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Israel and Settler Society

4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0745325002
ISBN-10: 0745325009
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Editorial Reviews


In Israel and Settler Society, Lorenzo Veracini takes on the argument that the state of Israel is unique. This claim, underpinned by notions of a chosen people, is an important buttress in the edifice of Zionism because it denies the very possibility of analogy. Without such comparative perspectives, judgement, analysis and critique beome well nigh impossible. Where Veracini is more tendentious is in his claim that US support for Israel stems ultimately from the 'settler determined consciousness of a specific republican tradition'. -- John Yandell, Palestine News Veracini argues that the conflict is best understood in terms of colonialism. Like many other societies, Israel is a settler society. Looking in detail at other colonial regimes, Veracini presents a thoughtful interpretation of the dynamics of colonialism, offering a clear framework within which to understand the Middle East crisis. -- The Middle East This book portrays Israel as a settler society that can best be understood by comparing its development to apartheid South Africa, French Algeria and Australia. The author argues that the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is not unique, but rather is based on nationality and religion, and that Israeli society is organized in a manner similar to the South African system of apartheid, with the settler society serving as a key component thereof. -- Middle East Journal

About the Author

Lorenzo Veracini is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Australian National University in Canberra.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Pluto Press (March 20, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745325009
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745325002
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #914,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on November 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
The struggle between Israel and Palestinians isn't unique, and here Lorenzo Veracini argues that an understanding of the foundations of colonialist thought is necessary to understand the methods, concerns and results of Israel, a settler society like so many others. Other colonial regimes are examined in the course of Veracini's analysis of the dynamics of colonist thought, which refutes popular myths of the origins of Israeli-Palestinian disputes.
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By Dr. Riad Nasser on May 25, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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4 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Seth J. Frantzman HALL OF FAME on September 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book quotes Albert Memmi but doesnt seem to have read his other essay "who is a Jewish Arab?" which explains the ill treatment and colonializing of North Africa by Arabs and suppression of the antive Jewish minority who lived there, Memmi being one of them.

Israel is indeed a nation of immigrants. However it is not like South Africa or Australia or Algeria. In South Africa a white minority dominated an African majority using race laws. In Australia the european immigrants came to outnnumber and mostly exterminate the local inhabitants. In Algeria he French colonists eventually left. Israel may have similar themes to all three but it is not similar completely to any of these situations. The Palestinians, unlike the American Indian or Aboriginal, was not decimited by warfare or Disease. In 1947 there were 1.2 million Palestinians, today their are 9 million. The Palestinian Arab is also not the majority in Israel and he is no subject to race laws because he is not a seperate race from many of the Jews who are themselves of Arab/North African descent like Albert Memmi. Perhaps aspects of the settler society of the West Bank has comparisons to Algeria but behind the Green Line the situation is 100% different. THis model of using other situations, such as 'Apartheid' and words like 'racialization' do no justice to the issues in Israel and Palestine, instead they degrade the actual facts and history in order to lend themselves to propoganda. Rather than analyzing honestly how Israel fits in it simply adds hate to the fire. One might recall that in 1944 Konigsberg was 100% German and after 1947 was 100% Russian. But this is not readily called a case of ethnic cleansing and aparthied. Sometimes populations change and it has very little to do with colonialism. After all Israel was colonized by the English.

A problematic account.

Seth J. Frantzman
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4 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Jill Malter on March 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
It seems that whenever Israelis get killed, the author taunts them and calls them colonial. He starts right out by quoting some Israelis who complain that Levantine Arabs are being very unreasonable and counterproductive by adopting a philosophy of violence and destruction. And then he quotes Albert Memmi to say that the colonizer often fails to appreciate the humanity of the colonized, and thus regards the colonized folks as unpredictable! Of course, that taunt could equally well be misapplied to the Germans and the Jews from 1942, and he could just as well taunt the Jews of 1942 who complained about what the Germans were doing to them. Presumably, one could equally well say that the Jews in Europe in 1942 were simply colonizers as well, and those who helped eradicate them were heroes. One would be wrong to say that, of course. And Veracini is wrong to say what he does about the Jews of the Levant today.

By the way, Albert Memmi is a strange person for Veracini to refer to. Memmi wrote at length about Arab anti-Israeli myths. About how the Arab Muslims traditionally persecuted the Arab Jews, and about how Israel has given the Jews the right to exist. And about how the Arab Muslims now wish to destroy Israel to punish the Jews for attempting to gain their independence.

Israel is small. It has few natural resources. Its Jews are bottled up in a small nation: Jews are not particularly welcome in the nations neighboring Israel. So it does look a little like a Bantustan. But Veracini turns this around and suggests that we ought to regard the Arabs as the ones confined to Bantustans.

We see some boasts that the French were indeed kicked out of Algeria. And maybe the Israelis can be kicked out of Israel as well, of course.
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