The Jewish State: The Struggle for Israel's Soul is a powerful assessment of "post-Zionist" Israeli culture--the Jewish movement that seeks to overturn traditional notions of Israel as a Jewish state. Author Yoram Hazony, who has been a participant in some of the most significant stages of the Middle East peace process, investigates the cultural and political history of post-Zionism, the extent of its current influence, and its potential effects in the future. The Jewish State includes a previously unknown story about some of this century's most important Jewish intellectuals--including Hannah Arendt, Martin Buber, and Gershom Scholem--who opposed the establishment of Israel, and later leveraged the power of Hebrew University to depose David Ben-Gurion and defame the Labor Zionism that helped give birth to Israel. Ironically, Hazony takes succor from this story, because he says that it offers "the lesson of how a small fellowship of intellectuals, without the benefit of exceptionally sensible ideas or especially cogent means of expressing them, nonetheless succeeded in changing the life of a nation, against all odds." So, Hazony imagines that a few individuals with more sensible ideas, better attuned to the desires of Israel's people, might be able to reestablish that nation "as a guardian of the Jews and a source of strength to them." Hazony is a sturdy thinker and a persuasive polemicist, and The Jewish State may prove to be a very influential book.
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