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SETTLERS AND THEIR STATES
A Reply to Zeev Sternhell
I am very grateful to Zeev Sternhell for the seriousness with which he has approached my book, The Returns of Zionism, and for the lengthy review essay he has written on it.  Sternhell’s has long been the most consistent social-democratic Zionist voice in Israel’s public life. His Founding Myths of Israel is an outstanding critique of the ideology of Labour Zionism in general, and of A. D. Gordon, the Second Aliyah’s father figure and ideological mentor, in particular.  It delivered an authoritative, scholarly coup de grâce to any lingering universalist pretences that Labour Zionism may still have had when Sternhell was writing it. In dozens of Haaretz articles, he has indefatigably attacked the post-1967 Occupation and the illegal settlement project in the Occupied Territories, as well as the Israeli manifestation of neo-liberal globalization and dismantling of the welfare state. It is testimony to his courage and integrity that, on 24 September 2008, an Israeli settler placed a bomb on the doorstep of his home. Sternhell was injured by the explosion.
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- Zeev Sternhell: In Defence of Liberal Zionism In a critical engagement with Gabriel Piterberg’s Returns of Zionism, Zeev Sternhell questions its account of Jewish nationalism’s origins and trajectory, offering a different picture rooted in the turbulent contingencies of 19th-century Europe and the war of 1947–49.