Postzionism first emerged in the mid-1980s in writings by historians and social scientists that challenged the dominant academic versions of Israeli history, society, and national identity. Subsequently, this critique was expanded and sharpened in the writings of philosophers, cultural critics, legal scholars, and public intellectuals.
This reader provides a broad spectrum of innovative and highly controversial views on Zionism and its place in the global Jewish world of the twenty-first century. While not questioning Israel’s legitimacy as a state, many contributors argue that it has yet to become a fully democratic, pluralistic state in which power is shared among all of its citizens. Essays explore current attitudes about Jewish homeland and diaspora as well as the ways that zionist discourse contributes to the marginalization and exclusion of such minority communities as Palestinian citizens, Jews of Middle-Eastern origin (Mizrahim), women, and the queer community.
An introductory essay describes Postzionism and contextualizes each contribution within the broader discourse. The most complete collection of postzionist documents available in English, this anthology is essential reading for students and scholars of Jewish identity, Middle-Eastern conflict, and Israeli history.
Reading Postzionism: an introduction / Laurence J. Silberstein The new historiography: Israel confronts its past / Benny Morris Land, labor, and the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 1882 1914 / Gershon Shafir Introduction to The Palestinian People: A History / Baruch Kimmerling and Joel S. Migdal Postzionism studies of Israel: the first decade / Uri Ram The identity of the victims and the victims of identity: a critique of Zionist ideology for a Postzionist age / Adi Ophir Academic history caught in the cross-fire: a case of Israeli-Jewish historiography / Baruch Kimmerling Ethnocracy: the politics of Judaizing Israel/Palestine / Oren Yiftachel A first step in a difficult and sensitive road: preliminary observations on Qaadan v. Katzir / Alexandre (Sandy) Kedar Save as Jerusalems / Ariella Azoulay Hebrew in an Israeli Arab hand: six miniatures on Anton Shammas's Arabesques / Hannan Hever At half mast myths, symbols, and rituals of an emerging state: a personal testimony of an "Israeli Arab" / Anton Shammas Arab citizens of Palestine: little to celebrate / Azmi Bishara Rupture and return: Zionist discourse and the study of Arab Jews / Ella Shohat History begins at home / Yehouda Shenhav A Mizrahi call for a more democratic Israel / Pnina Motzafi-Haller Body and territory: women in Israeli cinema / Orly Lubin Introduction to Beyond flesh: queer masculinities and nationalism in Israeli cinema / Raz Yosef The construction of lesbianism as nonissue in Israel / Erella Shadmi Diaspora: generation and the ground of Jewish identity / Daniel Boyarin and Jonathan Boyarin From diaspora Jews to new Jews / Caryn Aviv and David Shneer The charge of anti-Semitism: Jews, Israel, and the risks of public critique / Judith Butler
Laurence Silberstein is the Philip and Muriel Berman Professor of Jewish Studies at Lehigh University and the author of The Postzionism Debates: Knowledge and Power in Israeli Culture.