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Jewish Internationalism and Human Rights after the Holocaust

$39.99 (P)

Part of Human Rights in History

  • Date Published: January 2021
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108834926

$ 39.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • Nathan A. Kurz charts the fraught relationship between Jewish internationalism and international rights protection in the second half of the twentieth century. For nearly a century, Jewish lawyers and advocacy groups in Western Europe and the United States had pioneered forms of international rights protection, tying the defense of Jews to norms and rules that aspired to curb the worst behavior of rapacious nation-states. In the wake of the Holocaust and the creation of the State of Israel, however, Jewish activists discovered they could no longer promote the same norms, laws and innovations without fear they could soon apply to the Jewish state. Using previously unexamined sources, Nathan Kurz examines the transformation of Jewish internationalism from an effort to constrain the power of nation-states to one focused on cementing Israel's legitimacy and its status as a haven for refugees from across the Jewish diaspora.

    • Weaves together Jewish and international history
    • Provides a case-study of non-governmental organizations in action
    • Covers a broad geographical range to enable the reader to draw connections between regions and locales
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘In a breathtaking historical passage through the moral and political dilemma evoked by applying universally valid Human Rights on Jewish national existence after the Holocaust in the form of the State of Israel, Nathan A. Kurz skillfully demonstrates an unresolved theoretical aporia: the dramatic conceptual relationship between individual and collective rights.' Dan Diner, author of Beyond the Conceivable: Studies on Germany, Nazism and the Holocaust

    ‘Unpicking complacent assumptions about the place of Jews and Jewish rights in the post-war world order, this terrific book helps us to understand how the ruptures between Jewish internationalism and human rights developed – and how the patterns of the post-war era relate to what came before.' Abigail Green, author of Moses Montefiore: Jewish Liberator, Imperial Hero

    ‘Casting an exceptionally wide net, Nathan Kurz offers a fresh and surprising account of the complicated relationship between Jewish internationalism and human rights. Like all great work, this brilliantly sparkling book, brimming with revelatory insights about concepts and methods, makes sense of a unique case—especially how Israel from its very founding threw up obstacles to a Jewish embrace of human rights—while also enriching our understanding of global processes.' Barbara Keys, author of Reclaiming American Virtue: The Human Rights Revolution of the 1970s

    ‘… Kurz’s book is a useful contribution to the documentation and understanding of the process by which Jewish liberal internationalists, and particularly the Zionists among them, struggled with the post-Holocaust biases and realpolitik of the human rights establishment.’ Gerald M. Steinberg, Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs

    ‘… meticulously researched and forcefully written … Jewish Internationalism expands our understanding of the key human rights protagonists, deliberations, and debates after World War II and of the evolution of human rights ideas and institutions over four tumultuous Cold War decades.’ Carole Fink, H-Net Reviews

    ‘… anyone who wants to understand how Jewish human rights work has developed under the difficult conditions of the Cold War and decolonization will in future have to resort to this excellent book first.’ Annette Weinke, H-Soz-Kult

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2021
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108834926
    • length: 310 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 160 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Dramatis Personae
    1. “Individual rights were not enough for true freedom”
    2. Who Will Tame the Will to Defy Humanity?
    3. The Consequences of 1948
    4. Exit from North Africa
    5. From Antisemitism to “Zionism is Racism”
    6. The Inadequacy of Madison Avenue Methods
    7.“Good words have become the servants of evil masters”

  • Author

    Nathan A. Kurz, Birkbeck College, University of London
    Nathan A. Kurz has taught at Yale University and Birkbeck College, University of London and has served a visiting fellow at Oxford University.

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