Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel: New Introduction by Norton Mezvinsky

Overview

This is a new edition of a classic and highly controversial book that examines the history and consequences of Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel. Fully updated, with new chapters and a new introduction by Norton Mezvinsky, it is essential reading for anyone who wants a full understanding of the way religious extremism has affected the political development of the modern Israeli state. Acclaimed writer and human rights campaigner Israel Shahak was, up util his death in 2001, one of the most respected of Israel?s ...

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Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel

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Overview

This is a new edition of a classic and highly controversial book that examines the history and consequences of Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel. Fully updated, with new chapters and a new introduction by Norton Mezvinsky, it is essential reading for anyone who wants a full understanding of the way religious extremism has affected the political development of the modern Israeli state. Acclaimed writer and human rights campaigner Israel Shahak was, up util his death in 2001, one of the most respected of Israel’s peace activists – he was, in the words of Gore Vidal, ‘the latest – if not the last – of the great prophets.’ Written by Shahak together with American scholar Norton Mezvinsky, this books shows how Jewish fundamentalism in Israel, as shown in the activities of religious settlers, is of great political importance. The authors trace the history and development of Jewish fundamentalism. They place the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin in the context of what they see as a tradition of punishments and killings of those Jews perceived to be heretics. They conclude that Jewish fundamentalism is essentially hostile to democracy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Illuminative, insightful and accessible, this is an important book that deserves as wide a readership as possible.' —Ethnic Conflict Research Digest

'A first-class overview of the different fundamentalist movements … A fascinating and thought-provoking book.' —Neue Zurcher Zeitung (Switzerland)

'Shahak and Mezvinsky’s explicit objective is to rouse the reader, particularly the North American reader, into an acknowledgement that Jewish fundamentalism is as ‘pernicious’ as other fundamentalisms. This requires us to approach the Jewish past not as folk-tale, but as history.' -Outlook

'Unlike all other English-language accounts [this] is frank and fiercely critical … A must-read for anyone interested in exploring the dark corners of an ideology that has an impact on international events.' —Race and Class

Socialist
The fact that Jewish fundamentalists in Israel glorify murderers, undermine the peace process, and practice the most vicious forms of sexism is rarely even acknowledged. Many are afraid to mention this problem for fear of encouraging the anti-Semitism that is endemic in all western societies.....Israel Shahak, an Israeli human rights activist resident in Jerusalem for more than 40 years, and Norton Mezvinsky, an American history professor with great experience in Judaism, have bravely decided to break the silence about the fundamentalist danger. They report that the problem has been glossed over by those reporting on Israeli society much in the way that the crimes of Stalinism were glossed over by some leftists in discussions about the late USSR......The authors conclude that if fundamentalists ever get into power, they will treat non-Jews in Israel very badly, and treat Jews they consider heretics - the vast majority of the Israeli population - even worse. Perhaps more frightening is that they would stop female education and force women to withdraw from public life. The authors ....are right to warn us of the danger, especially the danger of failing to give these people the attention they deserve and judge them as we would other groups. The first thing for Americans to do is brave the wrath of those who don't allow Israel to be criticized and demand a stop to US aid to a system which helps groups that are dangerous to women, democracy and world peace.
Gore Vidal
The voice of reason is alive and well, and in Israel, of all places. Shahak is the latest — if not the last — of the great prophets.
Noam Chomsky
Shahak is an outstanding scholar, with remarkable insight and depth of knowledge. His work is informed and penetrating, a contribution of great value.
Gordon Peake
In this deeply disturbing book Shahak and Mezvinsky highlight the dangers that Jewish fundamentalism poses to democracy in Israel. Using Hebrew sources previously untapped by Western researchers, the authors elucidate the religious philosophy that underpins the politics of Shas, the National Religious Party and like-minded settler parties.......The picture they paint is a shocking one. Pulling no punches they liken the 'intolerance' and 'hatred' of Jewish fundamentalist thought to Nazism (p65 and contend that both the Israeli public and their politicians have been too indulgent of the religious parties.......Illuminative, insightful and accessible, this is an important book that deserves as wide a readership as possible.
Outlook on Books
... The dominant North American public intellectual culture 'disappears' the Shahaks and Mezvinsky's with their upsetting challenges to prevailing dogma.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745320908
  • Publisher: Pluto Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2004
  • Edition description: New
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 792,177
  • Product dimensions: 5.41 (w) x 8.48 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Israel Shahak was brought up in the Warsaw Ghetto and a survivor of Bergen-Belsen. He arrived in Palestine in 1945 and lived there until his death in 2001. He was an outspoken critic of the state of Israel and a renowned human rights activist. He authored the highly acclaimed Jewish History, Jewish Religion (Pluto Press 1994) and Open Secrets: Israeli Nuclear and Foreign Policies (Pluto Press 1997). Norton Mezvinsky is Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University.

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Table of Contents

Preface

New Introduction

1. Jewish Fundamentalism Within Jewish Society

2. The Rise of the Haredim in Israel

3. The Two Main Haredi Groups

4. The National Religious Party and the Religious Settlers

5. The Nature of Gush Emunim Settlements

6. The Real Significance of Baruch Goldstein

7. The Religious Background of Rabin's Assassination

Glossary

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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