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The Home of Academic Studies on Israel

PART I - Israeli History [+ / -]

The History of ZionismAuthor: Moshe Maor

One of the most important aspects of modern Jewish life in Europe since the mid-nineteenth century was the development of a variety of Jewish national movements that offered competing ideologies and solutions to the issues of Jewish nationhood and individual nationality as well as to problems posed by modernity. Among these problems was the breakdown of the parochial molds of Jewish life and the fragmentation of the traditional Jewish community. This article focuses on Zionism, the most radical of all modern Jewish national movements.

The Yishuv: Jewish Community in Mandatory PalestineAuthor: Aviva Halamish

At the end of World War I, tens of thousands of Jews were living in Palestine. They constituted a heterogeneous community in a remote part of a declining empire, having neither institutional infrastructure nor recognized leadership. Within 30 years, however, this community, known as the Yishuv, evolved into an autonomous society; "a state in the making," ready for independence. The main purpose of this article is to describe and analyze how the Yishuv was transformed from a marginal, passive body into an active element whose activity largely determined the nature of Palestine and its history.

The Partition of PalestineAuthor: Aharon Klieman

A single word - partition - captures the essence of diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving the historic Arab-Jewish struggle for mastery over geographic Palestine. This strategy of dividing fiercely-contested territory, commonly referred to in today's diplomatic parlance as the "two-state" solution, finds its earliest expression during the 1920-48 period of the British Mandate but reached its peak in the pro-partition resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in November 1947. Regarding the Israeli polity and its quest for peace and security, the present national debate follows the same lines of political argument for and against trading territory in return for real or imagined peace as took place following the call for partitioning Palestine in the late 1930's and again in 1947.

Israel and the HolocaustAuthor: Shlomo Aronson

The Holocaust, its historical interpretations, and its lessons are interwoven into the Israeli identity and manifested in various ways. Here we explore the historical and contemporary impact of the Holocaust on Israel's society, its politics, and the actions that it has taken for its security.

The Israeli-Arab War of 1948Author: Yoav Gelber

The long lasting interest in the war of 1948 has not emanated from its unique features as a military campaign. Rather, scholarly interest and public curiosity have stemmed mainly from the wider historical consequences of this war. These consequences include the emergence of Israel, its persistent existence as a spearhead of western civilization in the Middle East, the protracted Arab-Jewish conflict and the unsolved Palestinian problem. Other historical transformations also have causal links to this war and they include the disappearance of the ancient Jewish communities in Muslim countries such as Yemen, Iraq and Egypt through immigration to Israel and elsewhere as well as political and social upheavals in the Arab states and frequent changes of their global orientation after the war.

Jewish Settlement in the Land of Israel/PalestineAuthor: Ilan Troen

The Land of Israel/Palestine again became an actor in world affairs and a focus of wide interest with Zionism's successful effort to ensure for Jews a place among the nations of the world with a Jewish state. Ottoman Palestine was a woefully underdeveloped country with but 250,000 inhabitants in 1800 and only 500,000 in 1900. By 2000, that same land from Lebanon to the Sinai and from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean, accommodated a population that had grown 20-fold to nearly 10,000,000 people. The engine for this remarkable transformation has been the injection of the skills, initiative and capital largely provided by the Zionist movement and the State of Israel. The history of Jewish settlement of this largely undeveloped territory is a major topic in the history of this region. This essay will begin by examining change in the countryside and will go on to detail the urban revolution that transformed a traditional, rural society into a modern one with an advanced economy.

Anti-Zionism & Anti-Semitism in the 21st CenturyAuthor: Robert S. Wistrich

About twenty years ago, when writing Anti-Semitism: The Longest Hatred, my emphasis lay on the longevity, near-ubiquity and persistence of anti-Jewish hatred in Europe and the Middle East over many centuries. However, already in 1990 it was impossible to ignore the fact that the demonization of Israel and the Jews was reaching new heights in the post-war world. In part this was bolstered by the rise of a fanatical Islamic fundamentalism with its stark refusal to accept the right of Jews to exercise any form of sovereignty in what it defined as an exclusively Muslim domain. This attitude was by no means new. In the Arab world, since the 1950s, outright rejection of the Jewish State was virtually axiomatic. The term Jews (Yahūd) had long been used interchangeably with Zionists (Sahyūniyyūn) and/or Israelis. The repeated publication of best-selling editions in Arabic of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion throughout the Middle East had, moreover, reinforced the popular view that there was a powerful satanic conspiracy directed by Zionists together with the Western powers against Islam and the entire Arab world. This antisemitic and anti-Zionist ideology motivates not only Iran but the Lebanese Shi'ite Hezbollah as well as the Sunni Muslim Hamas (an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood) in Gaza. It is important to note that neither Iran, Hezbollah nor Hamas shrink from an openly genocidal, annihilationist demand for the total destruction of the State of Israel.

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PART II - Israeli Society & Culture [+ / -]

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PART III - Israeli Democracy [+ / -]

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PART IV - Israeli Wars & the Peace Process [+ / -]

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PART V - Israel's International Relations [+ / -]

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