Prophets Outcast: A Century of Dissident Jewish Writing about Zionism and Israel

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Adam Shatz
Nation Books, 2004 - History - 408 pages
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Contrary to the claims of the American Jewish establishment and the Israel lobby, Jews do not speak with one voice about the Middle East. Since the early twentieth century some of the fiercest and most eloquent critiques of Israel and Zionism have been made by Jewish thinkers. They have hailed from political and intellectual traditions—Zionism (Hannah Arendt), anti-Zionism (Maxim Rodinson), anarchism (Noam Chomsky), and Marxism (I. F. Stone). Unconditional supporters of the state of Israel have denounced them as heretics. Yet in the midst of the violence engulfing Palestine and Israel, their warnings about the Zionist project, with its vision of an ethnically pure Jewish state, have never seemed more prescient. These prophets outcast speak out as individuals in a wilderness, proposing solutions to the question of Palestine that range from a two-state solution to socialist internationalism. What links them is an understanding that Israeli policies have been a disaster not only for Palestinians, but for Jews as well. As Jews, they express a recognition of the tragic thread that connects the Palestinian catastrophe to the Holocaust, the destruction of European Jewry that made Israel possible, and that led many Jews to view Zionism as their only salvation.

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About the author (2004)

ADAM SHATZ is the literary editor of the Nation. He writes regularly for the New York Review of Books and the New York Times.

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