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The struggle over the establishment of a Jewish state in a land sacred to the three main streams of monotheism is entering a second century after the beginnings of the dispute over the Balfour Declaration (1917) and the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine (1922). The establishment of Israel in 1948 did not end the conflict. In fact, it has reached a new stage in recent decades with Israel’s demonization as an apartheid, racist and colonial-settler state and the call for BDS. At the same time, Israel has reached unprecedented acceptance with recognition by more than 160 states worldwide including a growing number of proximate Arab, Muslim countries. The presentation will examine and comment on these contrary movements.
Ilan Troen is professor emeritus of both the Lopin Chair of Modern History (Ben-Gurion University, 2007) and the Stoll Family Chair in Israel Studies (Brandeis, 2017). He was the director of the Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism (Sde Boker) and of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies (Brandeis). He is a past president of the Association for Israel Studies. Troen has authored or edited numerous books in American, Jewish, and Israeli history. He is the founding editor of the journal Israel Studies and the book series Perspectives on Israel Studies (Indiana University Press). Publications include Imagining Zion: Dreams, Designs and Realities in a Century of Jewish Settlement; with Jacob Lassner, Jews and Muslims in the Arab World; Haunted by Pasts Real and Imagined; and, with Rachel Fish (eds.), Essential Israel: Essays for the Twenty-First Century. He is completing a manuscript on Israel’s Struggle for Legitimacy; the First Century.