An important and topical contribution to the field of Middle East studies, this innovative, provocative, and timely study tackles head-on the main assumptions of the foundation of Israel as a Jewish state. Theoretically sophisticated and empirically rich, Yaacov Yadgar provides a novel analysis of the interplay between Israeli nationalism and Jewish tradition, arriving at a fresh understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through its focus on internal questions about Israeli identity. By critiquing and transcending the current discourse on religion and politics in Israel, this study brings to an international audience debates within Israel that have been previously inaccessible to non-Hebrew speaking academics. Featuring discussions on Israeli jurisprudence, nation-state law, and rabbinic courts, Israel's Jewish Identity Crisis will have far-reaching implications, not only within the state of Israel but on politics, society and culture beyond its borders.
Yaacov Yadgar (University of Oxford)
Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication:
Series: The Global Middle East
30 January 2020
Professional and scholarly
Preface; Introduction. Israel's Jewish identity crisis; 1. The politics of religious conversion and the limits of Zionist nationhood; 2. Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people?; 3. Two contemporary debates on Zionism and secularism; 4. Non-Jewish Israeli nationalism and the limits of Israeliness.
Yaacov Yadgar is the Stanley Lewis Professor of Israel Studies at the University of Oxford. He has written extensively on matters of Jewish identity, nationalism, secularism, modernity and tradition in Israel. He is the author of Sovereign Jews: Israel, Zionism, and Judaism (2017).
Reviews for Israel's Jewish Identity Crisis: State and Politics in the Middle East
'Readers interested in untangling the many arguments swirling through Israel today may find this addition to Cambridge's 'The Global Middle East' series of interest.' G. M. Massey, Choice 'To the large library devoted to modern Jewish-Israeli identity Yaacov Yadgar's newest book is, despite its relative slimness, a weighty addition. As its aim is to expose the root causes of the spiritual crisis Yadgar sees engulfing public life in Israel, the book is indeed innovatively 'radical' in its analytical attitude and breadth of discussion.' Israel Studies Review