To Be an Arab in Israel

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To Be an Arab in Israel fills a long-neglected gap in the study of Israel and the contemporary Arab world. Whether for ideological reasons or otherwise, both Israeli and Arab writers have yet to seriously consider Israel's significant minority of non-Jewish citizens, whose existence challenges common assumptions regarding Israel's exclusively Jewish character.

Arabs have been a presence at all levels of the Israeli government since the foundation of the state. Laurence Louër ...

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Overview

To Be an Arab in Israel fills a long-neglected gap in the study of Israel and the contemporary Arab world. Whether for ideological reasons or otherwise, both Israeli and Arab writers have yet to seriously consider Israel's significant minority of non-Jewish citizens, whose existence challenges common assumptions regarding Israel's exclusively Jewish character.

Arabs have been a presence at all levels of the Israeli government since the foundation of the state. Laurence Louër begins her history in the 1980s when the Israeli political system began to take the Arab nationalist parties into account for the political negotiations over coalition building. Political parties-especially Labour-sought the votes of Arab citizens by making unusual promises such as ownership and access to land.

The continuing rise of nationalist sentiments among Palestinians, however, threw the relationship between the Jewish state and the Arab minority into chaos. But as Louër demonstrates, "Palestinization" did not prompt the Arab citizens of Israel to set aside their Israeli citizenship. Rather, Israel's Arabs have sought to insert themselves into Israeli society while simultaneously celebrating their difference, and these efforts have led to a confrontation between two conceptions of society and two visions of Israel.

Louër's fascinating book embraces the complexity of this history, revealing the surprising collusions and compromises that have led to alliances between Arab nationalists and Israeli authorities. She also addresses the current role of Israel's Arab elites, who have been educated at Hebrew-speaking universities, and the continuing absorption of militant Islamists into Israel's bureaucracy.

To Be an Arab in Israel is a discerning treatment of an enigmatic, little known, but nevertheless highly influential people. Their effect on the balance of power in the Middle East seems destined to grow in the twenty-first century.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Time Magazines Literary Supplement
Behind the increasing shrillness of Jewish-Arab relations within Israel lie deep ambiguities, and it is these which renders Laurence Louër's imaginative and elegantly written book so important.
Times Literary Supplement
Behind the increasing shrillness of Jewish-Arab relations within Israel lie deep ambiguities, and it is these which renders Laurence Louër's imaginative and elegantly written book so important.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Laurence Louër is a researcher at the Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales (CERI) in Paris. She is an Arabist and specializes in Middle East studies.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents


Foreword   Gilles Kepel     vii
Introduction     1
The Birth of an Arab Community in Israel
Being an Arab in Israel     9
The Usages of Palestinian Identity     30
The Growing Power of Marginal Political Groups     51
The Protagonists of 'Palestinisation'     68
Labour as a Partner     95
The Usages of 'Israelisation'     102
The Islamists Between Religion and Politics
Interconfessional Tensions and Islamic Mobilisation     133
Between Israel and Palestine     152
The New Clergy     166
In the Ambit of the Jewish State     184
Conclusion: Questioning the Zionist Project     199
A Note on the Sources     205
Bibliography     209
Index     223
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