Pathways of Early Post-Zionism

Book chapter
Change log
Vaters, Romans 

When does a post-Zionism start? This seemingly simple question calls for a seemingly simple answer: when Zionism has run its course, or, in Eric Cohen’s formulation, has undergone “routinization.”² This in turn raises a question much less straightforward: when precisely does Zionism run its course? The primary objective of this chapter is to challenge two strongly entrenched assumptions concerning post-Zionism as a salient political and intellectual feature of Israeli public life, and to shatter the scholarly consensus built around them. The first is that post-Zionism is a relatively recent phenomenon, which has developed gradually over the two decades since Israel’s victory in the June 1967 war, with the attendant transitions in the make-up and self-definition of Israeli society, only to reach its full bloom following the conclusion of the Oslo accords between Israel and the PLO in 1993.³ The second is that post-Zionism, by mounting a challenge to Israeli ethno-nationalism, is inherently “progressive,” perforce “left-wing.”⁴ The following pages will endeavor to demonstrate that these two assumptions are deficient in the extreme, since they do not take into account the broader scope of post-Zionist thinking, preaching, and activity, in terms of history and content, and concomitantly ignore what I believe are the genuine intellectual sources of post-Zionism.

Is Part Of
Jewish Radicalisms: Historical Perspectives on a Phenomenon of Global Modernity