Hannah Arendt, the Early “Post-Zionist”

Moshe Zimmermann

in Hannah Arendt in Jerusalem

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2001 | ISBN: 9780520220560
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520923669 | DOI:
Hannah Arendt, the Early “Post-Zionist”

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Hannah Arendt did not belong to the establishment of prominent Zionist thinkers, nor did she belong to the very exclusive group of leading Zionist politicians. She also claimed that she became a Zionist “only because of Hitler, of course” (which is incorrect). In the biographies of Hannah Arendt, the Zionist chapter is therefore generally rather marginal, though her reflections on the Jewish question, including Zionism, “preceded her entry into world politics” and should thus be considered as a key to the understanding of her work in general. Moreover, she deserves attention on the part of historians of Zionism on two grounds: (i) Hannah Arendt had excellent insights concerning Zionism, insights that provide us with a good answer as to the origins of some of the misconceptions or aberrations of Zionism. (2) Israel is a society skeptical about “new” trends in historical interpretation. Hannah Arendt's writings about Zionism provide so-called post-Zionists with good arguments, or at least with a wonderful alibi.

Keywords: Zionism; Israel; post-Zionists; anti-Semitism; historical interpretation

Chapter.  5382 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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