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The Rise of the Israeli Right
From Odessa to Hebron

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  • Author: Colin Shindler, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
  • Date Published: August 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521151665

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About the Authors
  • The Israeli Right first came to power nearly four decades ago. Its election was described then as 'an earthquake,' and its reverberations are still with us. How then did the Right rise to power? What are its origins? Colin Shindler traces this development from the birth of Zionism in cosmopolitan Odessa in the nineteenth century to today's Hebron, a centre of radical Jewish nationalism. He looks at central figures such as Vladimir Jabotinsky, an intellectual and founder of the Revisionist movement and Menahem Begin, the single-minded politician who brought the Right to power in 1977. Both accessible and comprehensive, this book explains the political ideas and philosophies that were the Right's ideological bedrock and the compromises that were made in its journey to government.

    • Traces the history of the Israeli Right since its inception and its struggle to gain power
    • Looks at the political ideas that are the Israeli Right's bedrock and how it has been the dominant force in Israeli politics for nearly four decades
    • Looks at central figures such as Vladimir Jabotinsky, an intellectual and founder of the Revisionist movement and Menahem Begin, the single-minded politician who brought the Right to power in 1977
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    • Winner, Gold Medal in The Washington Institute Book Prize, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

    Reviews & endorsements

    "A pioneering, up-to-date, fact-filled review of more than a century of the Zionist chronicle as viewed through the prism of the Jewish Right. Shindler offers a brilliant analysis of how an opposition evolved to become the leading movement of Israel today; it is a must-read for everybody wishing to grasp whither the country is moving after nearly seventy years of national independence."
    Efraim Halevy, ninth director of Mossad, and chairman, Shazar State Institute for Jewish History

    "This timely and important book achieves two things. It offers a fascinating and masterful history of the political Right in Israel from the earliest days of the Zionist movement to the present day, and it confirms Colin Shindler's status as one of the world's leading scholars on modern Israel."
    Rory Miller, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Qatar

    "Colin Shindler has succeeded in placing the right wing within the wider context of changing social and political values in Israel, drawing strongly on the ideological history of revisionist Zionism and its leaders, and showing how changing demographics and growing enfranchisement has changed the political stakes, not only for internal Israeli politics but also in terms of Israel's relations with the Jewish diaspora and global politics. Shindler has provided us with a well-researched analysis of the growth of the right wing, which is of critical importance for anyone - students, diplomats or just interested outsiders - trying to gain a deeper understanding of contemporary Israel and its political structures."
    David Newman, Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

    "The Israeli parliamentary elections of 1977 saw a transfer of power to the Right after several decades of Labor Zionist and left-wing hegemony. Power has changed hands several times since 1977, but through most of this period Israeli politics have been dominated by the Right. The right wing itself has been transformed in the process and Netanyahu's Likud is very different from Begin’s party. Both experts and the broad public are beholden to Colin Shindler for his ability to explain and present these complex developments in a profound and clear fashion and to put them in the larger context of Zionist and Israeli history."
    Itamar Rabinovich, President, Israel Institute, Washington and Tel Aviv

    "Colin Shindler has given us a brilliant book about one of the most intriguing stories of the evolution of the Israeli Right - from Jabotinsky to Netanyahu. His excellent book, written with unusual clarity and authority, smoothly guides the reader through the labyrinth of Israeli politics."
    Vladimir Rumyantsev, Tomsk State University, Russia

    "With his new study, Colin Shindler has produced a tour de force. This is a carefully researched, comprehensive and detailed study, shedding light on Jabotinsky's complexities, as well as lesser-known personalities. This is a must-read for anyone who wishes to understand the domination of the Israeli Right in Israeli politics today."
    Suzanne D. Rutland, OAM, University of Sydney

    "The tone is largely neutral and objective … Recommended for any collection on the State of Israel."
    Shmuel Ben-Gad, Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews

    "The Rise of the Israeli Right is a timely appraisal of what drives this political bloc. With its detailed index, footnotes, glossaries and illustrations, Shindler's latest book ably portrays a movement whose members long considered themselves outsiders, yet which now seems to rule the political roost."
    Lawrence Joffe, The Jewish Chronicle

    'Colin Shindler analyses the historical trajectory of the people and ideas which gave rise to the ascendancy of the modern right wing in Israel. Since its publication in 2015, the book is already seen as a reference in the field.' Robert Chaouad, International Affairs

    ‘Shindler's book is the most comprehensive analysis of Israel's political Right to date, better than all its predecessors.’ Joseph Heller, Studies in Contemporary Jewry

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521151665
    • length: 440 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • contains: 20 b/w illus. 6 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Birth and rebirth
    2. Fully fledged Zionism
    3. An army of Jews
    4. The making of the Revisionists
    5. The maximalists
    6. The legacy of Abba Ahimeir
    7. The Arabs of Palestine
    8. The road of active resistance
    9. Retaliation, violence and turmoil
    10. The Irgun and the Lehi
    11. The fight for independence
    12. From military underground to political party
    13. The survival of the fittest
    14. Expanding the political circle
    15. The road to power
    16. A coming of age
    17. The permanent revolution
    18. The resurrection of Sharon.

  • Author

    Colin Shindler, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
    Colin Shindler is Emeritus Professor at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies and the founding chairman of the European Association of Israel Studies. He is the author of eight books on Israel including the bestselling History of Modern Israel (Cambridge, 2008 and 2013), which has been translated into Italian, Polish and Estonian.


    • Winner, Gold Medal in The Washington Institute Book Prize, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

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