By Professor Shlomo Aronson, Naftali Greenwood

This booklet bargains a reappraisal of David Ben-Gurion's position in Jewish-Israeli historical past from the viewpoint of the twenty-first century, within the higher context of the Zionist "renaissance," of which he used to be an incredible and certain exponent. a few have defined Ben-Gurion's Zionism as a dream that has long past bitter, or a utopia doomed to be unfulfilled. Now - after the dirt surrounding Israel's founding father has settled, documents were opened, and viewpoint has been won on account that Ben-Gurion's downfall - this booklet provides a clean examine this statesman-intellectual and his good fortune and tragic disasters in the course of a different time period that he and his friends defined because the "Jewish renaissance." The ensuing reappraisal deals a brand new research of Ben-Gurion's genuine function as a massive participant in Israeli, heart japanese, and international politics.

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According to these two historians, medieval man knew himself only as a member of a group who was not permitted to use his own intellect and judgment in deciding whether to affiliate with that group and help to determine its character. Rather, he was required by force of tradition to affiliate and to accept the group’s beliefs or reject them entirely and leave – that is, if he were allowed to leave and after having paid the price of secession from traditional society in the sense of its reaction to him.

This mixture of traditional values, precedents, and liberal lessons and ideas had even produced a unique imperial ethos in which Ben-Gurion had no interest, of course. However, “scientific management” of society could have been instituted as a consequence of repressive dogmatism and disregard for the richness and complexity of human nature and the demands of people’s changing circumstances, to the extent of nullifying personal rights and conflicting with human rights by invoking human rights as was the case during the last phase of the French Revolution, when terror reigned in the name of the highest values, of which the Jacobin state would be the sole interpreter.

Burckhardt was a well-rounded and occasionally somber Swiss who harbored conservative leanings. 1 Michelet, by contrast, was a personable, modern, ebullient, secular Frenchman who regarded the Renaissance as an era that had broken off from the benighted Middle Ages (which he considered as having been strangled by the shackles of the church and the hairsplitting rhetoric of Scholasticism), opening the way for humankind in the modern age. Both of them saw the Renaissance not only as an era of artistic efflorescence but also as a unitary whole, during which the pinnacle of the arts, the exploration of new continents, and scientific innovations came together to create a general “discovery of the world and discovery of Man,” for better or worse.

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