A Just Zionism

A Just Zionism : On the Morality of the Jewish State

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For over half a century, the legitimacy of Israel's existence has been questioned, and Zionism has been the subject of an immense array of objections and criticism. Here, Chaim Gans considers the objections and presents an in-depth philosophical analysis of the justice of Zionsim as realized by the state of Israel. Today, alongside a violent Middle Eastern anti-Semitism that refuses to accept Israel's existence, there are two academically respectable arguments for the injustice of Zionism that dominate: it is an exclusivist ethnocultural nationalism out of step with current visions of multicultural nationhood, and the Jewish right of return unfairly stigmatizes non-Jews on ethnocultural grounds. While many therefore claim that Zionism is on balance an unjust political philosophy, Chaim Gans seeks out a more nuanced ground to explain why Zionism, despite its manifest flaws, is just. Its flaws stem from the current situation, where exigencies have distorted its application, and from historical forces that have ended up favoring the notion of Jewish hegemony. For Gans, the justice of Zionism is not a black and white proposition. Rather, it's a project in need of repair, which it can do by reconceptualizing Jews' relationship with the Palestinian population and by adhering to a significantly more limited version of Jewish hegemony. Ultimately, A Just Zionism offers a concrete, historically and geographically rooted investigation of the limits of contemporary nationalism in one of the world's most fraught cases.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 176 pages
  • 162.56 x 236.22 x 20.32mm | 272.15g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 019534068X
  • 9780195340686

Review quote

Chaim Gans deals with a very tough topic: the moral justification of Zionism. He presents all positions in the best of light. He is passionate when possible and dispassionate when necessary. A discussion on the moral justification of Zionism would look very different and far better if those involved in the debate would take heed of this engaging book. * Avishai Margalit, Professor, School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study * There are an awful lot of books dealing with the politics of Israel/Palestine, written mostly in defense of one side or the other. A Just Zionism, however, presents the first systematic philosophical analysis of the Zionist enterprise as a whole, in each of its historical moments and in all its moral/political aspects. The arguments are meticulously developed, and the book is very carefully constructed. Any reader who is caught up, as I am, in the Israel/Palestine debates will find it intellectually engaging. * Michael Walzer, Professor Emeritus, School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, and author of Just and Unjust Wars *show more

About Chaim Gans

Chaim Gans lives in Tel Aviv. He studied law and philosophy at the Hebrew University and at Tel Aviv University and completed his D.Phil. at Oxford University. He teaches legal, moral, and political philosophy at the Faculty of Law of Tel Aviv University. His research and publications are mainly in political philosophy with special attention to the philosophical analysis of issues related to public affairs.show more

Table of contents

Preface and Acknowledgments ; Introduction ; 1. Zionism as an Ethno-cultural Nationalism ; 2. The Jewish Return to the Historical Homeland ; 3. A Jewish State-Self-Determination and Hegemony ; 4. Dividing up the Historical Homeland ; 5. Jewish Hegemony in Immigration and Other Domains ; Conclusion ; Notes ; Indexshow more

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