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The Words and the Land: Israeli Intellectuals and the Nationalist Myth,9781584350965

The Words and the Land: Israeli Intellectuals and the Nationalist Myth

by ;
ISBN13:

9781584350965

ISBN10:
1584350962
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
2/1/2011
Publisher(s):
Mit Pr
List Price: $16.95
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Summary

The idea of the Jewish nation was conceived before the organization of the Zionist movement in the nineteenth century and continued long after the creation of the state of Israel. In The Words and the Land, post-Zionist Israeli historian Shlomo Sand examines how both Jewish and Israeli intellectuals contributed to this process. One by one, he identifies and calls into question the foundation myths of the Israeli state, beginning with the myth of a people forcibly uprooted, a people-race that began to wander the world in search of a land of asylum. This was a people that would define itself on a biological and "mythological-religious" basis, embodied in words that today feed Israeli political, literary, and historical writing: "exile," "return," and "ascent" (Alyah) to the land of its origins. Since 1948, most intellectuals in Israel have continued to accept this ethno-national image and embrace an exclusive state identity to which only Jewish people can belong. The first challenges to this dominant idea didn't appear in Israel until the 1980s, in the innovative work of the "post-Zionist" historians, who were bent on dismantling the nationalist historical myth and arguing for a state that would belong equally to all its citizens. Analyzing how Israeli intellectuals positioned themselves during the Gulf War and in the new era of communication technologies, Sand extends his analysis globally, looking at the status of intellectuals in all societies.

Author Biography

Shlomo Sand teaches contemporary history at Tel-Aviv University. He is the author of The Invention of the Jewish People, On the Nation and the Jewish People, and other books.

Table of Contents

Preface: Where I Am Speaking Fromp. 7
Introduction: Intellectuals and the National Imaginationp. 25
˘People of the Book÷ and People of Lettersp. 45
Words That Think Through Usp. 99
˘Analogical÷ Intellectuals and the Gulf Warp. 135
Post-Zionism: A Historiographical or Intellectual Debate?p. 155
Epilogue: Bernard Lazare, the First French Zionistp. 181
Notesp. 203
Bibliographyp. 221
Indexp. 231
Acknowledgmentsp. 237
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.


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