The Jewish State: A Century Later, Updated With a New Preface / Edition 1

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Overview

As the fiftieth anniversary of Israeli statehood approaches, along with the commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of the World Zionist Organization, the question of what is meant by a "Jewish" state is particularly timely. Alan Dowty takes on that question in a book that is admirable for its clarity and its comprehensive interpretation of the historical roots and contemporary functioning of Israel.

Israeli nationhood, democracy, and politics did not unfold in a social or political vacuum, but developed from power-sharing practices in pre-state Jewish communities in Palestine and in Eastern Europe. Dowty elucidates the broad cluster of cultural, historical, and ideological tenets which came to comprise Israel's contemporary political system. He demonstrates that such tenets were not arbitrary but in fact developed logically from Jewish political habits and the circumstances of time. Dowty illustrates how these traditions are balanced with those of ideology and modernization, and he provides an integrated, sophisticated analysis of the Israeli nation's formation and present state.

Dowty also proposes thoughtful answers to puzzles regarding the strengths and weaknesses of Israeli democracy in responding to the challenges of communal divisions, religious contention, the country's non-Jewish minority, and accommodation with the Palestinians. The Jewish State will be invaluable for anyone looking for that one book that gives an intelligent overview of both Israel today and of its origins.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520229112
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2001
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 357
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan Dowty is Professor of Government and
International Studies at the University of Notre Dame and Fellow at Notre Dame's Kroc
Institute for
International Peace Studies. His earlier books include Middle East Crisis (California, 1984) and Closed Borders: The Contemporary Assault on Freedom of Movement (1987).

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Table of Contents

List of Maps and Tables
Preface to Paperback Edition
Preface
Pt. I The Shaping of Israeli Democracy
1 Democracy in Israel 3
2 Jewish Politics 19
3 The Zionist Revolution 34
4 Building a Civic State 61
5 The Filter of Security 85
6 The Erosion of Ideology 103
Pt. II Challenges to Israeli Democracy
7 The Communal Split 143
8 Religion and Politics 159
9 Arabs in Israel 184
10 The Impact of the West Bank and Gaza 216
Epilogue 249
Notes 257
Bibliography 305
Index 333
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