Clash of Identities: Explorations in Israeli and Palestinian Societies

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By revisiting the past hundred years of shared Palestinian and Jewish-Israeli history, Baruch Kimmerling reveals surprising relations of influence between a stateless indigenous society and the settler-immigrants who would later form the state of Israel. Shattering our assumptions about these two seemingly irreconcilable cultures, Kimmerling composes a sophisticated portrait of one side's behavior and characteristics and the way in which they irrevocably shaped those of the other.

Kimmerling focuses on the clashes, tensions, and complementarities that link Jewish, Palestinian, and Israeli identities. He explores the phenomena of reciprocal relationships between Jewish and Arab communities in mandatory Palestine, relations between state and society in Israel, patterns of militarism, the problems of jurisdiction in an immigrant-settler society, and the ongoing struggle of Israel to achieve legitimacy as both a Jewish and a democratic state. By merging Israeli and Jewish studies with a vast body of scholarship on Palestinians and the Middle East, Kimmerling introduces a unique conceptual framework for analyzing the cultural, political, and material overlap of both societies. A must read for those concerned with Israel and the relations between Jews and Arabs, Clash of Identities is a provocative exploration of the ever-evolving, always-contending identities available to Israelis and Palestinians and the fascinating contexts in which they take form.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Shofar - Zachary Lockman

Essential reading for serious scholars of Israel

Essential reading for serious scholars of Israel

— Zachary Lockman

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231143288
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2008
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Baruch Kimmerling (1939-2007) was George S. Wise Professor of Sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Widely regarded as the leading Israeli sociologist of his generation, Kimmerling's books include Politicide: Ariel Sharon's War Against the Palestinians, The Invention and Decline of Israeliness, and, with Joel S. Migdal, The Palestinian People: A History.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface     ix
A Model for Analyzing Reciprocal Relations Between the Jewish and Arab Communities in Mandatory Palestine     1
Collective Identity as Agency and Structuration of Society: The Israeli Example   Dahlia Moore     25
The Formation Process of Palestinian Collective Identities: The Ottoman and Colonial Periods     58
Between Primordial and Civil Definitions of the Collective Identity: Eretz Israel or the State of Israel?     85
State Building, State Autonomy, and the Identity of Society: The Case of the Israeli State     104
Patterns of Militarism in Israel     132
The Social Construction of Israel's National Security     154
Jurisdiction in an Immigrant-Settler Society: The Jewish and Democratic State     179
Exchanging Territories for Peace: A Macrosociological Approach     199
Nationalism, Identity, and Citizenship: An Epilogue to the Yehoshua-Shammas Controversy: A Non-Platontic Dialogue     222
The Power-Oriented Settlement: PLO-Israel: The Road to the Oslo Agreement and Back?     235
Politicide: Ariel Sharon's Legacy and the Palestinians     256
Epilogue     271
Chronology of Major Events     303
Notes     335
Index     415

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