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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent review of early Israeli history, November 25, 2000
This review is from: The Founding Myths of Israel (Paperback)
Sternhell makes a convincing case for the early leaders of Israel not at all being socialists of a universalist nature but merely exclusivist nationalists who created a state based on ethnicity and not on humanitarian values. This is crucial in light of the fact that most Israelis (and Americans) have grown accustomed to the myth of kibbutzim and their supposedly humanist nature being the essence of early Zionist settlers when in fact kibbutzim forbade the cooperation of the native peoples (Palestinians), allowing only Jews to till the soil and encouraging them to acquire Arab land, by force or by purchase, as much as possible.
If you are interested in an eye-opening account of the motives of the early Zionist leaders, particularly those in the Labour party - who are often painted as "doves", as compared to the "hawkish" members of Likud - this book is worth your while.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 19, 2011 6:03:11 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 19, 2011 6:04:45 PM PDT
Al Marit says:
I realise I am writing this a decade later than the original poster (!!), but since when is ethnicity not a building block for today's nation-states? What is different, then, in Israel being built on the building blocks of nationalism, and ethnicity? Surely Daza cannot offer, as an example, the United Kingdom, which decimated the Scots and the Welsh brutally and decisively to stamp an exclusively ethnically and nationalistically English flavour to "Great Britain"? Surely not the French? The Germans perhaps? Certainly not the nation states in Africa today? Perhaps the former Yugoslavia? Certainly not any of the Arab states. Nor, too, any Muslim ones....Nations are built by nationalists, and ethnicity provides a common narrative pertinent to a shared culture and history. Sternhell may well make an interesting case that the leaders of a nascent Jewish homeland were not universalists, but I can't think of a modern country that is. in that case, Sternhell's work has novelty value, but is not based on realistic nuts-and-bolts principles of how real nations are formed.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2011 7:36:38 AM PST
Traveler says:
Uh . . . United States? Hello?

Many Arab states are not natural nations. They are groups of tribes that in many cases were forced together into a western created nation state. Iraq is a perfect example.

The other nations you speak of are far older in terms of formed government. It is simplistic at best to compare France, Germany and England to the artificially created Arab states. Apples and oranges.

Secondly, the land of Israel was already occupied by people who were not Jewish.

The only way your argument makes sense is if you are in favor all forced relocations. Are you also an apologist for the genocide of Native Americans by the United States?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2013 7:18:18 PM PDT
gdash says:
Have you read the book?
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