Leading Israeli scholar with a major re-evaluation of Zionism
In this original and wide-ranging study, Gabriel Piterberg examines theideology and literature behind the colonization of Palestine, from the latenineteenth century to the present. Exploring Zionism’s origins in Central-EasternEuropean nationalism and settler movements, he shows how its texts can beplaced within a wider discourse of western colonization. Revisiting the work ofTheodor Herzl and Gershom Scholem, Anita Shapira and David Ben-Gurion, andbringing to light the writings of lesser-known scholars and thinkersinfluential in the formation of the Zionist myth, Piterberg breaks openprevailing views of Zionism, demonstrating that it was in fact unexceptional,expressing a consciousness and imagination typical of colonial settlermovements. Shaped by European ideological currents and the realities ofcolonial life, Zionism constructed its own story as a unique and impregnableone, in the process excluding the voices of an indigenous people—thePalestinian Arabs.