Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

 See the
Conversations with History Blog

See a webcast of this interview:
 Segev

See also the 2007 interview
with Tom Segev: Israel and
the 1967 War

Israeli National Identity: Conversation with Tom Segev, Columnist, Haaretz, April 8, 2004 by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is Tom Segev, who is a historian and a columnist for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. book coverHis publications include Elvis in Jerusalem: Post-Zionism and the Americanization of Israel, One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs under the British Mandate, and The Seventh Million: The Israelis and the Holocaust.

  1. Background ... influence of family ... fear of war ... education ... "psychohistory"
  2. Journalist and Historian ... synergy ... "new historians" ... opening the archives ... history is politics
  3. The Problem of Israeli Identity ... who is a Jew? ... European vs. Middle Eastern Jews ... tremendous diversity in tiny country ... question of Jews in other countries ... disdain for "traditional Jew" ... arguing about identity
  4. The Holocaust ... haavara agreement ... inability of Zionist movement to rescue the Jews ... trial of Eichmann ... central element to identity ... cynical manipulation by politicians ... genuine Holocaust feelings
  5. Israel and the World ... relationship with the Diaspora ... Montague and the Balfour Declaration ... anti-Semitism ... no Salman Rushdies in Israel
  6. Israel and the United States ... Americanization of Israel ... outpost in the Middle East ... Elvis ... Americanization of the Hebrew language ... uncritical support by American Jews ... confusing country with the government ... lazy thinking ... Israel needs America's restraint ... Haaretz
  7. Conclusion ... managing the Israel-Palestine conflict ... advice for students: get informed

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