Avigail Abarbanel (ed)
Beyond Tribal Loyalties
To be launched by Jake Lynch
Venue: gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe
RSVP: gleebooks - 9660 2333 or Secure Online Booking
There is an expectation in Jewish communities around the world that all Jews embrace Zionism and offer unquestioning support for Israel, ‘right or wrong’. Jewish identity and Zionism are commonly and deliberately blurred. Jews who criticize Israel or question Zionism are often excluded, vilified and threatened. If they express sympathy for the plight of the Palestinian people, they risk being branded as traitors and accused of ‘supporting the enemies of Israel’.
Beyond Tribal Loyalties is a unique collection of twenty-five personal stories of Jewish peace activists from Australia, Canada, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States. There is an age difference of more than fifty years between the oldest and the youngest contributor. The stories focus on the complex and intensely personal journey that Jewish activists go through to free themselves from the hold of Zionist ideology and its requirements to support all Israeli policies. Like many Jews, most of the contributors were once unquestioning supporters of Israel and Zionism. Something happened in the life of each of these extraordinary people that caused them to question and re-evaluate their understanding of the conflict and their relationship with Israel and the Palestinian people. In many cases this journey involved a reassessment of personal values, belief systems and identity. Beyond Tribal Loyalties seeks to discover what makes it possible for Jewish peace activists to follow through with this transformative journey and their activist work, despite fanatical and sometimes violent opposition.
This is an inspiring book for anyone who is interested in the experience of being a peace activist. It offers a fresh and unusual angle on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and is a unique contribution in a field where political analysis is common, but where the personal angle is often lacking.
Avigail Abarbanel is a psychotherapist in private practice and an activist for Palestinian rights. She was born in Israel in 1964 and served in the Israeli army during Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon. Avigail moved to Australia in 1991 where she lived for eighteen years and where she completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies. She now lives and works near Inverness in Scotland. Her activist work consists mainly of writing and public speaking.
Associate Professor Jake Lynch is Director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at Sydney University and Secretary General, International Peace Research Association.