The Challenge of Post-Zionism

Alternatives to Israeli Fundamentalist Politics

Ephraim Nimni

The Challenge of Post-Zionism

Ephraim Nimni

Distributed for Zed Books

224 pages | 5.4375 x 8.5 | © 2003  
Paper $40.95 ISBN: 9781856498944 Published January 2003 For sale in North and South America only
As an antidote the growing Israeli fundamentalism, in recent years a lively debate has developed in the Israeli media, intellectual circles and academia about the defining characteristics of Israel and the future. The argument, known as Post-Zionism, challenges some of the fundamental myths surrounding the early history and contemporary identity of the Israeli State. This argument is voiced by individuals and groups with different political agendas, but at the centre of the argument is the
desire to downplay the influence of Judaism in the definition of the state, and to move towards the idea that Israel should become a secular state of all its citizens. This argument has profound and radical implications for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and for Israeli politics, for it implies an improvement in the status of the Arab citizens of Israel and downgrades the status of Jews who are not citizens of Israel.

This volume presents this emerging debate. Its contributors include some of its main protagonists, Israeli citizens of Jewish and Palestinian background, including A'sad Ghanem, Uri Ram and Ilan Pappe. They explore Post-Zionism's meanings, ambiguities and prospects. Other contributors place it in its political context as Israeli society seems to be reaching an ideological crossroads. They also put forward criticisms of post-Zionism, and explore its implications for 'out' groups, including Palestinians, Israeli women and Jewish people living outside Israel. The book concludes with a fascinating assessment by Edward Said of the implications of this debate for a reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.

The significance of this volume goes beyond Israel's own emerging post-colonial identity and contains implications for theories of the post-colonial state generally.
Contents
Acknowledgements
Notes on Contributors
 
1. Introduction
            Ephraim Nimni
 
2. From Nation-State to Nation------State: Nation, History and Identity Struggles in Jewish Israel
            Uri Ram
Nationality and historicity
Globality and Locality
Neo-Zionism and post-Zionism
Identities and narratives
Concluding remarks: from historicism to post-historicism
 
3. The Square Circle: The Struggle for Survival of Traditional Zionism
            Ilan Pappé
Traditional Zionism: the demise of an intellectual illusion
The cartographic power of traditional Zionism: drawing the post-Oslo map
The neo-Zionist future: the making of an Israeli zealotocracy
Conclusion: can post-Zionism survive?
 
4. Zionism, Anti-Zionism, Post-Zionism
            Avishai Erhlich
Zionism is evolutionary and contingent
Responses to modernity: Judaism-religion and/or nationalism?
Changes with regard to religion among Jews
Three Jewish responses to nationalism
Main ideological decisions which shaped Zionism
Post-Zionism
Conclusion
 
5. Zionism, Post-Zionism and Anti-Zionism in Israel: Jews and Arabs in the Conflict over the Nature of the State
            As’ad Ghanam
The public commitment of Jews in Israel to the Jewish-Zionist and ethnic character of the state
The Jewish commitment to the ethnic-Zionist character of the state and attitudes toward the Palestinians in Israel
The Palestinians in Israel as an anti-Zionist group
Conclusions: the post-Zionist debate and its significance for the Palestinians in Israel
 
6. From Galut to T’futsoth: Post-Zionism and the Dis><location of Jewish Diasporas
            Ephraim Nimni
Zionism and diaspora Jews
Zionism and Jewish diasporic identity
Jewish emancipation and the transformation of the diaspora
Post-Haskalah diaspora Jewry and a post-Zionist Israel
Israel’s diaspora, Jewish or Israeli?
Conclusion: post-Zionism and post-Haskalah diaspora Jewry
 
7. Post-Zionist Discourse in Alternative Voices: A Feminist Perspective
            Hanna Herzog
Zionism, post-Zionism, and modernity – several background comments
We too have a share in Zionist history
Mothers of the nation
Women’s positioning as subversive logic
State apparatuses as genderizing apparatuses
Every woman has her own room and her own voice
Post-Zionist discourse and gender relations
Post-Zionist society from a feminist perspective
 
8. ‘You’re So Pretty – You Don’t Look Moroccan’
            Henriette Dahan-Kalev
 
9. Conclusion
            Nira Yuval Davis
 
Appendix – New History, Old ideas
            Edward Said
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
Google preview here