Zionism, like many other political ideologies, is controversial. But with Zionism, even the controversy is controversial, with debate raging around the question of when opposition to Israel, or the Israeli government, or Israeli government policy, shades into anti-Semitism. Here you can find the best books on Zionism, its ideology, its history and the controversies and conflicts it has stirred up, all recommended by well-informed individuals who know what they're talking about, whatever their position. These interviews, and the book recommendations, will leave you much better informed, even if the rights and wrongs of the situation continue to remain hard to pin down.
We have two interviews dedicated to Israel. Amnon Rubinstein, the “father of Israeli constitutional law” talks about how the Israeli Defence Force provides the roots of Israel’s industrial-tech strength and how this marginalises those who don’t undertake military service—the Arabs and the Ultra-Orthodox. Award winning journalist, Michael Goldfarb, discusses the vision of Theodor Herzl for a Jewish state in Palestine and the early history of the country. Both Rubinstein and Goldfarb choose Herzl’s The Old-New Land, which set out his optimistic vision for a Jewish state, in which the Arab population of Palestine would be enthusiastic participants.
The Israeli historian Gabriel Piterberg in his interview on Zionism and anti-Zionism takes a much more jaundiced view while discussing his selection of books, arguing that Herzl’s Zionism as an ideology and Zionism as a practical project were rooted in ideas of Western nationalism and imperialism and fated to marginalise the Palestinian population. Author and political blogger Robin Yassin-Kassab chooses his best books on the Israel-Palestine conflict, making the case for a one-state solution. Rubinstein and Yassin-Kassab both choose Shlomo Sand’s The Invention of the Jewish People to defend diametrically opposed views of the conflict. Meanwhile Stephen Walt of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government looks at US-Israel relations, and argues that some of Israel’s most vocal supporters in the US are not acting in the country’s long-term interests. Abraham Foxman, former National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, explores the deep and broad roots of anti-Semitism.
Why has anti-Semitism been such a problem down the ages, and why does it persist today? The emeritus director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, recommends the best books to better understand anti-Semitism.
The Arabs in Israel
by Sabri Jiryis
Let It Be Morning
by Sayed Kashua
A Doctor in Galilee: The Life and Struggle of a Palestinian in Israel
by Hatim Kanaaneh
So What: New and Selected Poems, 1971-2005
by Taha Muhammad Ali
Sleeping on a Wire: Conversations with Palestinians in Israel
by David Grossman
Palestinians living in Israel are cut off from both sides of the conflict and constantly trying to square the circle, argues Nazareth-based writer Jonathan Cook.
Israeli historian Gabriel Piterberg tells us about works of scholarship that have challenged the Zionist Israeli narrative of modern history.
Israeli lawyer and politician says the Zionist revolution sought to turn Jewish civilisation into a nation-state like all nation-states under the rule of international law
The international relations professor tells us about the special relationship between America and Israel – how it came about, what it means, and how it should change
Award-winning broadcast journalist and author chooses five books on Israel. He says that perceptions of Israel and Palestine are always filtered through expectation and prejudice – which makes the problem unsolvable
The author and political blogger chooses five books on the Israel-Palestine conflict and compares the Palestinians to the Jews in diaspora: as the land disappears under their feet, their identity grows stronger.