Rubber Bullets: Power and Conscience in Modern Isræl

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9780520214163: Rubber Bullets: Power and Conscience in Modern Isræl

Among commentators on Israeli affairs, Yaron Ezrahi is distinguished by his analytical brilliance, his twin passions for Jewish traditions and the tradition of liberal democracy, and his ability to see behind current events to their causes, some of them three generations in the making, some three millennia. Here he offers an uncommonly insightful analysis of the ways that history, politics, and the national character of Israel come to bear on current affairs there. Ezrahi regards surprising and divisive events—such as the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Benjamin Netanyahu's defeat of Shimon Peres in the subsequent ministerial election—as signs of an ongoing, fundamental conflict in Israeli society. He explores ways in which the conflict is felt in diverse aspects of Israeli life and culture, from the social dimensions of military service and the development of the modern Hebrew language to Israelis' attitudes toward nature and the status of women. In chapters that blend probing analysis with stirring memoir, Ezrahi tells the story of Israel's transformation from a defensive, embattled society held together by a myth of national liberation to a prosperous liberal society that must make room for the many different stories of individual Israelis.

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Review:

Noted Israeli author Yaron Ezrahi has created a hybrid of memoir, history, and social commentary in Rubber Bullets: Power and Conscience in Modern Israel. He examines the complex and halting shift from a collectivist Zionist mindset to a contemporary individualism and delivers a critical and passionate account of the Jewish state. Here the rubber bullets Israeli soldiers cruelly and ineffectually fired at rock-throwing Palestinians serve as a metaphor for Israel's conflicted sense of self. Ezrahi analyzes the effects of mandatory military service, the threat of terrorism, and the absence of personal choice on Israeli youth. In a nation where solidarity is viewed as strength, even a necessity, he sees the dangers of sharp generational differences regarding the role of the individual and the original aims of Zionism. He writes of watching footage of violent clashes during the apex of the Intifada: "The pictures on the screen . . . suddenly settled . . . on a single Israeli soldier . . . pointing his gun at a group of shouting, stone-throwing Palestinian youth . . . and I was seized by an impulse to cover my father's eyes with my right hand while keeping my son's wide open with my left."

About the Author:

Yaron Ezrahi is Professor of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Senior Fellow of the Israel Democracy Institute.

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Yaron Ezrahi
Editore: University of California Press (1998)
ISBN 10: 0520214161 ISBN 13: 9780520214163
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Descrizione libro University of California Press, 1998. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Reprint. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0520214161

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Ezrahi, Yaron
Editore: University of California Press (1998)
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Ezrahi, Yaron
Editore: University of California Press
ISBN 10: 0520214161 ISBN 13: 9780520214163
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Descrizione libro University of California Press. PAPERBACK. Condizione libro: New. 0520214161 New Condition. Codice libro della libreria NEW6.1179489

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Yaron Ezrahi
Editore: University of California Press (1998)
ISBN 10: 0520214161 ISBN 13: 9780520214163
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