From Publishers Weekly
Addressing the state of Israel's democracy as well as security, Avishai (The Tragedy of Zionism
), a contributor to the New York Review of Books
, presents a three-fold approach to obtaining long-term peace and security. Most original and no doubt controversial is the idea of establishing a Hebrew republic that would be patently the state of the Jewish people, but would not privilege Jews and Judaism. (Avishai details current discrimination against Arab Israelis.) The other parts are negotiating a peace accord with the Palestinians along the lines of the Geneva Initiative and forming an Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian economic union. Avishai distills his approach through conversations with 50 Israeli-Jewish, Israeli-Arab and Palestinian figures, including former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, novelist A.B. Yehoshua and Samir Abdullah, director of the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute. He also has a fascinating discussion with some young Israeli Jews who wrestle with how Jewish, and how integrated into the Middle East, Israel should be. His plan for economic union will be achievable only with a peace accord, and Avishai has little to say on how to get there. But he covers a great many key topics relating to Israel's internal dynamics as well as its regional and global position, now and in the future. (Apr.)
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ADVANCE PRAISE FOR THE HEBREW REPUBLIC
“During the past two decades, Avishai has emerged as one of the most eloquent and penetrating analysts of the Israeli scene . . . This volume can only add to Avishai’s reputation. It is indispensable reading even for veteran students of the Jewish state.” —Howard M. Sachar, author of A History of Israel
“Anyone who cares about Israel, the Palestinians, or peace should read The Hebrew Republic—a comprehensive analysis, a compelling vision, a wrenching cri de coeur. Of all the brilliant, brave voices heard here—and there are many—none is as indispensable as Avishai’s, with this book, has now become.” — James Carroll, author of Constantine's Sword