Ahad Ha'am: The Politics of Sublimation

Anita Shapira*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter discusses the biographies on Ahad Ha'am, along with an in-depth philosophical portrait of the Zionist thinker. The first to appear was Yosef Goldstein's Ahad Ha'am. Yehiel Alfred Gottschalk soon followed suit, and a year later, Steven Zipperstein. Ahad Ha'am is not credited with any breakthroughs or sensational innovations, and he was more adept at negation than at construction. One of the elements missing in all three volumes is an analysis of Ahad Ha'am's attitude toward non-Jews. Throughout his writings, he conveys a sense of estrangement from the gentile world. For Ahad Ha'am, the Arab in Palestine functions as a yardstick for assaying the ethical tenor of the Zionist enterprise-a litmus test of how Jews behave when they are in power. All three authors deal (though not at great length) with the question of Ahad Ha'am's relevance today.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in Contemporary Jewry XI Values, Interests, and Identity
Subtitle of host publicationJews and Politics in a Changing World
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199854585
ISBN (Print)9780195103311
StatePublished - 3 Oct 2011


  • Ahad ha'am
  • Arab
  • Biographies
  • Jews
  • Non-jews
  • Palestine
  • Steven zipperstein
  • Yehiel alfred gottschalk
  • Yosef goldstein


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