Toward a Global History of Young Israel

In: Asian Review of World Histories
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  • 1 Shenkar College for Engineering, Art and DesignRamat GanIsrael
  • | 2 The Interdisciplinary CenterHerzliyaIsrael
  • | 3 The Hebrew University, The Faculty of AgricultureRehovotIsrael
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This article argues that the first two decades of Israeli state-building can be compared structurally to some main processes in postwar Western-European societies, and that this approach productively situates Israel within a global perspective, uncovering new relationships between the local and the global. In addition, it proposes a methodological reading of the young Israeli society before the Six-Day War and a theoretical framework in which to place it. It provides an analysis of this young society from the perspective of Western history, constituting a new reference point that does not strive to negate other common approaches. If, until now, the history of the first two decades of Israel has been examined from a local and particular point of view – whether the state-building process or political, social, and national controversies – I propose to view the Israel of the 1950s–1960s as a postwar society that underwent the same structural processes as other Western European societies during those years, despite domestic differences.

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