The State of Israel in Jewish Public Thought: The Quest for Collective Identity

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Overview

During the past two generations, Jewish public thought and discourse has differed dramatically from that of the era between the Emancipation and the Second World War. The chasm of the Holocaust and the watershed establishment of a Jewish state has radically changed the Jewish intellectual landscape. With their two largest concentrations in Israel and the United States, the Jews are no longer a European nation. Above all, the Jews, for the first time since they went into exile, have become free individuals, with the right to choose between the land of their birth and their ancestral homeland in Israel.

Are the Jews then a religious community dispersed among other nations? A community of equal citizens of various countries with their own cultural and historical identity? Or are the Jewish people a nation with its own homeland? However one answers this question, the political, socio-economic and cultural ramifications are enormous. Moreover, since world Jewry is now crisscrossed by divisions between religious and secular Jews, between groups of different cultural backgrounds, and between those living in a sovereign Jewish state and those who are citizens of other countries, it is the link between Israel and the Diaspora which confers a collective identity on this multiform entity. Yosef Gorny's central theme is Jewish public thought concerning the identity and essence of the Jewish people from the Holocaust and the establishment of the State of Israel up to the present day. Chapters address such topics as The Zionist Movement in Search of a National Role, The Zionist Movement in Quest of its Ideological Essence, The Intellectuals in Search of a Jewish Identity, The Diminishing Status of Israel as a Jewish State, Revolutionary RadicalismThe Left-Wing Jewish Student Movement, 1967-1973, Neo-Conservative Radicalism, The Alternative Zionism of Gush-Emunim, The Conservative Liberalism, and In Defense of Perpetual Zionist Revolt. Reflecting the collective thinking of Jewish intellectuals, this is a volume of interest to anyone concerned with issues of Jewish identity.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814730553
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/1994
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 296

Meet the Author

Yosef Gorny is Professor of History at Tel Aviv University in Israel.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Pt. I The Jewish People at the Historical Crossroads
1 The Tangle of Normalization, 1942-50 9
Pt. II Singular Normalization 1951-66
2 Confusion Follows Triumph: The Zionist Organization in Search of a National Role 41
3 The Zionist Movement in Quest of its Ideological Essence 54
4 The Intellectuals in Search of Jewish Identity 79
5 The Diminishing Status of Israel as a Jewish State 92
Pt. III Return to Jewish Normalization 1967-82
6 Revolutionary Radicalism: The Left-Wing Jewish Student Movement 1967-73 111
7 Neo-Conservative Radicalism 133
8 The Alternative Zionism of Gush Emunim 150
9 Conservative Liberalism 166
10 From Concentration to Centrality 177
Pt. IV Return to the Tangle of Normalization 1982- 90
11 Renewed Search for Identity 197
Afterword, 1992: In Defence of Perpetual Zionist Revolt 235
Notes 248
Index 267
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