By Frederick E. Greenspahn
For a rustic smaller than Vermont, with approximately a similar inhabitants as Honduras, smooth Israel gets a outstanding quantity of recognition. For supporters, it's a certain bastion of democracy within the heart East, whereas detractors view it as a racist outpost of Western colonialism. The romanticization of Israel turned relatively favorite in 1967, while its army prowess surprised a Jewish international nonetheless reeling from the experience of powerlessness dramatized by way of the Holocaust. That imagery has grown ever extra seen, with Israel’s supporters idealizing its technological achievements and its competitors attributing nearly each challenge within the area, if now not past, to its imperialistic aspirations.
The contradictions and competing perspectives of contemporary Israel are the topic of this ebook. there's a lot to think about approximately sleek Israel along with the center East clash. over the last iteration, a considerable physique of scholarship has explored a variety of points of the rustic, together with its techniques to citizenship and immigration, the humanities, the women’s flow, spiritual fundamentalism, and language; yet a lot of that paintings has so far been restricted in the partitions of the academy. This booklet doesn't search to not unravel both the country’s inner debates or its fight with the Arab international, yet to provide a pattern of up to date students’ discoveries and discussions approximately sleek Israel in an obtainable approach. In all the parts mentioned, competing narratives grapple for prominence, and it truly is those that are highlighted during this quantity.
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Extra resources for Contemporary Israel: New Insights and Scholarship
For example, the dominant political parties at the time the Emergency Regulations were imposed, mainly Mapai (the predecessor of the Labor Party) and Mapam, tried to establish subservient Arab satellite parties while not accepting them as regular members in the overall party, in order to recruit Arab votes and serve the party’s agenda. At the same time, the state outlawed independent Arab political organization. In 1965, a group of Arab activists associated as Al-Ard (the land), forming a “Socialist List” in order to run for office in the parliamentary elections.
Israel erased Palestinian space both physically and symbolically. The state completely demolished hundreds of towns that had been inhabited by Palestinians before the 1948 ethnic cleansing. This process continued vigorously after 1967. Even Palestinian spaces that were not physically destroyed were symbolically erased. For example, Ein Houd was one of the very few Palestinian villages that Israel did not physically eliminate, but its Palestinian inhabitants were expelled and became either internally displaced (many camping just outside 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 their town) or refugees in Arab countries.
Cohen, The Present Absentee: Palestinian Refugees in Israel since 1948 [in Hebrew] (Jerusalem: Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, 2000). Similar processes of symbolic erasure took place in other Palestinian spaces, such as Jaffa and Jerusalem. The state recognized the town in 1996 after a long legal struggle, and it became known as Ein Hawd, with the emphasis on the classical Arabic pronunciation and transliteration of the original town’s name in order to distinguish it from the now Judaized town Ein Hod.