A History of Modern Israel

A History of Modern Israel

Colin Shindler

Language: English

Pages: 400

ISBN: 0521615380

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The state of Israel came into existence in 1948. Colin Shindler's book traces Israel's history across sixty years, from its optimistic beginnings - immigration, settlement, the creation of its towns and institutions - through the wars with its Arab neighbours, and the confrontation with the Palestinians. Shindler paints a broad canvas which affords unusual insights into this multicultural society, forged from over a hundred different Jewish communities and united by a common history. Despite these commonalities, however, Israel in the twenty-first century is riven by ideological disputes and different interpretations of 'Jewishness' and Judaism. Nowhere are these divisions more revealingly portrayed than in the lives and ideologies of Israel's leaders. Biographical portraits of Ben Gurion, Israel's first prime-minister, Yitzhak Rabin, whose assassination is still a traumatic memory for many Israelis, and the controversial Ariel Sharon, offer fascinating examinations of those who have led the country to where it is today.

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Palestine, 2 September 1931. Reproduced with kind permission from the Central Zionist archives. protected by a defence force – whether Jewish or British – an ‘Iron Wall’ which would repulse attempts to eradicate the Zionist project. As long as the Arabs feel that there is the least hope of getting rid of us, they will refuse to give up this hope in return for kind words or for bread and butter, because they are not a rabble, but a living people. And when a living people yields in matters of such

Basaf (Tel Aviv 1978) p. 115. 59 Nechemiah 4:11. Zionism and security 37 Dayan lost his eye in a British-backed advance into Vichy Syria. The British saw the Palmach as a potential guerrilla force if Rommel conquered Palestine and a bulwark against the pro-German Palestinian national movement. Over 25,000 Jews served in the British forces during the war despite the reluctance of Whitehall to accept them. The mainstream Palestinian Arab leadership spent the war years in Germany, hoping for a

Czechoslovakia including even the uniforms which the Israelis wore. During the inter-state war between Israel and the Arab world which followed, another 300,000 Palestinian Arabs left – some, this time, were expelled in considerable numbers by Israeli commanders at the local level. There was no doubt resentment at the unwillingness of the Arab world to contemplate negotiations and compromise; instead they waged a bitterly contested war in which they had calculated that they would emerge

provision of Hawk ground-to-air missiles to Israel in August 1962, the United States wanted a diplomatic solution. Indeed, Israeli military intelligence had not predicted a new war. There were no US arms for Israel. 1 2 Shimon Shamir and Vitaly Naumkin in Richard B. Parker (ed.), The Six Day War: A Retrospective (Florida 1996) pp. 24–46. US aide m´emoire from Dulles to Eban 11 February 1957 in Parker (ed.), The Six Day War: A Retrospective p. 122. 123 124 colin shindler During the period

should have conquered more territory in 1967 such as the Druse mountains, his plan to partition the West Bank between Israel and Jordan on the basis of functional responsibility represented a compromise on previously held positions. The Allon Plan thereby created astonishment and disbelief within his own party. However, leading members of Achdut Ha’avodah in government and in the Histadrut argued that Israel should not control the lives of a million Arabs. Other party leaders accused Allon of

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