The Settlers

And the Struggle over the Meaning of Zionism

Gadi Taub

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September 27, 2011
240 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
ISBN: 9780300177640
Paper

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Cloth

The controversy over settlements in the occupied territories is a far more intractable problem for Israel than is widely perceived, Gadi Taub observes in this illuminating book. The clash over settlement is no mere policy disagreement, he maintains, but rather a struggle over the very meaning of Zionism. The book presents an absorbing study of religious settlers’ ideology and how it has evolved in response to Israel’s history of wars, peace efforts, assassination, the pull-out from Gaza, and other tumultuous events.

Taub tracks the efforts of religious settlers to reconcile with mainstream Zionism but concludes that the project cannot succeed. A new Zionist consensus recognizes that Israel must pull out of the occupied territories or face an unacceptable alternative: the dissolution of Israel into a binational state with a Jewish minority.

Gadi Taub is assistant professor, Department of Communications and the School of Public Policy, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

“Anyone who has been concerned or angered by the debate over the future of liberal Zionism . . . should hurry to read The Settlers.”—Adam Kirsch, Tablet Magazine

“An excellent account of how a small messianic group with its fervent belief in redemption and the end of days became an important political factor. It is a history with possibly disastrous consequences, and this book could not be more timely.”—Walter Laqueur

“I know of no book in English that covers the intellectual and historical ground [Taub] does in one volume. He is a terrific writer who gives the story of the settlers a novelistic urgency… Utterly fascinating.”—Mark Lilla, author of The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West

“Anyone who has been concerned or angered by the debate over the future of liberal Zionism … should hurry to read The Settlers.”—Adam Kirsch, The Tablet

“Gadi Taub's The Settlers: And the Struggle Over the Meaning of Zionism offers a profound and fascinating account of the practical and ideological challenges posed by the settler movement.”—Foreign Affairs