Jewish Self-Determination beyond Zionism examines the liberal Zionist and Jewish anti-Zionist perspectives that developed in the decades following Israeli statehood. In his timely book, Jonathan Graubart. advances a non-statist vision of Jewish self-determination to be realized in a binational political arrangement that rejects Apartheid practices and features a just and collaborative coexistence of Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs. The book’s vision advances a distinct Jewish self-determination committed to cultural enrichment and emancipation, internationalism, and the fostering of new political, social, and economic channels for attaining genuine reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.
Jewish Self-Determination beyond Zionism also engages a Humanist Zionist vision to confront the Zionist movement’s foundational sins and demands a full reckoning with the Palestinians. Graubart focuses on two of Humanist Zionism’s most insightful thinkers, Martin Buber and Hannah Arendt, putting them “in conversation” with each other, and synthesizing their collective insights and critical Jewish perspectives alongside the ideas of Noam Chomsky, Judith Butler, Ella Shohat, Edward Said, and other philosophers and academics. Jewish Self-Determination beyond Zionism concludes that an updated, binational program is the best path forward.
Jonathan Graubart is Professor of Political Science at San Diego State University. He is on the Academic Advisory Council for both Jewish Voice for Peace and Open Hillel and is the author of Legalizing Transnational Activism: The Struggle to Gain Social Change from NAFTA’s Citizen Petitions.
“An exciting, profound, and humane critical rethinking of Zionism as the ideological foundation of the Israeli state, Graubart’s alternative vision reinforces what Zionism might have become if its leaders had not opted for an exclusivist Jewish state necessitating the continuous repression, exploitation, and discrimination of the Palestinian people in their own homeland. The recent surge to the Israeli far right gives this fine book a timely urgency, especially for liberal Jews, who should be deeply disturbed by what has happened in Israel beneath the banner of Zionism.”—Richard Falk, Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University, and author of Palestine’s Horizon: Toward a Just Peace
“Jewish Self-Determination beyond Zionism is a recovery operation designed to provide tools for contemporary analysts to contend with the problems posed by the effective disappearance of diplomatic paths toward a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem. Graubart’s well-written and accurate summary of the sharp rightward trajectory Israel has taken in recent decades shows how many of the forecasts of the ‘Humanist Zionists,’ like Martin Buber and Hannah Arendt, have come true, and how decisive have been the ‘core pathologies’ that those thinkers identified.”—Ian Lustick, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, and author of Paradigm Lost: From Two-State Solution to One-State Reality
"There is much to learn from this thoughtful, well-researched, clearly written exegesis of the history of what the author calls 'Humanist Zionism' and his proposal for an alternative to Israel in its current configuration.... Summing Up: Recommended."—Choice
"In a particularly dark historical and political moment in Palestine/Israel, Jonathan Graubart offers a glimmer of hope for a brighter future by offering new pathways toward Jewish and Palestinian self-determination.... [T]he book makes a valuable contribution to the field of critical Zionism studies. Graubart advances a new approach that moves beyond Zionism while maintaining a commitment to Jewish self-determination. It highlights a well-articulated binational vision for the future rooted in both past ideologies and contemporary realities while also providing a fascinating new analysis of Jewish self-determination rooted in justice for all."—Perspectives on Politics