Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

The Rise of the Israeli Right: From Odessa to Hebron

Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

The Rise of the Israeli Right: From Odessa to Hebron

Article excerpt

The Rise of the Israeli Right: From Odessa to Hebron. By Colin S hindler. New York : Cambridge University Press, 2015. 411 pp. $94.99 ($34.99, paper).

For readers looking for an explanation for the "rise of the Israeli Right," Shindler's book is a major disappointment: Only the last thirty pages of the work concern contemporary events, and superficially at that.

Instead, Shindler, emeritus professor at the University of London, devotes most of the book to earlier ideologists, especially Ze'ev Jabotinsky and Menachem Begin, even though recent biographies of these leaders- Shmuel Katz1 and Hillel Halkin2 of Jabotinsky and Daniel Gordis3 of Begin- render Shindler's rehashing superfluous.

More problematic, Shindler fails to provide an understanding of why the Right has become a dominant political factor. The role of issues and actors that play a part in forming Israeli public opinion, such as "collectivism of the kibbutz," "Labor's antireligious ethos and patronising attitude," and "Mizrachi voters" are only mentioned in passing. Nowhere does he raise the issue of Palestinian rejectionism, terrorism, and incitement and its effects on Israel's citizenry. …

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