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The Jewish State

The Struggle for Israel's Soul


Yoram Hazony (View Bio)
Hardcover: Basic, 2000; Paperback: Basic Books, 2001.

The Jewish State

In this history of Zionism and the creation of Israel, Yoram Hazony uncovers the story of how Martin Buber, Gershom Scholem, Hannah Arendt, and other Jewish intellectuals opposed the establishment of a Jewish state and created an ideology, now termed "post-Zionism," that has shaped Israeli politics and self-understanding. His book should be of interest to every Jew and to anyone concerned with the history and future of Israel or with questions of political identity and the separation of church and state.

"Yoram Hazony's new book is likely to be one of the most hotly debated publications on a Jewish theme this year...[A] bold thesis, forceful presentation and noel interpretation of the Zionist experience...Valuable and illuminating." — The New York Times Book Review

"This is an always knowledgeable and urgently necessary polemic for Zionism and Israel, even if I don't agree with every one of the author's assertions. As a German-born Jew old enough to have known Buber and Scholem personally, and himself once categorized as a 'Buberian,' I lament how the dreams of even these Zionist fathers have been distorted by their spiritual sons." — Emil Fackenheim, author of WHAT IS JUDAISM?

"THE JEWISH STATE is, particularly in its detailed presentation of the state of the state of Israel, an excellent book." — National Review

"THE JEWISH STATE is a bracing text to read: provocative, unrelenting, surprising, and tough-minded. Yoram Hazony's criticisms of the demi-gods of the Israeli cultural pantheon will be upsetting to many. Nevertheless, this is an important book. It will become a part of the argument, attacked, defended, relied upon, made to be a symptom and a symbol." — Martin Peretz, Editor–in–Chief and Chairman of The New Republic

"Quite simply the best guide to appear this year to the dominant ideological questions of our times." — The Times (London)

"Provocative and necessarily controversial, Yoram Hazony's book will stimulate the reader's interest and help him judge for himself the complexities of the moral and political challenges Israel may face tomorrow — and is already confronting now." — Elie Wiesel, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities at Boston University and Winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize for Peace

"Mr. Hazony's explosive book....[It] raises an important question: Is Israel the 'moral essence' it once was? His answer: Israel will have to reinvent itself and there isn't much time." — The Washington Times

"Hazony's gripping book is a remarkable combination of intellectual history, political analysis and moral polemic. Everyone — and I really do mean everyone — interested in Israel and, for that matter, in contemporary Judaism, should read it." — William Kristol, Editor and Publisher, The Weekly Standard

"Fifty years after the birth of the State of Israel, the greatest challenge facing the Jewish State is not securing it from external enemies, but rather preventing its internal disintegration. An ascendant 'post-Zionism' threatens Israel's very foundations as a Jewish state and its central role in the lives of the entire Jewish People. In tracing the intellectual roots of 'post-Zionism' and showing its pervasive influence in Israeli society, Yoram Hazony's book is invaluable for anyone who wants to understand this heart-wrenching inner challenge." — Natan Sharansky, Interior Minister, State of Israel

"By far the most important book to enter this debate.... Hazony's history is revisionist in the truest sense.... It is not hard to see why this book has touched off such passionate controversy in Israel; after all, Hazony has said that the cultural elites are prey to an ideology that would dissolve their country.... True to his belief that ideas drive history, Hazony isolates Martin Buber and his circle, not because of their numerical prominence, but because their idea of a non-Jewish state has the greatest destructive potential." — Times Literary Supplement

"An extremely well-thought-out treatise, THE JEWISH STATE screams out for attention and is strongly recommended for anyone interested in contemporary Israeli politics." — Library Journal

"[P]olemical and penetrating.... Hazony's book crafts a vision of the Jewish state that cherished its Jewishness and honors its liberal and democratic character. " — The Wall Street Journal

"[A]n enlightening and thorough analysis of the evolution of the idea of the Jewish state.... [A] masterful job.... [A]n impressive overview of the intellectual history of Israel." — Publishers Weekly

"[A] well-prepared, impassioned defense for history's most defenseless people." — Kirkus Reviews

"[A] highly charged mixture of political and intellectual history, cultural analysis, idealogical exposé, moral polemic, and Zionist manifesto." — The New Leader

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