Origins of the Israeli Polity: Palestine under the Mandate

By Dan Horowitz; Moshe Lissak | Go to book overview

Preface

Despite the recent wave of interest in the study of the Yishuv (the preindependence Jewish community in Palestine), no comprehensive political or social histories of the Yishuv have as yet been written. The authors of this book are social scientists whose major interest was not a detailed description of historical developments but an analysis of the social and political structure and of the processes influencing it. Nevertheless historical events have a role in this study, mainly to illustrate and explain phenomena which are meaningful from the perspective of the social sciences. We hope that this book will serve two purposes. The first is to present a reliable description of the Yishuv as a political community. It is necessary to emphasize this apparently obvious aim, since over the years, whether consciously or unconsciously, many myths have been created about the Yishuv. The second aim is to improve understanding of present phenomena in the State of Israel which are rooted in the period of the Yishuv. It is our belief that many characteristics of the social and political structure of Israel may be explained by reference to the persisting influence of processes and structures that originated in the Yishuv.

Since this book belongs in the categories of political sociology and political science, it naturally treats its subject matter in terms

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