The Controversy of Zion: Jewish Nationalism, the Jewish State, and the Unresolved Jewish Dilemma

In This Review

The Controversy of Zion: Jewish Nationalism, the Jewish State, and the Unresolved Jewish Dilemma

By Geoffrey Wheatcroft
Addison-Wesley, 1996
396 pp. $25.00
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There is no shortage of books on Zionism, yet this one is different. First of all, the author is neither a Zionist nor an anti-Zionist. Rather, he is a historian who asks how Zionism, a movement founded just 100 years ago, has contributed to its original goal of creating a normal life for Jews. His survey takes him on a journey through history and ideas, concluding with the travails of the successful, but not always happy, modern state of Israel. The author, however, has a tendency to judge Zionism by its initial purpose, paying too little attention, perhaps, to the inevitable hardening of ideology and organization that occurred as Zionists confronted the British and Arabs in Palestine, Hitler's attempt at extermination, the early wars of the fledgling state, and the challenges of peace. Still, his observations are filled with insight, his stance is dispassionate, and his conclusions are thought-provoking.