ISRAEL DIVIDED: Ideological Politics in the Jewish State by Rael Jean Isaac

ISRAEL DIVIDED: Ideological Politics in the Jewish State

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A study of two ""extremist"" political tendencies which appeared in Israel after the victorious 1967 war: the Land of Israel Movement, devoted to securing Israeli possession of the territories gained in the war, and a peace movement of academics, students, radical kibbutz members, and socialists, which called for social justice toward Arabs living under Israeli rule. Isaac, a Brooklyn College sociologist, describes both groupings as non-party formations agreed on ""normative Zionism,"" or the virtues of ties to the soil. The LIM, about which she says most, advocated independence from both the Americans and Soviets. Attracting dissidents from several parties and support from figures like General Dayan, it gained steam until the 1973 war, a war which undermined the idea that more territory meant more security. The book describes leaders and factions of both movements; but such matters as the way key Knesset votes were or were not influenced by extra-parliamentary pressure remain vague. Relatively sympathetic to the LIM, Isaac concludes that disorder is endemic to the region and thus the peace movement has poor prospects. Though these specific political clusters may be inconsequential at present, the book opens new access to some of the complexities of Israeli policy debate.

Pub Date: May 25th, 1976
Publisher: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press