Land and power: the Zionist resort to force, 1881-1948

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Oxford University Press, 1992 - History - 446 pages
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No other issue so dramatically demonstrates the deep change which occurred during the last century in the image of the Jew, as the attitude toward the use of force. A people who were characterized as averse to violence and all forms of fighting, adopted military might as its identity symbol. Shapira traces the road along which the Zionist movement discarded its early mission of peaceful settlement in Palestine, to the incorporation of the use of force as a legitimate tool for realizing the idea of Jewish national sovereignty there. The emergence of a new, "Israeli" national ethos, accompanied by its particular symbols, myths, and norms, is the topic of this book. The evolution of a "defensive ethos" in the early decades of the century neglected the scruples and inhibitions of first generation socialist Zionist settlers. The appearance in the 1940s of an "offensive ethos" coincided with the coming of age of a new native-born generation, unfettered by their fathers' sensitivities. Shapira argues that it indicated that the barriers of ideology, moral norms, and mental restraints constructed by the founding fathers, proved unequal to the impact of social and political realities of colonization.

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The Heyday of the Defensive Ethos 19221936
The Shift to an Offensive Ethos 19361947

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About the author (1992)

Anita Shapria is Professor of Jewish History and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at Tel Aviv University. She is the coeditor and author of several volumes, including Land and Power: The Zionist Resort to Force, 1881-1948.