In An Aesthetic Occupation Daniel Bertrand Monk unearths the history of the unquestioned political immediacy of “sacred” architecture in the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. Monk combines groundbreaking archival research with theoretical insights to examine in particular the Mandate era—the period in the first half of the twentieth century when Britain held sovereignty over Palestine. While examining the relation between monuments and mass violence in this context, he documents Palestinian, Zionist, and British attempts to advance competing arguments concerning architecture’s utility to politics. Succumbing neither to the view that monuments are autonomous figures onto which political meaning has been projected, nor to the obverse claim that in Jerusalem shrines are immediate manifestations of the political, Monk traces the reciprocal history of both these positions as well as describes how opponents in the conflict debated and theorized their own participation in its self-representation. Analyzing controversies over the authenticity of holy sites, the restorations of the Dome of the Rock, and the discourse of accusation following the Buraq, or Wailing Wall, riots of 1929, Monk discloses for the first time that, as combatants looked to architecture and invoked the transparency of their own historical situation, they simultaneously advanced—and normalized—the conflict’s inability to account for itself. This balanced and unique study will appeal to anyone interested in Israel or Zionism, the Palestinians, the Middle East conflict, Jerusalem, or its monuments. Scholars of architecture, political theory, and religion, as well as cultural and critical studies will also be informed by its arguments.
Arrows in the Dark recounts and analyzes the many efforts of aid and rescue made by the Jewish community of Palestine—the Yishuv—to provide assistance to European Jews facing annihilation by the Nazis. Tuvia Friling provides a detailed account of the activities carried out at the behest of David Ben-Gurion and the Yishuv leadership, from daring attempts to extract Jews from Nazi-occupied territory, to proposals for direct negotiations with the Nazis. Through its rich array of detail and primary documentation, this book shows the wide scope and complexity of Yishuv activity at this time, refuting the idea that Ben-Gurion and the Yishuv ignored the plight of European Jews during the Holocaust.
WINNER > Best Popular Book on Archaeology --Biblical Archaeology Society
Apocalypse. Judgment Day. The End Time. Armageddon. Students of the Bible know it as the place where the cataclysmic battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil will unfold. Many believe that this battle will take place in the very near future. But few know that Armageddon is a real place--one that has seen more fighting and bloodshed than any other spot on earth.
The name Armageddon is a corruption of the Hebrew phrase Har Megiddo, and it means "Mount of Megiddo." More than thirty bloody conflicts have been fought at the ancient site of Megiddo and adjacent areas of the Jezreel Valley during the past four thousand years. Egyptians, Israelites, Greeks, Muslims, Crusaders, Mongols, British, Germans, Arabs, and Israelis have all fought and died here. The names of the warring leaders reverberate throughout history: Thutmose III, Deborah, Gideon, Saul and Jonathan, Jezebel, Saladin, Napoleon, and Allenby, to name but the most famous. Throughout history Megiddo and the Jezreel Valley have been ground zero for battles that determined the very course of civilization. No wonder that the author of Revelation believed Armageddon, the penultimate battle between good and evil, would also take place here!
The Battles of Armageddon introduces readers to a rich cast of ancient and modern warriors, while bringing together for the first time the wide range of conflicts that have been fought at Megiddo and the Jezreel Valley from the Bronze Age to the Nuclear Age.
Eric H. Cline has participated in more than seventeen seasons of excavation and survey in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Greece, and the United States. He is currently a Senior Staff Archaeologist at the ongoing excavations of Megiddo.
Explores the roots of evangelical Christian support for Israel through an examination of the Southern Baptist Convention
One week after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, delegates to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) repeatedly and overwhelmingly voted down resolutions congratulating fellow Southern Baptist Harry Truman on his role in Israel’s creation. From today’s perspective, this seems like a shocking result. After all, Christians—particularly the white evangelical Protestants who populate the SBC—are now the largest pro-Israel constituency in the United States. How could conservative evangelicals have been so hesitant in celebrating Israel’s birth in 1948? How did they then come to be so supportive?
Between Dixie and Zion: Southern Baptists and Palestine before Israel addresses these issues by exploring how Southern Baptists engaged what was called the “Palestine question”: whether Jews or Arabs would, or should, control the Holy Land after World War I. Walker Robins argues that, in the decades leading up to the creation of Israel, most Southern Baptists did not directly engage the Palestine question politically. Rather, they engaged it indirectly through a variety of encounters with the land, the peoples, and the politics of Palestine. Among the instrumental figures featured by Robins are tourists, foreign missionaries, Arab pastors, converts from Judaism, biblical interpreters, fundamentalist rebels, editorialists, and, of course, even a president. While all revered Palestine as the Holy Land, each approached and encountered the region according to their own priorities.
Nevertheless, Robins shows that Baptists consistently looked at the region through an Orientalist framework, broadly associating the Zionist movement with Western civilization, modernity, and progress over and against the Arabs, whom they viewed as uncivilized, premodern, and backward. He argues that such impressions were not idle—they suggested that the Zionists were bringing to fruition Baptists’ long-expressed hopes that Israel would regain the prosperity it had held in the biblical era, the Holy Land would one day be revived, and biblical prophecies preceding the return of Christ would be fulfilled.
The emigration of Jewish teenagers to Palestine to escape Hitler’s Germany
As Hitler and his followers consolidated power in Germany, a number of efforts were set in motion, both within and without German cities, to facilitate the departure of Jews. Among them was the organization, Youth Aliyah--aliyah is the term for the Zionist goal of a homecoming for Jews in historic Israel. Although the youths saved by Youth Aliyah were but a small percentage of the Jewish population, the program is widely celebrated by those who seek examples of Jewish agency and of attempts to resist the coming horror.
To this day, Youth Aliyah is considered by Israelis as a major contributor to the foundation of a Jewish presence leading to the modern state of Israel. Brian Amkraut details the story of the organization from its origins through its alliances and antagonisms with other Jewish organizations, and the challenges that vexed its efforts from every side, perhaps the greatest being sheer human naiveté ("surely things will get better").
A handbook for biblical scholars and historians of the Ancient Near East
William G. Dever offers a welcome perspective on ancient Israel and Judah that prioritizes the archaeological remains to render history as it was—not as the biblical writers argue it should have been. Drawing from the most recent archaeological data as interpreted from a nontheological point of view and supplementing that data with biblical material only when it converges with the archaeological record, Dever analyzes all the evidence at hand to provide a new history of ancient Israel and Judah that is accessible to all interested readers.
Ancient Israel did not emerge within a vacuum but rather came to exist alongside various peoples, including Canaanites, Egyptians, and Philistines. Indeed, Israel’s very proximity to these groups has made it difficult—until now—to distinguish the archaeological traces of early Israel and other contemporary groups. Through an analysis of the results from recent excavations in light of relevant historical and later biblical texts, this book proposes that it is possible to identify these peoples and trace culturally or ethnically defined boundaries in the archaeological record. Features of late second-millennium B.C.E. culture are critically examined in their historical and biblical contexts in order to define the complex social boundaries of the early Iron Age and reconstruct the diverse material world of these four peoples. Of particular value to scholars, archaeologists, and historians, this volume will also be a standard reference and resource for students and other readers interested in the emergence of early Israel.
City on a Hilltop
Sara Yael Hirschhorn Harvard University Press, 2017 Library of Congress DS125.H56 2017 | Dewey Decimal 305.892405695309
Since Israel’s 1967 war, more than 60,000 Jewish-Americans have settled in the occupied territories, transforming politics and sometimes committing shocking acts of terrorism. Yet little is known about why they chose to live at the center of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Sara Yael Hirschhorn unsettles stereotypes about these liberal idealists.
Melville’s long poem Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land (1876) was the last full-length book he published. Until the mid-twentieth century even the most partisan of Melville’s advocates hesitated to endure a four-part poem of 150 cantos and almost 18,000 lines about a naive American named Clarel, on pilgrimage through the Palestinian ruins with a provocative cluster of companions.
But modern critics have found Clarel a much better poem than was ever realized. Robert Penn Warren called it a precursor of The Waste Land. It abounds with revelations of Melville’s inner life. Most strikingly, it is argued that the character Vine is a portrait of Melville’s friend Nathaniel Hawthorne. Clarel is one of the most complex theological explorations of faith and doubt in all of American literature, and this edition brings Melville’s poem to new life.
Melville's long poem Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land (1876) was the last full-length book he published. Until the mid-twentieth century even the most partisan of Melville's advocates hesitated to endure a four-part poem of 150 cantos of almost 18,000 lines, about a naïve American named Clarel, on pilgrimage through the Palestinian ruins with a provocative cluster of companions.
But modern critics have found Clarel a much better poem than was ever realized. Robert Penn Warren called it a precursor of The Waste Land. It abounds with revelations of Melville's inner life. Most strikingly, it is argued that the character Vine is a portrait of Melville's friend Hawthorne. Based on the only edition published during Melville's lifetime, this scholarly edition adopts thirty-nine corrections from a copy marked by Melville and incorporates 154 emendations by the present editors, an also includes a section of related documents and extensive discussions.
This scholarly edition is an Approved Text of the Center for Editions of American Authors (Modern Language Association of America).
Human bodily existence is at the core of the Torah and the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures—from birth to death. From God’s creation of Adam out of clay, to the narratives of priests and kings whose regulations governed bodily practices, the Hebrew Bible focuses on the human body. Moreover, ancient Israel’s understanding of the human body has greatly influenced both Judaism and Christianity. Despite this pervasive influence, ancient Israel’s view of the human body has rarely been studied and, until now, has been poorly understood.
In this beautifully written book, Jon L. Berquist guides the reader through the Hebrew Bible, examining ancient Israel’s ideas of the body, the unstable roles of gender, the deployment of sexuality, and the cultural practices of the time. Conducting his analysis with reference to contemporary theories of the body, power, and social control, Berquist offers not only a description and clarification of ancient Israelite views of the body, but also an analysis of how these views belong to the complex logic of ancient social meanings. When this logic is understood, the familiar Bible becomes strange and opens itself to a wide range of new interpretations.
While the history of Israel during the period from ca. 1200 to 586 B.C.E. has been in the forefront of biblical research, little attention has been given to questions of daily life. Where did the Israelites live? What did people do for a living? What did they eat and what affected their health? How did the family function? These and similar questions form the basis for this book.
The book introduces different aspects of daily life. It describes the natural setting and the people who occupied the land. It deals with the economy, both rural and urban, emphasizing the main sources of livelihood such as agriculture, herding, and trade. These topics are discussed in relation to the family in particular and the social structure in general. Other topics include urban society, the bureaucracy and the military. Beyond material culture, the book delves into daily and seasonal cultural, social and religious activities, art, music, and the place of writing in Israelite society.
Drawing on textual and archaeological evidence, and written with nontechnical language, the book will be especially helpful for undergraduates, seminarians, pastors, rabbis, and other interested nonspecialist readers as well as graduate students and faculty in Hebrew Bible.
For decades, we’ve been shocked by images of violent clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. But for all their power, those images leave us at a loss: from our vantage at home, it’s hard for us to imagine the struggles of those living in the midst of the fighting. Now, American-born Israeli David Shulman takes us right into the heart of the conflict with Dark Hope, an eye-opening chronicle of his work as a member of the peace group Ta‘ayush, which takes its name from the Arabic for “living together.”
Though Shulman never denies the complexity of the issues fueling the conflict—nor the culpability of people on both sides—he forcefully clarifies the injustices perpetrated by Israel by showing us the human dimension of the occupation. Here we meet Palestinians whose houses have been blown up by the Israeli army, shepherds whose sheep have been poisoned by settlers, farmers stripped of their land by Israel’s dividing wall. We watch as whip-swinging police on horseback attack crowds of nonviolent demonstrators, as Israeli settlers shoot innocent Palestinians harvesting olives, and as families and communities become utterly destroyed by the unrelenting violence of the occupation.
Opposing such injustices, Shulman and his companions—Israeli and Palestinian both—doggedly work through checkpoints to bring aid, rebuild houses, and physically block the progress of the dividing wall. As they face off against police, soldiers, and hostile Israeli settlers, anger mixes with compassion, moments of kinship alternate with confrontation, and, throughout, Shulman wrestles with his duty to fight the cruelty enabled by “that dependable and devastating human failure to feel.”
With Dark Hope, Shulman has written a book of deep moral searching, an attempt to discover how his beloved Israel went wrong—and how, through acts of compassionate disobedience, it might still be brought back.
Barbara Kreiger’s intriguing narrative presents the account of Clorinda Minor, a charismatic American Christian woman whose belief in the Second Coming prompted her to leave a comfortable life in Philadelphia in 1851 and take up agriculture in Palestine.
After her disappointment in a failed prophecy that the End of Days would take place in October 1844, Mrs. Minor determined that the Holy Land was not yet adequately prepared for such an event and decided that it would be her mission to teach the poverty-stricken Jews of Palestine to work the soil. In this very American story, Mrs. Minor, like so many other pioneers of her day, looked to the land as her future.
Even as her mission was distinctly religious, her daily efforts were in the social realm. And although her work brought Jews and Arabs together, and her small farm was a unique settlement where Christians, Muslims, and Jews labored alongside one another, the events detailed in Divine Expectations had dramatic and tragic diplomatic and international repercussions.
With the deft touch of a novelist, Barbara Kreiger weaves the little-known story of Clorinda Minor into the larger context of the region and its history, presenting it in its charming eccentricity and its gripping reality.
The First Well is an engaging autobiographical account of Jabra’s boyhood in Bethlehem, where he was born in 1920, and later in Jerusalem, where he moved as a teenager with his parents.Through the eyes and heart of a sensitive, highly imaginative boy, Jabra describes the first sources of his artistic sensibility—the houses, fields, and orchards of his childhood and the Christian, Muslim, and Jewish cultures of Bethlehem and Jerusalem. The First Well is the story of his intellectual and spiritual growth nurtured and encouraged by his family, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and his teachers. His story is both captivatingly innocent and full of wisdom. Wordsworth’s observation, “The Child is father of the Man,” is entirely apt as Jabra’s literary and artistic interests take root and blossom. Here is a chronicle of the experiences and events he drew upon as he became one of the leading authors of the Arab world.
Following the Balfour Declaration and the British conquest of Palestine (1917–1918), the small Jewish community that lived there wanted to establish an elected assembly as its representative body. The issue that hindered this aim was whether women would be part of it. A group of feminist Zionist women from all over the country created a political party that participated in the elections, even before women’s suffrage was enacted. This unique phenomenon in Mandatory Palestine resulted in the declaration of women’s equal rights in all aspects of life by the newly founded Assembly of Representatives. Margalit Shilo examines the story of these activists to elaborate on a wide range of issues, including the Zionist roots of feminism and nationalism; the ultra-Orthodox Jewish sector’s negation of women’s equality; how traditional Jewish concepts of women fashioned rabbinical attitudes on the question of women’s suffrage; and how the fight for women’s suffrage spread throughout the country. Using current gender theories, Shilo compares the Zionist suffrage struggle to contemporaneous struggles across the globe, and connects this nearly forgotten episode, absent from Israeli historiography, with the present situation of Israeli women. This rich analysis of women’s right to vote within this specific setting will appeal to scholars and students of Israel studies, and to feminist and social historians interested in how contexts change the ways in which activism is perceived and occurs.
The first expansive reference examining the texts and material culture related to children in ancient Israel
Growing Up in Ancient Israel uses a child-centered methodology to investigate the world of children in ancient Israel. Where sources from ancient Israel are lacking, the book turns to cross-cultural materials from the ancient Near East as well as archaeological, anthropological, and ethnographic sources. Acknowledging that childhood is both biologically determined and culturally constructed, the book explores conception, birth, infancy, dangers in childhood, the growing child, dress, play, and death. To bridge the gap between the ancient world and today’s world, Kristine Henriksen Garroway introduces examples from contemporary society to illustrate how the Hebrew Bible compares with a Western understanding of children and childhood.
More than fifty-five illustrations illuminating the world of the ancient Israelite child
An extensive investigation of parental reactions to the high rate of infant mortality and the deaths of infants and children
An examination of what the gendering and enculturation process involved for an Israelite child
A novel inquiry into the sociopolitical dimensions of public medicine, Healing the Land and the Nation traces the relationships between disease, hygiene, politics, geography, and nationalism in British Mandatory Palestine between the world wars. Taking up the case of malaria control in Jewish-held lands, Sandra Sufian illustrates how efforts to thwart the disease were intimately tied to the project of Zionist nation-building, especially the movement’s efforts to repurpose and improve its lands. The project of eradicating malaria also took on a metaphorical dimension—erasing anti-Semitic stereotypes of the “parasitic” Diaspora Jew and creating strong, healthy Jews in Palestine. Sufian shows that, in reclaiming the land and the health of its people in Palestine, Zionists expressed key ideological and political elements of their nation-building project.
Taking its title from a Jewish public health mantra, Healing the Land and the Nation situates antimalarial medicine and politics within larger colonial histories. By analyzing the science alongside the politics of Jewish settlement, Sufian addresses contested questions of social organization and the effects of land reclamation upon the indigenous Palestinian population in a decidedly innovative way. The book will be of great interest to scholars of the Middle East, Jewish studies, and environmental history, as well as to those studying colonialism, nationalism, and public health and medicine.
Despite the tragic reality of the continuing Israeli-Arab conflict and deep-rooted beliefs that the chasm between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs is unbridgeable, this book affirms the bonds between the two communities. Rachel Feldhay Brenner demonstrates that the literatures of both ethnic groups defy the ideologies that have obstructed dialogue between the two peoples.
Brenner argues that literary critics have ignored the variety and the dissent in the novels of both Arab and Jewish writers in Israel, giving them interpretations that embrace the politics of exclusion and conform with Zionist ideology. Brenner offers insightful new readings that compare fiction by Jewish writers Amos Oz, A.B. Yehoshua, David Grossman, and others with fiction written in Hebrew by such Arab-Israeli writers as Atallah Mansour, Emile Habiby, and Anton Shammas. This parallel analysis highlights the moral and psychological dilemmas faced by both the Jewish victors and the Arab vanquished, and Brenner suggests that the hope for release from the historical trauma lies—on both sides—in reaching an understanding with and of the adversary.
Drawing upon the theories of Walter Benjamin, Jacques Lacan, Sigmund Freud, Emanuel Levinas, and others, Inextricably Bonded is an innovative and illuminating examination of literary dissent from dominant ideology.
The Invention of Hebrew
Seth L. Sanders University of Illinois Press, 2011 Library of Congress PJ4545.S26 2009 | Dewey Decimal 492.409
The Invention of Hebrew is the first book to approach the Bible in light of recent findings on the use of the Hebrew alphabet as a deliberate and meaningful choice. Seth L. Sanders connects the Bible's distinctive linguistic form--writing down a local spoken language--to a cultural desire to speak directly to people, summoning them to join a new community that the text itself helped call into being. Addressing the people of Israel through a vernacular literature, Hebrew texts gained the ability to address their audience as a public. By comparing Biblical documents with related ancient texts in Hebrew, Ugaritic, and Babylonian, this book details distinct ways in which Hebrew was a powerfully self-conscious political language. Revealing the enduring political stakes of Biblical writing, The Invention of Hebrew demonstrates how Hebrew assumed and promoted a source of power previously unknown in written literature: "the people" as the protagonist of religion and politics.
Israel: A History
Anita Shapira Brandeis University Press, 2014 Library of Congress DS149.S4971584 2012 | Dewey Decimal 956.94
Written by one of Israel’s most notable scholars, this volume provides a breathtaking history of Israel from the origins of the Zionist movement in the late nineteenth century to the present day. Organized chronologically, the volume explores the emergence of Zionism in Europe against the backdrop of relations among Jews, Arabs, and Turks, and the earliest pioneer settlements in Palestine under Ottoman rule. Weaving together political, social, and cultural developments in Palestine under the British mandate, Shapira creates a tapestry through which to understand the challenges of Israeli nation building, including mass immigration, shifting cultural norms, the politics of war and world diplomacy, and the creation of democratic institutions and a civil society. References to contemporary diaries, memoirs, and literature bring a human dimension to this narrative history of Israel from its declaration of independence in 1948 through successive decades of waging war, negotiating peace, and building a modern state with a vibrant society and culture. Based on archival sources and the most up-to-date scholarly research, this authoritative history is a must-read for anyone with a passionate interest in Israel. Israel: A History will be the gold standard in the field for years to come.
Since 1921, the Zionist movement, the Hashemites, and Palestinian nationalists have been vying for regional control. In this book, Asher Susser analyzes the evolution of the one- and two-state options and explores why a two-state solution has failed to materialize. He provides an in-depth analysis of Jordan’s positions and presents an updated discussion of the two-state imperative through the initiatives of Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Susser argues that Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians have cohesive collective identities that violently collide with each other. Because of these entrenched differences, a single-state solution cannot be achieved.
This fascinating interdisciplinary collection of essays brings gender issues to the foreground in order to redress a profound imbalance in the historiography of the Yishuv, the Jewish community in Palestine, and in the early years of the State of Israel. Although male discourse still dominates this field, some initial studies have begun to create an authentic and multifaceted Hebrew-Israeli voice by examining the activities and contributions of women. This research has led to a number of basic questions: What was the reality of life for women in Jewish society in Ottoman and Mandatory Palestine (Eretz Israel), and in the early years of the State? What was the contribution of women to the renewal of Israeli society and culture? What is the place of gender perceptions in the study of the new local identity? The original articles in this anthology forge an innovative response to one or more of these questions, and reflecting the state of research in the field.
Research reveals a clear connection between the legal and social status of the Jews in Palestine in the 18th century and their ties with the Diaspora. The Jews who had immigrated to Palestine in that period were mostly poor and elderly. The country was economically backward and politically unstable, which made it impossible for the immigrants to support themselves through productive work. Therefore they lived off the contributions of their brethren overseas. Taxes and fees imposed by the Ottoman rulers increased the financial desperation of the Jews in Palestine. Prohibitions against young unmarried immigrant men and women made for an unstable population largely of old men, many of whom died shortly after immigrating. Families succumbed to disease, earthquakes, and famine, but in the face of these problems, the Jewish communities in Palestine persevered.
When financial support ceased at the beginning of the 18th century, it caused a sever crisis in the Yishuv (the Jewish settlement in Palestine). The Jews were unable to repay their debts to the Moslems, and many left the country. In 1726, a central organization was established in Istanbul to coordinate the Diaspora financial support of the Jews in Palestine. This Istanbul Committee of Officials oversaw the collection of support money for the Yishuv, managed the Palestine community’s budget, established regulations for governing the communities, and settled disputes between the Jews and the gentiles. The importance of the Yishuv in the spiritual life of the Diaspora alone could not ensure the continuation of the Istanbul Officials was crucial.
Fortunately, a registry containing copies of 500 letters written by the Istanbul Committee in the mid-18th century was preserved in the archives of the Jewish Theological Seminary. These letters reveal the extensive activity involving the Istanbul Committee and the Ottoman authorities, the Jews of Palestine, and the Diaspora.
In this English translation of the original 1982 volume published in Hebrew, Barnai has updated his research to take into account recent scholarship. He concludes that during the period under review, the number of Jews in the Yishuv was actually very small, but they were completely dependent upon the charitable financial support of their brethren overseas, as well as the goodwill of the country’s rulers.
This is a masterly narrative of the land of Israel from 70 to 640 C.E. by an eminent Israeli historian. It is a comprehensive record of Jewish life under Roman rule: economic conditions and social welfare; Jewish law and courts; political repression and resistance; religious controversies; the Diaspora and relations between the national center in Palestine and the communities abroad. Alon describes the rebuilding of national life after the defeat in 70; the emergence of the Sages as community leaders; the extent of autonomy under the Roman Empire; the towns and cities of Jewish Palestine; armed uprisings and the Bar Kokhba Revolt; the decades of decline and large-scale emigration; the traditions of learning that produced the Mishnah and Talmud. It is a rich, vividly told story. This paperback reproduces in one volume the two-volume translation of Alon's classic work published in Jerusalem in 1980 and 1984.
Reviews of this book: "Gedaliah Alon's study is the magnum opus of one of the very few scholars whose command of both rabbinic and classical literature provided him with the tools to approach an unusually challenging, almost forbidding field of historical inquiry...Alon's stimulating history...will take its place among the standard studies of an obscure but pivotal age."
--David Berger, New York Times Book Review
"No one before Alon--and only a handful after him--possessed the erudition to handle the rabbinic and Greek sources with subtlety...[and] Alon's views reflect a mind that was secular but could fully appreciate the religious component of Jewish history...The book deserves an honorable place on the shelves of every serious student of Judaica."
--Ben Zion Wacholder, Hadassah Magazine
"Gedaliah Alon was a most original, distinguished historian. His erudition in rabbinic sources as well as classical literature, supported by absolute clarity of thought, intuition, and imaginativeness, enabled him to produce historical writing of the highest order."
"Gedaliah Alon was a most original, distinguished historian. His erudition in rabbinic sources as well as classical literature, supported by absolute clarity of thought, intuition, and imaginativeness, enabled him to produce historical writing of the highest order." --Isadore Twersky
The Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.E. was a watershed event in the history of Judah, the end of the monarchy and the beginning of the exilic period, during which many of the biblical texts were probably written. The conquest left clear archaeological marks on many sites in Judah, including Jerusalem, and the Bible records it as a traumatic event for the population. Less clear is the situation in Judah following the conquest, that is, in the sixth century, a period with archaeological remains the nature and significance of which are disputed. The traditional view is that the land was decimated and the population devastated. In the last two decades, archaeologists arguing that the land was not empty and that the exile had little impact on Judah’s rural sector have challenged this view. This volume examines the archaeological reality of Judah in the sixth century in order to shed new light on the debate. By expanding research into new avenues and examining new data, as well as by applying new methods to older data, the author arrives at fresh insights that support the traditional view of sixth-century Judah as a land whose population, both urban and rural, was devastated and whose recovery took centuries.
Investigate a relatively neglected but momentous period in Judean history
Nadav Sharon closely examines a critical period in Judean history, which saw the end of the Hasmonean dynasty and the beginning of Roman domination of Judea leading up to the kingship of Herod (67-37 BCE). In this period renowned Roman figures such as Pompey the Great, Julius Caesar, Gaius Cassius (a conspirator against Caesar), and Mark Anthony, led the Roman Republic on the eve of its transformation into an Empire, each having his own dealings with—and holding sway over—Judea at different times. This volume explores the impact of the Roman conquest on the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls, enhances the understanding of later Judean-Roman relations and the roots of the Great Revolt, and examines how this early period of Roman domination had on impact on later developments in Judean society and religion.
Part one dedicating to reconstructing Judean history from the death of Alexander to the reign of King Herod
Part two examining the effects of Roman domination on Judean society
Kafka and Cultural Zionism is an illumination of the individual Jewish identity of this major modernist German author. Through a thorough examination of Kafka's life, his influences, and his writings, Iris Bruce makes a case for Kafka's interest in Zionism and demonstrates the presence of Jewish themes and motifs in Kafka's literary works. In recognizing this essential part of Kafka's individual voice, Bruce hopes to provide a new perspective on Kafka and his writings that allows the reader to find the humor, playfulness, rebelliousness, and challenge that can be overlooked if the reader expects to find a Kafka who is disengaged from his ethnic and cultural identity, as well as the politics of his age.
This innovative study examines the responses of early-twentieth-century pioneers to “the Land” of Palestine. Early Zionist historiography portrayed these young settlers as heroic; later, more critical studies by the “new” historians and sociologists focused on their failures and shortcomings. Neumann argues for something else that historians have yet to identify—desire. Desire for the Land and a visceral identification with it begin to explain the pioneer experience and its impact on Israeli history and collective memory, as well as on Israelis’ abiding connection to the Land of Israel. His close readings of archival documents, memoirs, diaries, poetry, and prose of the period develop new understandings—many of them utterly surprising—of the Zionist enterprise. For Neumann, the Zionist revolution was an existential revolution: for the pioneers, to be in the Land of Israel was to be!
Arabs and Jews have disputed the ancient lands of Palestine since the late nineteenth century, when Jews began emigrating there, buying land, and establishing farms, settlements, and businesses. In this book, Kamen examines the structure of Arab Palestine between the two world wars. He contrasts British and Israeli analyses against real world social and economic conditions of rural Arab society.
In The Making of a Human Bomb, Nasser Abufarha, a Palestinian anthropologist, explains the cultural logic underlying Palestinian martyrdom operations (suicide attacks) launched against Israel during the Al-Aqsa Intifada (2000–06). In so doing, he sheds much-needed light on how Palestinians have experienced and perceived the broader conflict. During the Intifada, many of the martyrdom operations against Israeli targets were initiated in the West Bank town of Jenin and surrounding villages. Abufarha was born and raised in Jenin. His personal connections to the area enabled him to conduct ethnographic research there during the Intifada, while he was a student at a U.S. university.
Abufarha draws on the life histories of martyrs, interviews he conducted with their families and members of the groups that sponsored their operations, and examinations of Palestinian literature, art, performance, news stories, and political commentaries. He also assesses data—about the bombers, targets, and fatalities caused—from more than two hundred martyrdom operations carried out by Palestinian groups between 2001 and 2004. Some involved the use of explosive belts or the detonation of cars; others entailed armed attacks against Israeli targets (military and civilian) undertaken with the intent of fighting until death. In addition, he scrutinized suicide attacks executed by Hamas and Islamic Jihad between 1994 and 2000. In his analysis of Palestinian political violence, Abufarha takes into account Palestinians’ understanding of the history of the conflict with Israel, the effects of containment on Palestinians’ everyday lives, the disillusionment created by the Oslo peace process, and reactions to specific forms of Israeli state violence. The Making of a Human Bomb illuminates the Palestinians’ perspective on the conflict with Israel and provides a model for ethnographers seeking to make sense of political violence.
Mapping the End of Empire
Aiyaz Husain Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress DS63.18.H86 2014 | Dewey Decimal 956.04
By 1945 Washington and London envisioned a new era in which the U.S. shouldered global responsibilities while Britain focused its regional interests narrowly. Mapping the End of Empire reveals how Anglo-American perceptions of geography and perspectives on the Muslim world shaped postcolonial futures from the Middle East to South Asia.
“This wonderful monograph treats a subject that resonates with anyone who studies the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and particularly Palestinian nationalism: that how Palestinian history is remembered and constructed is as meaningful to our understanding of the current struggle as arriving as some sort of ‘complete empirical understanding’ of its history. Swedenburg . . . studies how a major anti-colonial insurrection, the 1936–38 strike and revolt in Palestine [against the British], is remembered in Palestinian nationalist historiography, western and Israeli ‘official’ historical discourse, and Palestinian popular memory. Using primarily oral history interviews, supplemented by archival material and national monuments, he presents multiple, complex, contradictory, and alternative interpretations of historical events. . . . The book is thematically divided into explorations of Palestinian nationalist symbols, stereotypes, and myths; Israeli national monuments that simultaneously act as historical ‘injunctions against forgetting’ Jewish history and efforts to ‘marginalize, vilify, and obliterate’ the Arab history of Palestine; Palestine subaltern memories as resistance to official narratives, including unpopular and controversial recollections of collaboration and assassination; and finally, how the recodification and revival of memories of the revolt informed the Palestinian intifada that erupted in 1987.” —MESA Bulletin
This volume opens the canon of modern Jewish thought to the all too often overlooked writings of Jews from the Arab East, from the close of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth. Whether they identified as Sephardim, Mizrahim, anticolonialists, or Zionists, these thinkers engaged the challenges and transformations of Middle Eastern Jewry in this decisive period. Moshe Behar and Zvi Ben-Dor Benite present Jewish culture and politics situated within overlapping Arabic, Islamic, and colonial contexts. The editors invite the reader to reconsider contemporary evocations of Levantine, Mizrahi, and Arab Jewish identities against the backdrop of writings by earlier Middle Eastern Jewish intellectuals who critically assessed or contested the implications of Western presence and Western Jewish presence in the Middle East; religion and secularization; and the rise of nationalism, communism, and Zionism, as well as the State of Israel.
In recent years, as peace between Israelis and Palestinians has remained cruelly elusive, scholars and activists have increasingly turned to South African history and politics to make sense of the situation. In the early 1990s, both South Africa and Israel began negotiating with their colonized populations. South Africans saw results: the state was democratized and black South Africans gained formal legal equality. Palestinians, on the other hand, won neither freedom nor equality, and today Israel remains a settler-colonial state. Despite these different outcomes, the transitions of the last twenty years have produced surprisingly similar socioeconomic changes in both regions: growing inequality, racialized poverty, and advanced strategies for securing the powerful and policing the racialized poor. Neoliberal Apartheid explores this paradox through an analysis of (de)colonization and neoliberal racial capitalism.
After a decade of research in the Johannesburg and Jerusalem regions, Andy Clarno presents here a detailed ethnographic study of the precariousness of the poor in Alexandra township, the dynamics of colonization and enclosure in Bethlehem, the growth of fortress suburbs and private security in Johannesburg, and the regime of security coordination between the Israeli military and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. The first comparative study of the changes in these two areas since the early 1990s, the book addresses the limitations of liberation in South Africa, highlights the impact of neoliberal restructuring in Palestine, and argues that a new form of neoliberal apartheid has emerged in both contexts.
This volume continues the tradition of New Seals and Inscriptions, Hebrew, Idumean and Cuneiform (Sheffield Phoenix, 2007) by featuring analyses by eminent scholars of some of the archaeological treasures from Dr. Shlomo Moussaieff’s outstanding collection. These contributions signal fresh approaches to the study of ancient artifacts and underscore the role of archaeological evidence in reconstructing the legacy of antiquity, especially that of the biblical period. The contributors are Kathleen Abraham, Chaim Cohen, Robert Deutsch, Claire Gottlieb, Martin Heide, Richard S. Hess, W. G. Lambert†, André Lemaire, Meir Lubetski, Matthew Morgenstern, Alan Millard, Lawrence J. Mykytiuk, and Peter van der Veen.
Focusing on Oriental Jews and their relations with their Arab neighbors in Mandatory Palestine, this book analyzes the meaning of the hybrid Arab-Jewish identity that existed among Oriental Jews, and discusses their unique role as political, social, and cultural mediators between Jews and Arabs. Integrating Mandatory Palestine and its inhabitants into the contemporary Semitic-Levantine surroundings, Oriental Neighbors illuminates broad areas of cooperation and coexistence, which coincided with conflict and friction, between Oriental and Sephardi Jews and their Arab neighbors. The book brings the Oriental Jewish community to the fore, examines its role in the Zionist nation-building process, and studies its diverse and complex links with the Arab community in Palestine.
In 1880 the Jewish community in Palestine encompassed some 20,000 Orthodox Jews; within sixty-five years it was transformed into a secular proto-state with well-developed political, military, and economic institutions, a vigorous Hebrew-language culture, and some 600,000 inhabitants. The Origins of Israel, 1882–1948: A Documentary History chronicles the making of modern Israel before statehood, providing in English the texts of original sources (many translated from Hebrew and other languages) accompanied by extensive introductions and commentaries from the volume editors.
This sourcebook assembles a diverse array of 62 documents, many of them unabridged, to convey the ferment, dissent, energy, and anxiety that permeated the Zionist project from its inception to the creation of the modern nation of Israel. Focusing primarily on social, economic, and cultural history rather than Zionist thought and diplomacy, the texts are organized in themed chapters. They present the views of Zionists from many political and religious camps, factory workers, farm women, militants, intellectuals promoting the Hebrew language and arts—as well as views of ultra-Orthodox anti-Zionists. The volume includes important unabridged documents from the origins of the Arab-Israeli conflict that are often cited but are rarely read in full. The editors, Eran Kaplan and Derek J. Penslar, provide both primary texts and informative notes and commentary, giving readers the opportunity to encounter voices from history and make judgments for themselves about matters of world-historical significance.
Best Special Interest Books, selected by the Public Library Reviewers
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the American Association of School Librarians
The dispute over Palestine between the Palestinian Arabs and the Israelis is one of the most volatile and intractable conflicts in the world today. Palestine and Israel examines the history of this battle from the perspective of international law, and it argues that a long-term solution to the conflict must protect legitimate interests to remain viable—an element the author believes has so far been seriously neglected. This extensively documented work details the complex politics and agonizing struggles that have characterized the clash between Jews and Arabs, examining in depth the competing claims to Palestine and the extent to which legitimate interests remain to be fulfilled. Beginning with the early Zionist settlement in Palestine that rose from the effort by Jews to escape long-standing discrimination in Europe, Qigley investigates the origins of the dispute, including the British occupation of Palestine, the British Mandate, and the involvement of the United Nations. He examines the 1948 War, the establishment of Israel, and explores the legal and political status of Jews there. After a detailed analysis of the 1967 War and Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, he concludes with recommendations for resolving the conflict, including discussions of the responsibility of other states for the persisting injustice, the role of other states in settling the dispute, and steps to a possible solution.
Palestine and Jewish History was first published in 1996. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
This provocative and personal series of meditations on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict argues that it represents a struggle not as much about land and history as about space, time, and memory. Juxtaposing entries from Jonathan Boyarin's field diary with critical and theoretical articulations, Palestine and Jewish History shows not only the unfinished nature of anthropological endeavor, but also the author's personal stake in the ethical predicament of being a Jew at this point in history.
Boyarin comes to Israel as a specialist in modern Jewish studies, an individual who has kin, friends, and colleagues there, a scholar with a long history of peace activism. He interweaves fascinating descriptions of ordinary life-parties, walks, classes, visits to homes-with a selection of his related writings on cultural studies and anthropology. Some sections are polemical; others are witty analyses of bumper stickers, slogans, the ambiguities in conversations. Boyarin foregrounds the messiness and lack of closure inherent in this process, presenting "raw materials" (field notes) in some sections of the book that reappear in other sections as various kinds of "finished" products (conference papers, published articles).
In the process, we learn a good deal about the Middle East and its debates and connections to other places. Boyarin addresses two fundamental issues: the difficulty of linking different sorts of memories and memorializations, and the importance of moving beyond objectivity and multiculturalism into a situated, engaged, and nontotalizing framework for fieldwork and ethnography.
Palestine and Jewish History enacts rather than reports on Boyarin's process of error, pain, impatience, uncertainty, discovery, embarrassment, self-criticism, intellectual struggle, and dawning awareness, challenging and engaging us in the process of discovery. Ultimately, it gives the lie, as the Palestinian presence does in Israel, to any concept of a "finishedness" that successfully conceals its unruly and painful multiple processes.
Jonathan Boyarin is the Leonard and Tobee Kaplan Distinguished Professor of Modern Jewish Thought in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of Storm from Paradise, co-author of Powers of Diaspora, and the co-editor of Remapping Memory and Jews and Other Differences, all available from Minnesota.
British General Sir Allan Cunningham was appointed in 1945 as high commissioner of Palestine, and served in this capacity until the end of the British mandate on May 15, 1948. The three years of Cunningham’s tenure were tremendously complex politically: players included the British government in London, the British army, the British administration in Jerusalem, and diverse military forces within the Zionist establishment, both Jew and Arab. Golani revisits this period from the perspective of the high commissioner, examining understudied official documents as well as Cunningham’s letters, notes, and cables. He emphasizes especially the challenges of navigating Jewish and Arab terrorists, on the one hand, and the multiple layers of British institutional bureaucracies, on the other, and does an excellent job of establishing Sir Allan’s daily trials within the broad frame of the collapse of the British Empire following World War II.
In the three years since the outbreak of the second Intifada in October 2000, the policy-making of the U.S. government has been haunted by the question of Palestine. While the United States has always been allied to and supportive of Israel, since September 11, 2001, its policy has shifted even closer to the Israeli regional agenda.
This special issue places the Palestine question in a transnational and comparative frame that strives to better depict its historical complexity. The issue also gives special consideration to the different modes of Palestinian resistance both within and outside the state of Israel and the occupied territories.
This important volume rethinks the conventional parameters of Middle East studies through attention to popular cultural forms, producers, and communities of consumers. The volume has a broad historical scope, ranging from the late Ottoman period to the second Palestinian uprising, with a focus on cultural forms and processes in Israel, Palestine, and the refugee camps of the Arab Middle East. The contributors consider how Palestinian and Israeli popular culture influences and is influenced by political, economic, social, and historical processes in the region. At the same time, they follow the circulation of Palestinian and Israeli cultural commodities and imaginations across borders and checkpoints and within the global marketplace.
The volume is interdisciplinary, including the work of anthropologists, historians, sociologists, political scientists, ethnomusicologists, and Americanist and literary studies scholars. Contributors examine popular music of the Palestinian resistance, ethno-racial “passing” in Israeli cinema, Arab-Jewish rock, Euro-Israeli tourism to the Arab Middle East, Internet communities in the Palestinian diaspora, café culture in early-twentieth-century Jerusalem, and more. Together, they suggest new ways of conceptualizing Palestinian and Israeli political culture.
Contributors. Livia Alexander, Carol Bardenstein, Elliott Colla, Amy Horowitz, Laleh Khalili, Mary Layoun, Mark LeVine, Joseph Massad, Melani McAlister, Ilan Pappé, Rebecca L. Stein, Ted Swedenburg, Salim Tamari
Few doubt the pro-Israel bias of the Western media. It takes the form of overtly supporting Israel's government policies, or of maintaining neutrality or silence on issues of Israeli violence, occupation, and settlement expansion. Scholar and activist Karma R. Chávez collects eleven interviews that allow dissenting voices a forum to provide rarely heard perspectives on the Palestinian struggle for justice, land, and self-determination.This volume in the Common Threads series is a supplement to the Journal of Civil and Human Rights. The conversations within took place on a radio program Chávez hosted from 2013-16. There, journalists, activists, academic figures, authors, and Palestinian citizens of Israel shared a wide range of thoughts and experiences. Participants covered topics that include: everyday life for Palestinians in the West Bank and in Israel; the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement that arose in response to Israel's ongoing actions; the Steven Salaita controversy at the University of Illinois; the pro-Palestine social movement on college campuses; Israel's pinkwashing of human rights abuses; the aftermath of the 2014 attack on Gaza; and Chávez's 2015 visit to the West Bank.
Partitioning Palestine is the first history of the ideological and political forces that led to the idea of partition—that is, a division of territory and sovereignty—in British mandate Palestine in the first half of the twentieth century. Inverting the spate of narratives that focus on how the idea contributed to, or hindered, the development of future Israeli and Palestinian states, Penny Sinanoglou asks instead what drove and constrained British policymaking around partition, and why partition was simultaneously so appealing to British policymakers yet ultimately proved so difficult for them to enact. Taking a broad view not only of local and regional factors, but also of Palestine’s place in the British empire and its status as a League of Nations mandate, Sinanoglou deftly recasts the story of partition in Palestine as a struggle to maintain imperial control. After all, British partition plans imagined space both for a Zionist state indebted to Britain and for continued British control over key geostrategic assets, depending in large part on the forced movement of Arab populations. With her detailed look at the development of the idea of partition from its origins in the 1920s, Sinanoglou makes a bold contribution to our understanding of the complex interplay between internationalism and imperialism at the end of the British empire and reveals the legacies of British partitionist thinking in the broader history of decolonization in the modern Middle East.
Wishing to ingratiate himself with Rome, Herod the Great built theaters, amphitheaters, and hippodromes to bring pagan entertainments of all sorts to Palestine. Zeev Weiss explores how the indigenous Jewish and Christian populations responded, as both spectators and performers, to these cultural imports, which left a lasting imprint on the region.
Race and Photography studies the changing function of photography from the 1870s to the 1940s within the field of the “science of race,” what many today consider the paradigm of pseudo-science. Amos Morris-Reich looks at the ways photography enabled not just new forms of documentation but new forms of perception. Foregoing the political lens through which we usually look back at race science, he holds it up instead within the light of the history of science, using it to explore how science is defined; how evidence is produced, used, and interpreted; and how science shapes the imagination and vice versa.
Exploring the development of racial photography wherever it took place, including countries like France and England, Morris-Reich pays special attention to the German and Jewish contexts of scientific racism. Through careful reconstruction of individual cases, conceptual genealogies, and patterns of practice, he compares the intended roles of photography with its actual use in scientific argumentation. He examines the diverse ways it was used to establish racial ideologies—as illustrations of types, statistical data, or as self-evident record of racial signs. Altogether, Morris-Reich visits this troubling history to outline important truths about the roles of visual argumentation, imagination, perception, aesthetics, epistemology, and ideology within scientific study.
A new interpretation of the roots of Israeli culture
In Tangled Roots: The Emergence of Israeli Culture, Israel Bartal traces the history of modern Hebrew culture prior to the emergence of political Zionism. Bartal examines how traditional and modernist ideals and Western and non-European Jewish cultures merged in an unprecedented encounter between an ancient land (Israel) and a multigenerational people (the Jews). Premodern Jewish traditionalists, Palestinian locals, foreign imperial forces, and Jewish intellectuals, writers, journalists, and party functionaries each affected the Israeli culture that emerged. As this new Hebrew culture was taking shape, the memory of the recent European past played a highly influential role in shaping the image of the New Hebrew, that mythological hero who was meant to supplant the East European exilic Jew.
A critical revision of most contemporary politicized histories of Jewish nationalism
An examination of the history of modern Hebrew culture prior to political Zionism
To Come to the Land makes available in English a vast body of research,
previously available only in Hebrew, on the early history of the land now
known as Israel.
Abraham David here focuses on the Spanish and Portuguese Jews who fled
the Iberian Peninsula during the 16th century, tracing the beginnings of
Sephardic influence in the land of Israel.
After the Ottoman Turks conquered Syria, Palestine, and Egypt in 1516,
the Ottoman regime, unlike their Mamluk predecessors, encouraged economic
development and settlement throughout the region. This openness to immigration
offered a solution to the crisis Iberian Jews were undergoing as a result
of their expulsion from Spain and the forced conversions in Portugal. Within
a few years of the Ottoman conquest, Jews of Spanish extraction, many of
them clustered in urban areas, dominated the Jewish communities of Eretz-Israel.
In this carefully researched study, David examines the lasting impression
made by these enterprising Jewish settlers on the commercial, social, and
intellectual life of the area under early Ottoman rule. Of particular interest
is his examination of the cities of Jerusalem and Safed and David's succinct
biographies of leading Jewish personalities throughout the region.
This first English translation of a ground-breaking Hebrew work provides
a comprehensive overview of a significant chapter in the history of Israel
and explores some of the factors that brought to it the best minds of the
age. Essential for scholars of late Medieval Jewish history, To Come to
the Land will also be an important resource for scholars of intellectual
history, as it provides background crucial to an understanding of the intellectual
flourishing of the period.
In Visual Occupations Gil Z. Hochberg shows how the Israeli Occupation of Palestine is driven by the unequal access to visual rights, or the right to control what can be seen, how, and from which position. Israel maintains this unequal balance by erasing the history and denying the existence of Palestinians, and by carefully concealing its own militarization. Israeli surveillance of Palestinians, combined with the militarized gaze of Israeli soldiers at places like roadside checkpoints, also serve as tools of dominance. Hochberg analyzes various works by Palestinian and Israeli artists, among them Elia Suleiman, Rula Halawani, Sharif Waked, Ari Folman, and Larry Abramson, whose films, art, and photography challenge the inequity of visual rights by altering, queering, and manipulating dominant modes of representing the conflict. These artists' creation of new ways of seeing—such as the refusal of Palestinian filmmakers and photographers to show Palestinian suffering or the Israeli artists' exposure of state manipulated Israeli blindness —offers a crucial gateway, Hochberg suggests, for overcoming and undoing Israel's militarized dominance and political oppression of Palestinians.
During the last twenty years, Palestinian women have practiced creative and often informal everyday forms of political activism. Sophie Richter-Devroe reflects on their struggles to bring about social and political change. Richter-Devroe's ethnographic approach draws from fascinating in-depth interviews and participant observation in Palestine. The result: a forceful critique of mainstream conflict resolution methods and the failed woman-to-woman peacebuilding projects so lauded around the world. The liberal faith in dialogue as core of 'the political', and the assumption that women's 'nurturing' nature makes them superior peacemakers, collapse in the face of past and ongoing Israeli state violences. Instead, women confront Israeli settler colonialism directly and indirectly in their popular and everyday acts of resistance. Richter-Devroe's analysis zooms in on the intricate dynamics of daily life in Palestine, tracing the emergent politics that women articulate and practice there. In shedding light on contemporary gendered 'politics from below' in the region, the book invites a rethinking of the workings, shapes, and boundaries of the political.
Celebrate the career of an inspirational scholar and teacher concerned with revealing voices from the margins
This volume of essays honors Susan Niditch, author of War in the Hebrew Bible: A Study in the Ethics of Violence (1993), “My Brother Esau Is a Hairy Man”: Hair and Identity in Ancient Israel (2008), and most recently, The Responsive Self: Personal Religion in Biblical Literature of the Neo-Babylonian and Persian Periods (forthcoming), among other influential publications. Essays touch on topics such as folklore, mythology, and oral history, Israelite religion, ancient Judaism, warfare, violence, and gender.
Essays from nineteen scholars, all experts in their fields
Exploration of texts from Mesopotamia, the Hebrew Bible, and the New Testament
In late summer 1929, a countrywide outbreak of Arab-Jewish-British violence transformed the political landscape of Palestine forever. In contrast with those who point to the wars of 1948 and 1967, historian Hillel Cohen marks these bloody events as year zero of the Arab-Israeli conflict that persists today. The murderous violence inflicted on Jews caused a fractious—and now traumatized—community of Zionists, non-Zionists, Ashkenazim, and Mizrachim to coalesce around a unified national consciousness arrayed against an implacable Arab enemy. While the Jews unified, Arabs came to grasp the national essence of the conflict, realizing that Jews of all stripes viewed the land as belonging to the Jewish people. Through memory and historiography, in a manner both associative and highly calculated, Cohen traces the horrific events of August 23 to September 1 in painstaking detail. He extends his geographic and chronological reach and uses a non-linear reconstruction of events to call for a thorough reconsideration of cause and effect. Sifting through Arab and Hebrew sources—many rarely, if ever, examined before—Cohen reflects on the attitudes and perceptions of Jews and Arabs who experienced the events and, most significantly, on the memories they bequeathed to later generations. The result is a multifaceted and revealing examination of a formative series of episodes that will intrigue historians, political scientists, and others interested in understanding the essence—and the very beginning—of what has been an intractable conflict.