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What Do Zionists Believe? (What Do We Believe?) Paperback – April 1, 2007

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Colin Shindler is a former editor of the Jewish Quarterly and of Judaism Today and the author of A History of Modern Israel.

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Product Details

  • Series: What Do We Believe?
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Granta UK (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 186207836X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862078369
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,800,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
We are living in an age where Zionists, Zionism, the State of Israel and the Israeli people are being increasingly demonized and de legitimized by the media, universities and others who control public opinion. In elite circles Zionism has become a dirty word. It is therefore necessary to explore works like this that examine what Zionism really is and the origins and history of Zionism-which is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people.

The author de constructs the diabolical lie that Zionism-the return of the Jews to their ancient cradle of birth is somehow ,as the far left and Islamists have brainwashed much of the world, an act of 'colonialism' and that the system of ideas behind the only democracy in the Middle East is 'fascist'.

As Shindler explains "Out of the conflicting narratives of Jew and Arab, the megaphone war between Israelis and Palestinians has reduced a complex history to a hollow sound bite. One of it's casualties has been any serious consideration of Zionism. Instead Zionists have often been deemed responsible in some left-wing publications in Europe and in the mainstream Arab media for orchestrating many acts of terrorism in the world-from the killing of Westerners in Saudi Arabia to the massacre of children in Beslan. In 2001 conspiracy theorists throughout the world were adamant that in their belief that 'Zionists' were behind the tragedy of the twin towers on 11 September 2001. In certain parts of the Arab world in particular 'the crimes of Zionism' have reached hitherto unimaginable levels of fantasy.
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent introduction to understanding the historical meaning of 'Zionism'. Shindler is keenly aware of the misuses and misunderstandings which have characterized much of contemporary political discourse in relation to 'Zionism'. The distortions of the extreme left who see Zionism as a form of colonialism and of the Islamists who see it as the major force responsible for their own deprivations are pointed out at the outset.
Schindler is aware of the deep religious and political roots of the Jewish people's connection with the land of Israel. 'Zionism' which is the modern political expression of an ancient yearning has taken a number of different forms as Schindler explains.

" Zionism was a movement of national liberation, modeled on nineteenth century European nationalism and the French revolutionary tradition. It sought to both normalize and modernize the situation of the marginalized Jewish people. For the religious it was the beginning of the redemption and the onset of the messianic age. For Marxist Zionists it was an opportunity to rectify the abnormal socio- economic structure of the Jews in the Diaspora by settling them on the land. For idealists and dreamers , it was the construction of a perfect society based on socialist theory merged with themes of social justice cemented in the biblical teachings of the prophets. Others ridiculed all this as utopian and proposed a modern technological - capitalist state. The Hebrew Republic which arose as the state of Israel in May 1948 embraced all these possibilities. "

Schindler does a masterful job in tracing the 'Zionist idea ' over two millenium.
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