Ancient and Modern Israel

An Exploration of Political Parallels

By Ira Sharkansky

Subjects: Israel Studies
Series: SUNY series in Israeli Studies
Paperback : 9780791405499, 194 pages, July 1991
Hardcover : 9780791405482, 194 pages, July 1991

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Table of contents


1. Clues in Ancient History

2. Reading Jewish History

3. The Ancient Country

4. Modern Israel

5. Historic Parallels and Their Implications




This book identifies and examines those parallels between ancient and modern Israel that help to clarify the conflicts apparent in modern Israel. It discusses such contemporary issues as the Arab uprising and the Israeli government's ambivalence in dealing with it; the government's inability to come to a permanent solution concerning the territories occupied in 1967; and the lack of a clear-cut consensus in the 1988 elections.

By comparing these and other modern issues to those of ancient Israel, Sharkansky shows that Israel's deeply-rooted problems as a nation are likely to continue, occasionally punctuated by violent outbursts.

Ira Sharkansky is Professor in the Department of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


"The perspective the author takes is a real strength of the book. Sharkansky obviously understands the structures and institutions of the political system so well that he can focus upon the more subtle nuances of the system in his analysis. He addresses some of the most controversial issues in Israeli public policy today, puts them in the general context of the Israeli polity, and shows how the system can go on operating despite the 'tribulations' it must face. " — Russell Stone, State University of New York at Buffalo