? This bold critical reevaluation will unsettle long-standing myths as it contributes to a fresh new historiography of Zionism and Israel. At the same time, while it examines the past, The Founding Myths of Israel reflects profoundly on the future of the Jewish State.


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From the Inside Flap:


"Sternhell's objective is to take a complete inventory of [two forces shaping Israeli identity]: nationalism and socialism. This wide-ranging ambition, borne of a historian's true inspiration, rests on impressive documentation."--Franois Furet, Le Nouvel Observateur


About the Author:

Zeev Sternhell is Leon Blum Professor of Political Science at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He is the author, among works in several languages, of Neither Right nor Left and The Birth of Fascist Ideology, both published by Princeton University Press.

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Sternhell, Zeev
Editorial: Princeton University Press (1997)
ISBN 10: 0691016941 ISBN 13: 9780691016948
Nuevos Tapa dura Cantidad: 2
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Descripción Princeton University Press, 1997. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110691016941

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Zeev Sternhell, David Maisel (Translator)
Editorial: Princeton Univ Pr (1997)
ISBN 10: 0691016941 ISBN 13: 9780691016948
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Descripción Princeton Univ Pr, 1997. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0691016941

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Zeev Sternhell
Editorial: Princeton University Press (1997)
ISBN 10: 0691016941 ISBN 13: 9780691016948
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Irish Booksellers
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Descripción Princeton University Press, 1997. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0691016941

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Zeev Sternhell
ISBN 10: 0691016941 ISBN 13: 9780691016948
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Descripción Estado de conservación: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Nº de ref. de la librería 97806910169481.0

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