The Invention of the Land of Israel: From Holy Land to Homeland

The Invention of the Land of Israel: From Holy Land to Homeland

5.0 2
by Shlomo Sand
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Groundbreaking new work from the controversial author of The Invention of the Jewish People

Overview

Groundbreaking new work from the controversial author of The Invention of the Jewish People

Editorial Reviews

Tony Judt
“Anyone interested in understanding the contemporary Middle East should read this book.”
Eric Hobsbawm
“Perhaps books combining passion and erudition don’t change political situations, but if they did, this one would count as a landmark.”
Publishers Weekly
In his newest, Sand (The Invention of the Jewish People), a professor of modern history at the University of Tel Aviv, seeks “to deconstruct the concept of the Jewish ‘historical right’ to the Land of Israel and its associated nationalist narratives.” Supported by religious and historical sources, he shows that the term “Land of Israel” gained primacy in the early 20th century, and that before that time, observant Jews thought of the land as “an internal spiritual state” rather than a “concrete territorial site.” However, early secular Zionist pioneers began to incorporate notions of redemption into their migrational aspirations. In the process, Zionist and Israeli leaders often rode roughshod over the rights of Palestinian Arabs. Finally, Sand unpacks the radical “Judaization” of Israel after 1948, and shows how, post-1967, a “mythic Land of Israel” that included the West Bank and East Jerusalem “continued to inhabit the interstices of Zionist consciousness.” A thought-provoking, readable, and important work. (Nov.)
New York Times
“Extravagantly denounced and praised.”
on The Invention of the Jewish People Guardian
“A radical dismantling of a national myth.”
Alexander Cockburn
“Zionism’s quest for a historical homeland is brilliantly excavated by Shlomo Sand.”
on The Invention of the Jewish People Haaretz
“Sand’s questions about how Israel’s democracy can be liberalized and stabilized are thought-provoking and deserve serious discussion.”
From the Publisher
“Anyone interested in understanding the contemporary Middle East should read this book.”—Tony Judt, In praise of The Invention of the Jewish People

“Perhaps books combining passion and erudition don’t change political situations, but if they did, this one would count as a landmark.”—Eric Hobsbawm, In praise of The Invention of the Jewish People

“A thought-provoking, readable, and important work.”—Publisher's Weekly

“... there is much to enjoy and learn in the evidence in the potentially incendiary material [Shlomo Sand] assembles here.”—Electronic Intifada

“[Sand] critically consider the ways in which the Zionist colonization of Palestine and the establishment of the State of Israel have been justified by claims of ancestral lands, historical rights, and millennia-old national yearnings, all of which he proceeds to critically undermine as either justifiable reasons for mastery over the land of Palestine/Israel or even representative of longstanding mass Jewish aspirations.”—Book News

“This groundbreaking new historical work from a highly controversial author undoes the myth of the Jewish people’s historical right to the ‘Land of Israel.’”—SirReadaLot.org

Kirkus Reviews
A Jewish scholar harshly criticizes the founding narrative of the State of Israel. The concept of "homeland" is a relatively new historical construct, "one of the more surprising, and perhaps the most destructive creations, of the modern era," writes Sand (Contemporary History/Univ. of Tel Aviv; The Words and the Land: Israeli Intellectuals and the Nationalist Myth, 2011, etc.). From this general perspective and from the argument made in his highly controversial book, The Invention of the Jewish People (2010), which disputed the idea that Jews "belong to an ancient race-based people," the author doubles down with an attack on the whole notion of an ancestral home for the world's Jews. The idea of a Jewish homeland, he insists, is a turn-of-the-century Zionist invention (given urgency by the Holocaust), a political construct designed to lend moral legitimacy to the seizing of territory to which the Jews have no historical right. He accuses Zionists of getting not only the history wrong, but the religion too. Properly understood, he writes, the Holy Land is an allegorical, intangible expression of the faithful. Well aware of the incendiary implications of his argument and knowing that it will likely be willfully misunderstood both by anti-Semites and zealous nationalists, Sand maintains that his deconstruction of the mythology at the heart of Israel's founding is a necessary prerequisite to a "pragmatic and realistic" resolution of the current conflict with Palestinians. The author attempts, but does not fully succeed, in lightening the relentlessly professorial prose with a few personal anecdotes--his placid complicity in the murder of a Palestinian, a great-grandfather buried on the Mount of Olives, the uncommemorated Arab village that once occupied the site of the Israeli university where he teaches. However, these demonstrate that, unlike many of his prominent Zionist critics, he has some skin in the game. Will appeal primarily to specialists or to general readers with an abiding interest in Israel's future.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781781680834
Publisher:
Verso Books
Publication date:
04/01/2014
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
262,256
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Shlomo Sand studied history at the University of Tel Aviv and at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, in Paris. He currently teaches contemporary history at the University of Tel Aviv. His books include The Invention of the Jewish People, On the Nation and the Jewish People, LIllusion du politique: Georges Sorel et le débat intellectuel 1900, Georges Sorel en son temps, Le XXe siècle à lécran and Les Mots et la terre: les intellectuels en Israël.

Geremy Forman teaches in the Department for Land of Israel Studies at the University of Haifa. He has most recently contributed to the collection Reapproaching Borders: New Perspectives on the Study of Israel–Palestine.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Invention of the Land of Israel: From Holy Land to Homeland 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You should become deputy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great extension of Sand's first Invention book. Extremely valuable and informative resource about the hazards of extreme nationalism and racism, especially that based on religiously influenced ideals. I thought this was better than the first one