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Israel Observed

An Anatomy of the State

By (author) William Frankel
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd, London, United Kingdom
Published: 30th Sep 1980
Dimensions: w 150mm h 230mm
ISBN-10: 0500012474
ISBN-13: 9780500012475
Barcode No: 9780500012475

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Kirkus US
Israel without unrealistic illusions is the theme of this balanced assessment of the post-1977 Jewish state. Frankel, former editor of England's Jewish Chronicle, provides a "book on how Israel works": how Israelis manage amid inflation, war, and terrorism. Also, how antitheses, or the negative and positive, coexist: on the one hand, pervasive political patronage, an endemic old-boys' network (which controls important jobs), a lumbering labyrinthine bureaucracy, the black market, organized crime, and the waning influence of Labor Zionism; on the other hand, flourishing kibbutzim, an equitable system of justice, a basically efficient army (though the army has still not fully recovered from the shock of '73), and a germinating private-enterprise sector. Based on first-hand observation and official reports which rarely reach the general press, Frankel's concise factual survey of Israeli institutions is augmented by pointed biographical sketches of influential personalities in politics - Likud, Labor, National Religious Party leaders, and gadflies Uri Avneri and Shulamit Aloni - as well as of important bureaucrats, soldiers, businessmen, educators, and scientists. Plus: Israeli Arabs who have recently emerged as power brokers and are rarely idolized by the media. Although the emphasis is on the Begin era, short historical surveys in this topically-arranged volume place the social problems which the Begin government inherited but has neglected (because of preoccupation with the peace process?) into perspective. Enhanced by a useful glossary and selective bibliography, this readable handbook is an excellent introduction for the general reader. (Kirkus Reviews)