ISRAEL: A Profile by Israel T. Naamani

ISRAEL: A Profile

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A useful, heuristic introduction to Israel -- geography, history, political and social structure. Naamani traces the successive waves of immigration from the First Aliyaha in the 1880's to the current influx of Soviet Jewry emphasizing especially the diversity of cultures and the ongoing problems of assimilation. The continuing tensions between Western and Oriental elements who have ""fallen behind modern sociocultural behavior"" are acknowledged but Naamani is confident that -- despite the rise of an indigenous Black Power Party -- integration via primary schools and the army will prove successful. Similarly Naamani suggests that pragmatic solutions will prevail in the disputes between the secularists and the religious fundamentalists who are vexed by departures from orthodoxy on such questions as marriage and divorce, Sabbath observance, autopsies and organ transplants. As for Israel's other minorities Naamani concedes job discrimination against Arabs but takes the position that Israel has done every thing it can to assuage their grievances -- just look at all the mosques built and supported with state funds. Other chapters outline the workings of the multifarious party system, the quasi-socialism of the majority coalition governments, the intricacies of the courts -- secular, religious and tribal -- and Israel's impressive economic achievements. On Israel's relations with her Arab neighbors he has little to offer except for the ardent hope that relations will eventually be normalized. It's a textbookish survey which avoids controversy and takes a sanguine view of this unique experiment in nation-building.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1972
Publisher: Praeger