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What is Modern Israel?

Rabkin: "It is a very successful colonial state, that created a vibrant economy.. It was the darling of the left in the 50's and the darling of the right today."

Professor Yakov M. Rabkin

Jerusalem24 – Professor Yakov Rabkin, a professor emeritus of history at the Université de Montréal, an author and public intellectual. Last year, Professor Rabkin published “What is Modern Israel?” A book discussing the history of the creation of Israel, this year it is being published in Arabic by the The Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies (MADAR).

The book discusses the birth of Israel, starting from the origins of Zionism in the late 19th century and early 20th century into today’s modern day state.

Rabkin told Jerusalem24 that for many people “Jews and Zionism are the same thing.” He added that, “Zionism as a political movement began in the 19th century… Initially, Zionism encountered a lot of opposition from all kinds of Jewish societies.”

According to Rabkin, a majority of the first settlers to Palestine arrived from the Russian empire.

Palestinian refugees making their way from the Galilee in October-November 1948. (Photo Credit: Fred Csasznik)

The book presents many historical points. In it he also defines the “Jewish State,” the Jewish Agency and the Jewish National Fund and how he see Israel is fooling its citizens on how Palestinian threaten them. Nor does he shy away from the Zionist movement’s ethnic cleansing and role in creating the Palestinian Nakba, when Palestinian society and their homeland was destroyed in 1948 leaving a majority of the Palestinian people displaced.

“It is important to read it with an open mind, and if they (the readers) come out with questions about Israel I’ll be very happy,” says Rabkin. He adds, “I don’t provide many answers, but I definitely provide more questions.”

What is Modern Israel, is published by Pluto Press in London and distributed by Chicago University Press.

Listen to the whole interview with Professor Yakov Rabkin on Wake Up Palestine.

Wake Up Palestine broadcasts from Sunday to Thursday at 8:30 AM Jerusalem time. 

Mohammad Hamayel

Ramallah based journalist, Mohammad graduated from Al-Quds University with a B.A. in Media and Television. He has covered the 2015 Jerusalem Intifada as well as the Great March of Return for international media outlets. currently an editor/presenter at Jerusalem24. A UN alumni and a follower of global events and politics, especially American affairs.

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