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Beyond Tribal Loyalties Personal Stories of Jewish Peace Activists by Avigail Abarbanel

Beyond Tribal Loyalties Personal Stories of Jewish Peace Activists


Beyond Tribal Loyalties Personal Stories of Jewish Peace Activists by Avigail Abarbanel

There is an expectation in Jewish communities around the world that all Jews embrace Zionism and offer unquestioning support for Israel, 'right or wrong'. Jewish identity and Zionism are commonly and deliberately blurred. Jews who criticise Israel or question Zionism are often excluded, vilified and threatened. If they express sympathy for the plight of the Palestinian people, they risk being branded as traitors and accused of 'supporting the enemies of Israel'. Beyond Tribal Loyalties is a unique collection of twenty-five personal stories of Jewish peace activists from Australia, Canada, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States. There is an age difference of more than fifty years between the oldest and the youngest contributor. The stories focus on the complex and intensely personal journey that Jewish activists go through to free themselves from the hold of Zionist ideology and its requirement to support all Israeli policies. Like many Jews, most of the contributors were once unquestioning supporters of Israel and Zionism. Something happened in the life of each of these extraordinary people that caused them to question and re-evaluate their understanding of the conflict and their relationship with Israel and the Palestinian people. In many cases this journey involved a reassessment of personal values, belief systems and identity. Beyond Tribal Loyalties seeks to discover what makes it possible for Jewish peace activists to follow through with this transformative journey and their activist work, despite fanatical and sometimes violent opposition. This is an inspiring book for anyone who is interested in the experience of being a peace activist. It offers a fresh and unusual angle on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and is a unique contribution in a field where political analysis is common, but where the personal angle is often lacking. Find Beyond Tribal Loyalties on Facebook:


The war mentality reigning all around us lent a sense of unreality to the straightforward 25 individual accounts of awakening to the lure of peace, justice and equality in Palestine/Israel. These together with a Foreword by the philosopher Sara Roy and an Introduction and Afterward by the editor, constitute this unique contribution to modern peace literature in the Middle East. Hatim Kanaaneh The Palestine Chronicle, 13 September, 2013 'Beyond Tribal Loyalties. Personal Stories of Jewish Peace Activists
by Avigail Abarbanel is an important, must

-read anthology of the views of 25 anti-racist Jews, who variously, from positions ranging from pro-Zionism to a-political apathy, overcame my-lot-right-or-wrong tribal loyalty and came to realize the immense crime being committed against the Palestinian people and their obligation to speak out for Palestinian human rights. - Dr Gideon Polya, 19 January, 2013,

About the Author

Avigail Abarbanel is a psychotherapist in private practice and an activist for Palestinian rights. She was born in Israel in 1964 and served in the Israeli army during Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon. Avigail moved to Australia in 1991 where she lived for eighteen years and where she completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies. She now lives and works near Inverness in Scotland. Her activist work consists mainly of writing and public speaking.

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Book Info

Publication date

15th November 2011


Avigail Abarbanel

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Cambridge Scholars Publishing


315 pages





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