Colin Shindler's remarkable history begins in 1948, as waves of immigrants arrived in Israel from war-torn Europe to establish new cities, new institutions, and a new culture founded on the Hebrew language. Optimistic beginnings were soon replaced with the sobering reality of wars with Arab neighbours, internal ideological differences, and ongoing confrontation with the Palestinians. In this updated edition, Shindler covers the significant developments of the last decade, including the rise of the Israeli far right, Hamas's takeover and the political rivalry between Gaza and the West Bank, Israel's uneasy dealings with the new administration in the United States, political Islam and the potential impact of the Arab Spring on the region as a whole. This sympathetic yet candid portrayal asks how a nation that emerged out of the ashes of the Holocaust and was the admiration of the world is now perceived by many Western governments in a less than benevolent light.
Colin Shindler is Emeritus Professor and Pears Senior Research Fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He is also founding chairman of the European Association of Israel Studies.
1. Zionism and security; 2. The Hebrew republic; 3. New immigrants and first elections; 4. The politics of piety; 5. Retaliation or self-restraint; 6. The rise of the right; 7. The road to Beirut; 8. Dissent at home and abroad; 9. An insurrection before a handshake; 10. The end of ideology?; 11. The killing of a prime minister; 12. The magician and the bulldozer; 13. He does not stop at the red light; 14. An unlikely grandfather; 15. A brotherly conflict; 16. Bialik's bequest?; 17. Stagnation and isolationism; 18. An Arab spring and an Israeli winter?