Ahad Haʼam: The Politics of Sublimation

Anita Shapira

in Studies in Contemporary Jewry: XI: Values, Interests, and Identity

Published in print May 1996 | ISBN: 9780195103311
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854585 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Contemporary Jewry

Ahad Haʼam: The Politics of Sublimation

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This chapter discusses the biographies on Ahad Haʼam, along with an in-depth philosophical portrait of the Zionist thinker. The first to appear was Yosef Goldstein's Ahad Haʼam. Yehiel Alfred Gottschalk soon followed suit, and a year later, Steven Zipperstein. Ahad Haʼam is not credited with any breakthroughs or sensational innovations, and he was more adept at negation than at construction. One of the elements missing in all three volumes is an analysis of Ahad Haʼam's attitude toward non-Jews. Throughout his writings, he conveys a sense of estrangement from the gentile world. For Ahad Haʼam, the Arab in Palestine functions as a yardstick for assaying the ethical tenor of the Zionist enterprise—a litmus test of how Jews behave when they are in power. All three authors deal (though not at great length) with the question of Ahad Haʼam's relevance today.

Keywords: Ahad Haʼam; Yosef Goldstein; Yehiel Alfred Gottschalk; Steven Zipperstein; Arab; Palestine; Jews; biographies; non-Jews

Chapter.  5148 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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