Israel and the Family of Nations: The Jewish Nation-state and Human Rights (Israeli History, Politics and Society)

Israel and the Family of Nations: The Jewish Nation-state and Human Rights (Israeli History, Politics and Society)

By: Alexander Yakobson (author), Amnon Rubinstein (author)Hardback

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Can Israel be both Jewish and truly democratic? How can a nation-state, which incorporates a large national minority with a distinct identity of its own be a state of all its citizens? Written by two eminent Israeli scholars, a professor of constitutional law and a historian, Alexander Yakobson and Amnon Rubinstein are the first to treat Zionism and Israeli experience in light of other states' experiences and in particular of newly established states that have undergone constitutional changes and wrestled with issues of minorities. Citing various European, constitutions and laws, the authors explore concept of a Jewish State and its various meanings in the light of international law, and the current norms of Human Rights as applied to other democratic societies compatible with liberal democratic norms and conclude that international reality does not accord with the concept which regards a modern, liberal democracy as a culturally "neutral" and a nationally colourless entity. In light of the new political map in Israel and the prospect of future disengagement from the West Bank, Israel and the Family of Nations is essential reading for all those who wish to understand Israel's future challenges.

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About Author

Dr. Alexander Yacobson is a Senior lecturer in the history department of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Prof. Amnon Rubinstein, is currently Provost and Dean of the Radzyner School of Law at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzlia. He is a former Minister of Education and a regular contributor to Israseli Dailies.


Introduction 1. The establishment of the Jewish state - The UN debates in 1947 1.1 Israel's Declaration of Independence 1.2 The UNSCOP (United Nations Special Committee on Palestine) report 1.3 The Partition debate in the UN General Assembly 1.4 The dilemmas of the right of national self-determination 1.5 The historic right and the historic connection 1.6 "An alien body in the Arab Middle East" 1.7 The validity of the principle of partition 2. Two arguments: Zionist "colonialism" and the "invention" of the Jewish national identity 2.1 Colonialism and imperialist support 2.2 "The hope of two thousand years"? Modern Jewish identity and the question of historical continuity 3. Zionism and international norms 3.1 Everything goes back to Herzl 3.2 The question of Arabs' rights in the Zionist thought 4. The Jewish state and the Israeli democracy 4.1 "The Jewish state" in the Israeli discourse 4.2 The Jewish state and the rights of the Arab minority 4.3 The Arabs in Israel as a national minority 4.4 "The Jewish state", "the state of the Jews", "the state of the Jewish people" 5. "Either Jewish or democratic"? 5.1 "Jewish and democratic state" - oxymoron? 5.2 The Law of Return and the international norms of civic equality 5.3 The Jewish state and the state of all its citizens 5.4 "The Jewish-Israeli people" and the right of self-determination 5.5 Israel and the Jewish Diaspora - a national or an ethnic connection? 5.6 "The Israeli people" - a national identity common to all the citizens of the state? 5.7 The "post-national state" 6. "The neutrality of the state" and the democratic nation-state 6.1 The principle of neutrality and the various types of democratic regimes 6.2 Partition and "neutrality" 6.3 The principle of neutrality, the Law of Return and the problem of Palestinian refugees 6.4 Two examples of partition: India and Ireland 6.5 "Imperial nations" - Britain and Spain 6.6 "Composite" identities, national identity and citizenship 7. "Ethnic democracy", "ethnic nationalism", "civic nationalism" 7.1 "Ethnic democracy" - Prof. Sami Samocha's model 7.2 Civic nationalism and cultural homogeneity - the French model 7.3 Civic nationalism - US and other examples 7.4 "Second-rate democracy"? Epilogue: No other country Appendix A: Excerpts from constitutions of contemporary democratic countries Appendix B: Nansen's speech before League of Nations on the need to support the repatriation of ethnic Armenians to the Armenian Soviet Republic

Product Details

  • publication date: 18/07/2008
  • ISBN13: 9780415464413
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 256
  • ID: 9780415464413
  • weight: 521
  • ISBN10: 0415464412

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