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The Triumph of Israel's Radical Right
     

The Triumph of Israel's Radical Right

by Ami Pedahzur
 

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Two decades ago, the idea that a "radical right" could capture and drive Israeli politics seemed highly improbable. While it was a boisterous faction and received heavy media coverage, it constituted a fringe element. Yet by 2009, Israel's radical right had not only entrenched itself in mainstream Israeli politics, it was dictating policy in a wide range of areas.

Overview

Two decades ago, the idea that a "radical right" could capture and drive Israeli politics seemed highly improbable. While it was a boisterous faction and received heavy media coverage, it constituted a fringe element. Yet by 2009, Israel's radical right had not only entrenched itself in mainstream Israeli politics, it was dictating policy in a wide range of areas. The government has essentially caved to the settlers on the West Bank, and restrictions on non-Jews in Israel have increased in the past few years. Members of the radical right have assumed prominent positions in Israel's elite security forces. The possibility of a two state solution seems more remote than ever, and the emergence of ethnonationalist politician Avigdor Lieberman suggests that its power is increasing. Quite simply, if we want to understand the seemingly intractable situation in Israel today, we need a comprehensive account of the radical right. In The Triumph of Israel's Radical Right, acclaimed scholar Ami Pedahzur provides an invaluable and authoritative analysis of its ascendance to the heights of Israeli politics. After analyzing what, exactly, they believe in, he explains how mainstream Israeli policies like "the right of return" have served as unexpected foundations for their nativism and authoritarian tendencies. He then traces the right's steady rise, from the first intifada to the "Greater Israel" movement that is so prominent today. Throughout, he focuses on the radical right's institutional networks and how the movement has been able to expand its constituency. His closing chapter is grim yet realistic: he contends that a two state solution is no longer viable and that the vision of the radical rabbi Meir Kahane, who was a fringe figure while alive, has triumphed.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Triumph of Israel's Radical Right is a bold and personable book that establishes Ami Pedahzur as the late Ehud Sprinzak's successor as the premier scholar of political extremism in Israel."—Cas Mudde, University of Georgia, author of Populist Radical Right Parties in Europe

"Settlers, yes, but Ami Pedahzur brilliantly portrays the increasingly powerful radical right in Israel as much more than the settlers in the occupied territories. The Triumph of Israel's Radical Right portrays the evolution of the right from a group preoccupied with preventing the creation of a Palestinian state to an anti-democratic, nativist force that has made deep inroads into defining the character of the Israeli state."—Joel Migdal, University of Washington, co-author of The Palestinian People: A History

"If Israel's purposes are to serve as a 'light unto the nations' and to share with others the task of healing and repairing the world (Tikkun Olam), this book does a compelling job of explaining why these purposes are not being met. Ami Pedahzur does an estimable job of tracing the Israeli radical right from a marginal force to the dominant one in Israeli political life."—Leonard Weinberg, University of Nevada, Reno, author of Global Terrorism

"Pedahzur has crafted a remarkable, crisply written history of the rise of the settler movement after the 1967 War leading to recent triumphs of the radical Right in Israeli policies and elections. ... Recommended." —CHOICE

"The book is, first of all, the most detailed, systematic, and comprehensive work on the subject to date. If one wants to acquire a general knowledge of Israel's radical right, this is the book to read. If one aims to study a specific aspect of the phenomenon (e.g., Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination or the disengagement from Gaza), a specific grouping (e.g., a political party, an organization, or social movement) or a certain personality, this is the place to locate it, and then place it in its proper context. These details, reinforced by a timeline of major events, an appendix with figures concerning the settlements and the settlers, a table that presents the electoral achievements of the right, and illustrative maps, make this a must-have book for any scholar of Israeli politics."—Middle East Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199911349
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
10/15/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
20 MB
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Meet the Author

Ami Pedahzur is Professor of Government and a fellow of the Gale Chair of Judaic Studies at the University of Texas at Austin where he also serves as the head of the Israel Studies Collaborative at the Schusterman Center of Jewish Studies

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