Israels Years of Bogus Grandeur: From the Six-Day War to the First Intifada

Paperback | August 1, 2009

byNissim Rejwan

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On the eve of the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel was nineteen years old and as much an adolescent as the average nineteen-year-old person. Issues of identity and transition were the talk among Israeli intellectuals, including the writer Nissim Rejwan. Was Israel a Jewish state or a democratic state? And, most frustratingly, who was a Jew? As Nancy Berg's foreword makes clear, these issues became more critical and complex in the two decades after the war as Israel matured into a regional power. Rejwan, an Iraqi-born Jew whose own fate was tied to the answers, addresses the questions of those days in his letters, essays, and remembrances collected in Israel's Years of Bogus Grandeur.

Israel's overwhelming victory in 1967 brought control of the former Palestinian territories; at the same time, Oriental Jews (i.e., those not from Europe) became a majority in the Israeli population. The nation, already surrounded by hostile, recently humiliated Arab neighbors, now had an Arab majority (Jewish, Muslim, Druze, and Christian) within its borders—yet European Jews continued to run the country as their own. Rejwan wrote tirelessly about the second-class status of Arab Israelis (and especially of Arab Jews), encouraging a more inclusive attitude that might eventually help heal the wounds left by the Six-Day War. His studies in sociology at Tel Aviv University informed his work. For his cause, Rejwan lost his job and many of his friends but never his pen. Through Munich, Entebbe, political scandals, economic crises, and the beginning of the Intifada, Rejwan narrates Israel's growing pains with feisty wit and unwavering honesty.

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On the eve of the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel was nineteen years old and as much an adolescent as the average nineteen-year-old person. Issues of identity and transition were the talk among Israeli intellectuals, including the writer Nissim Rejwan. Was Israel a Jewish state or a democratic state? And, most frustratingly, who was a Jew?...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:August 1, 2009Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292722354

ISBN - 13:9780292722354

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Table of Contents

Foreword. Israel: The Teen Years by Nancy E. BergPrologue1. "Contacting the Enemy"An Iraqi Muslim's Lament; Kishtainy Writes Back; Kishtainy Comes to Jerusalem; Rabbi Petuchowski's Predicament2. In the WildernessThe American Council for Judaism; Trude Weiss-Rosmarin and I; Erosion; All Doors Tightly Shut; To a Friend Who Chose to Adapt3. The Morning AfterOft-Celebrated Victory; Soul Mates; U.S. Jewry's Israel Tangle4. An Assortment of ConcernsWestern Vanities; Postscript: George Steiner Raises a Point; The Zionism-Judaism Mix-Up; Letters to Irene Gendzier; Nationality or Pan-Movement?5. Encounters: A Palestinian Intellectual Tells His Story6. The Majority-Minority SyndromeIsrael versus the United States; Tremors; Elie Kedourie as "a Zionist Historian": Further Letters to Irene Gendzier; Irving Howe and Dissent7. Uses and Abuses of HistoryGolda Meir Redefines Judaism; Moot Points; Reviews: Fury Misdirected, Bible and Nationality, Boomerang, Some Uses of History, Divergent Problems, Orthodox Dissent8. RecoupmentA Glimpse of the Land of the Teutons; Reviews: Futile Pursuit, News from Nowhere, Lost and Found, Nazi Delusions, Perils of Retrojection9. Jews and MuslimsReview: The Jews of Palestine; Letters to Esther Cohen; Rewrites10. Orientalism RevisitedReviews: Little New to Impart, Edward Said's Reservations, Misinformation, Disinformation, and Ignorance; Vindications11. The "Who Is a Jew?" CharadeReview: Israel and Ishmael; Who Is a Jew?; Responses and a RejoinderEpilogueFrom Gemara to Shulhan `Arukh; Sacred Cows No More; "Mixing the Exiles"Index