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The Fighting Family

Avi Shlaim, 9 May 1996

Israel, Likud and the Zionist Dream: Power, Politics and Ideology from Begin to Netanyahu 
by Colin Shindler.
Tauris, 324 pp., £25, August 1995, 1 85043 969 9
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Summing Up: An Autobiography 
by Yitzhak Shamir.
Weidenfeld, 276 pp., £19.99, April 1994, 0 297 81337 4
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Broken Covenant: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis between the US and Israel 
by Moshe Arens.
Simon and Schuster, 320 pp., $25, February 1995, 0 671 86964 7
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A Zionist Stand 
by Ze’ev Begin.
Cass, 173 pp., £15, January 1993, 0 7146 4089 1
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Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorism 
by Benjamin Netanyahu.
Farrar, Straus, 152 pp., $17, October 1995, 0 374 15492 9
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... Menachem Begin and his Likud union of nationalist and liberal parties won their first electoral victory on 17 May 1977, bringing to an end three decades of Labour rule. The Likud was to dominate Israeli politics for the next 15 years. Colin Shindler’s book provides the first comprehensive survey of the Party’s origins, rise and decline, while paying particular attention to the role played by its successive leaders ...

‘It was necessary to uproot them’

Charles Glass: Post-Zionist historiography, 24 June 2004

A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples 
by Ilan Pappe.
Cambridge, 333 pp., £15.99, January 2004, 0 521 55632 5
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The Gun and the Olive Branch 
by David Hirst.
Faber, 624 pp., £16.99, August 2003, 0 571 21945 4
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The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited 
by Benny Morris.
Cambridge, 664 pp., £70, January 2004, 0 521 81120 1
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... ten years later, the election for the first time of the right-wing Likud coalition under Menachem Begin. The colonisation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967 led many who witnessed its brutality to explore the events that preceded it. They came to disparage the notion that 1967 had transformed an ideal state into a violent expansionist power, concluding ...

Ariel the Unlucky

David Gilmour, 5 April 1990

Warrior: The Autobiography of Ariel Sharon 
by Ariel Sharon and David Chanoff.
Macdonald, 571 pp., £14.95, October 1989, 0 356 17960 5
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The Slopes of Lebanon 
by Amos Oz, translated by Maurie Goldberg-Bartura.
Chatto, 246 pp., £13.95, January 1990, 0 7011 3444 5
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From Beirut to Jerusalem 
by Thomas Friedman.
Collins, 541 pp., £15, March 1990, 0 00 215096 4
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Pity the nation: Lebanon at War 
by Robert Fisk.
Deutsch, 622 pp., £17.95, February 1990, 0 233 98516 6
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... blamed for the Lebanese disaster. Two of the country’s most distinguished military writers, Ze’ev Schiff and Ehud Ya’ari, have declared: ‘Born of the ambition of one wilful, reckless man, Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon was anchored in delusion, propelled by deceit, and bound to end in calamity.’ The deceit is sustained throughout this book ...

Ehud Barak

Avi Shlaim: Ehud Barak, 25 January 2001

... stages of the struggle for Palestine. The crux of this strategy – promulgated in 1923 by Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the founder of Revisionist Zionism – was that the Arabs could only be dealt with from a position of unassailable strength. Once Israel was sufficiently secure, a satisfactory settlement with the Palestinians and its other Arab neighbours ...

A Diverse Collection of Peoples

Daniel Lazare: Shlomo Sand v. Zionism, 20 June 2013

The Invention of the Jewish People 
by Shlomo Sand.
Verso, 344 pp., £9.99, June 2010, 978 1 84467 623 1
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The Invention of the Land of Israel: From Holy Land to Homeland 
by Shlomo Sand.
Verso, 295 pp., £16.99, January 2013, 978 1 84467 946 1
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... people who ‘kept faith’ throughout the Diaspora were the same as the ones who headed out to begin with? Did they share the same genes? Or were they as far removed from the original Jews as, say, Polish Galicians are from the Galicians of Spain? In The Invention of the Jewish People, Sand sought to demythologise his people’s identity. It was a ...

We Are Conquerors

Adam Shatz: Ben-Gurion’s Obsession, 24 October 2019

A State at Any Cost: The Life of David Ben-Gurion 
by Tom Segev.
Head of Zeus, 804 pp., £30, August 2019, 978 1 78954 462 6
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... Ben-Gurion enlisted in the British army’s Jewish legion, leaving his pregnant wife in the US to begin training in Canada. Made up of five thousand soldiers, the legion was a ‘Zionist illusion, of zero military value’, Segev writes, but it allowed Ben-Gurion to get back to Palestine, and he relished its symbolism: ‘One doesn’t receive a country; one ...

The sea is the same sea

Adam Shatz: Bibi goes to Washington, 30 August 2018

Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu 
by Anshel Pfeffer.
Hurst, 423 pp., £20, May 2018, 978 1 84904 988 7
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... 20 per cent of the population, but they are an internal pariah. Netanyahu’s Israel embodies what Ze’ev Jabotinsky, his father’s hero, called ‘an iron wall of Jewish bayonets’. Jabotinsky, the founder of Revisionist Zionism, dreamed of an Israel on both banks of the Jordan. Netanyahu has made his peace with Hashemite rule over Jordan, but in his ...

‘J’accuse’: Dreyfus in Our Times

Jacqueline Rose: A Lecture, 10 June 2010

... discern the seeds of a totalitarianism which would come to fruition in 1940 (the Israeli historian Ze’ev Sternhell has described the anti-Dreyfusard League of Patriots as the first proto-fascist organisation). France had submitted to the yoke of its generals. The rule of law was in thrall to the army, which had been raised to a ...

The Israel Lobby

John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt: The Israel Lobby, 23 March 2006

... world and undermine the war on terrorism, so he demanded that Sharon ‘halt the incursions and begin withdrawal’. He underscored this message two days later, saying he wanted Israel to ‘withdraw without delay’. On 7 April, Condoleezza Rice, then Bush’s national security adviser, told reporters: ‘“Without delay” means without delay. It means ...

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