This rich, authoritative history chronicles the Zionist Israeli quest from itsorigins in pre-Great War Europe. Plowshares Into Swords traces the development of political Zionism’s primal resolve to implant a state for Jews in aMiddle East of ever greater strategic importance. In it, Mayer provides new perspectives on key turning points as well as on such enduring issues as the young country’s dire need for imperial protection, the oil imperative, the hidden ascendance of Jabotinsky’s martial and expansionist canon, and reliance on the American Jewish and Christian evangelical lobbies. He examines, too, the post-colonial backlash against Western supremacy, the asymmetry of power between Israelis and Palestinians, the Zionist Israeli leaders’ studied prevarication on borders, and the emergence of political Judaism and political Islam.
Incorporating reflections on founding violence, sovereignty, resistance, terror, and religious politics, Plowshares into Swords is an absorbing, challenging narrative of Zionism and Israel in the context of world history.