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.
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