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The Invention of the Land of Israel


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About the Author

SHLOMO SAND studied History at the University of Tel Aviv and at the Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales in Paris. He currently teaches Contemporary History at the University of Tel Aviv. His books include The Invention of the Jewish People and On the Nation and the Jewish People.


"Anyone interested in understanding the contemporary Middle East should read this book." - Tony Judt, In praise of The Invention of the Jewish People "Perhaps books combining passion and erudition don't change political situations, but if they did, this one would count as a landmark." - Eric Hobsbawm, In praise of The Invention of the Jewish People "His achievement consists in debunking a nationalist mythology which holds sway in large sections of popular opinion. It also normalises Jews, since it challenges the belief in exceptionalism...Truth-telling may be painful but necessary." - Donald Sassoon, Guardian "A thought-provoking, readable, and important work." - Publisher's Weekly " - there is much to enjoy and learn in the evidence in the potentially incendiary material [Shlomo Sand] assembles here." - Electronic Intifada "[Sand] critically consider the ways in which the Zionist colonization of Palestine and the establishment of the State of Israel have been justified by claims of ancestral lands, historical rights, and millennia-old national yearnings, all of which he proceeds to critically undermine as either justifiable reasons for mastery over the land of Palestine/Israel or even representative of longstanding mass Jewish aspirations." - Book News "This groundbreaking new historical work from a highly controversial author undoes the myth of the Jewish people's historical right to the 'Land of Israel'." - SirReadaLot.org

In his newest, Sand (The Invention of the Jewish People), a professor of modern history at the University of Tel Aviv, seeks "to deconstruct the concept of the Jewish `historical right' to the Land of Israel and its associated nationalist narratives." Supported by religious and historical sources, he shows that the term "Land of Israel" gained primacy in the early 20th century, and that before that time, observant Jews thought of the land as "an internal spiritual state" rather than a "concrete territorial site." However, early secular Zionist pioneers began to incorporate notions of redemption into their migrational aspirations. In the process, Zionist and Israeli leaders often rode roughshod over the rights of Palestinian Arabs. Finally, Sand unpacks the radical "Judaization" of Israel after 1948, and shows how, post-1967, a "mythic Land of Israel" that included the West Bank and East Jerusalem "continued to inhabit the interstices of Zionist consciousness." A thought-provoking, readable, and important work. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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