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This timely book tells the fascinating story of how Zionists colonizers planned and established nearly 700 agricultural settlements, towns, and cities from the 1880s to the present. This extraordinary activity of planners, architects, social scientists, military personnel, politicians, and settlers is inextricably linked to multiple contexts: Jewish and Zionist history, the Arab/Jewish conflict, and the diffusion of European ideas to non-European worlds. S. Ilan Troen demonstrates how professionals and settlers continually innovated plans for both rural and urban frontiers in response to the competing demands of social and political ideologies and the need to achieve productivity, economic independence, and security in a hostile environment. In the 1930s, security became the primary challenge, shaping and even distorting patterns of growth. Not until the 1993 Oslo Accords, with prospects of compromise and accommodation, did planners again imagine Israel as a normal state, developing like other modern societies.Troen concludes that if Palestinian Arabs become reconciled to a Jewish state, Israel will reassign priority to the social and economic development of the country and region.
Most Americans are ill-prepared to engage thoughtfully in the increasingly serious debate about Israel, its place in the Middle East, and its relations with the United States. Essential Israel examines a wide variety of complex issues and current concerns in historical and contemporary contexts to provide readers with an intimate sense of the dynamic society and culture that is Israel today. The expert contributors to this volume address the Arab-Israeli conflict, the state of diplomatic efforts to bring about peace, Zionism and the impact of the Holocaust, the status of the Jewish state and Israeli democracy, foreign relations, immigration and Israeli identity, as well as literature, film, and the other arts. This unique and innovative volume provides solid grounding to understandings of Israel's history, politics, culture, and possibilities for the future.
Offers cutting-edge perspectives on how international development has shaped the global history of the modern world.
When did the Arab-Israeli conflict begin? Some discussions focus on the 1967 war, some go back to the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, and others look to the beginning of the British Mandate in 1929. Alan Dowty, however, traces the earliest roots of the conflict to the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century, arguing that this historical approach highlights constant clashes between religious and ethnic groups in Palestine. He demonstrates that existing Arab residents viewed new Jewish settlers as European and shares evidence of overwhelming hostility to foreigners from European lands. He shows that Jewish settlers had tremendous incentive to minimize all obstacles to settlement, including the inconvenient hostility of the existing population. Dowty's thorough research reveals how events that occurred over 125 years ago shaped the implacable conflict that dominates the Middle East today.
Holy war, sanctioned or even commanded by God, is a common and recurring theme in the Hebrew Bible. Rabbinic Judaism, however, largely avoided discussion of holy war in the Talmud and related literatures for the simple reason that it became dangerous and self-destructive. Reuven Firestone's Holy War in Judaism is the first book to consider how the concept of ''holy war'' disappeared from Jewish thought for almost 2000 years, only to reemerge with renewed vigor in modern times. The revival of the holy war idea occurred with the rise of Zionism. As the necessity of organized Jewish engagement in military actions developed, Orthodox Jews faced a dilemma. There was great need for all to engage in combat for the survival of the infant state of Israel, but the Talmudic rabbis had virtually eliminated divine authorization for Jews to fight in Jewish armies. Once the notion of divinely sanctioned warring was revived, it became available to Jews who considered that the historical context justified more aggressive forms of warring. Among some Jews, divinely authorized war became associated not only with defense but also with a renewed kibbush or conquest, a term that became central to the discourse regarding war and peace and the lands conquered by the state of Israel in 1967. By the early 1980's, the rhetoric of holy war had entered the general political discourse of modern Israel. In Holy War in Judaism, Firestone identifies, analyzes, and explains the historical, conceptual, and intellectual processes that revived holy war ideas in modern Judaism.
The powerful, disturbing history of Nazi Europe by Mark Mazower, one of Britain's leading historians and bestselling author of Dark Continent and Governing the World Hitler's Empire charts the landscape of the Nazi imperial imagination - from those economists who dreamed of turning Europe into a huge market for German business, to Hitler's own plans for new transcontinental motorways passing over the ethnically cleansed Russian steppe, and earnest internal SS discussions of political theory, dictatorship and the rule of law. Above all, this chilling account shows what happened as these ideas met reality. After their early battlefield triumphs, the bankruptcy of the Nazis' political vision for Europe became all too clear: their allies bailed out, their New Order collapsed in military failure, and they left behind a continent corrupted by collaboration, impoverished by looting and exploitation, and grieving the victims of war and genocide. About the author: Mark Mazower is Ira D.Wallach Professor of World Order Studies and Professor of History Professor of History at Columbia University. He is the author of Hitler's Greece: The Experience of Occupation, 1941-44, Dark Continent: Europe's Twentieth Century, The Balkans: A Short History (which won the Wolfson Prize for History), Salonica: City of Ghosts (which won both the Duff Cooper Prize and the Runciman Award) and Governing the World: The History of an Idea. He has also taught at Birkbeck College, University of London, Sussex University and Princeton. He lives in New York.

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