Shlomo Avineri, one of Israel's leading public intellectuals, teaches at the Hebrew University and is a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. He served as Director-General of Israel's Foreign Ministry, and is the recipient of the Israel Prize. His books on Hegel, Marx and Zionism have been translated into many languages.
Composing a Nation
ERETZ-ISRAEL [(Hebrew) – the Land of Israel, Palestine] was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books.
After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people kept faith with it throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for t...
Israel at 60: Heroes and Anti-Heroes
In a unique 15 minute film shot in Israel exclusively for our Jewish Book Week audience, the multitalented writer and film-maker Etgar Keret and internationally acclaimed writer Amos Oz opened Jewish Book Week 2008 with a discussion on Israel at 60.
Models of heroes and anti-heroes are embedded in any national discourse, all the more so in newly formed ones, such as the Israeli. Since the early stages of Zionism, Heroes and anti-heroes were played against each other in order to constru...
Conventional accounts maintain that the Dreyfus Affair was the turning point in Herzl’s life towards Zionism. However, a careful analysis of his writings and voluminous diary suggest a much more complex picture. More than many others in his generation and Viennese environment, Herzl reacted to the major crises in European society and culture at the fin de siècle, which to his mind suggested a descent into nationalistic and xenophobic politics. Such developments would also endanger the ...
Great Writers of the 20th Century: Isaiah Berlin
A careful analysis of Sir Isaiah Berlin’s writings and lectures suggests a multi-layered Jewish identity. On the one hand, a deep commitment to Zionism and Israel, growing out of a merciless analysis of the failures of emancipation and assimilation. Yet it is this same insight into the conflicted identities of many Jewish intellectuals which suggest to Berlin the richness and universal significance of the contribution of such people like Karl Marx, Benjamin Disraeli and Moses Hess to th...
Shlomo Avineri on Theodor Herzl
The first biography of the father of modern political Zionism in 35 years tells the story of the Austrian journalist who made the idea of a Jewish state his life project.
Shlomo Avineri comes from Jerusalem to discuss the life and vision of Theodor Herzl, a daydreamer whose vision changed the Middle East – and world politics – forever.