Books on Israel, Volume 1 by Ian S. Lustick

By Ian S. Lustick

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By describing this as a list of only "the most important" autonomous elites he implies that he has in mind other autonomous Israelite elites who were not so important. But they are not specified. Indeed it is hard to imagine, given the comprehensiveness of the list, which kinds of "autonomous elites" he might have had in mind. The impression is thus created in the reader's mind that the author is being careless in his formulations. This impression simply compounds the difficulty of justifying the effort required to follow his train of thought through five hundred more pages of text.

Important bilateral ties are maintained with a few countries. Among them the United States Israel's most important ally. The links with South Africa are controversial because of that country's position in the world community. Carefully nurtured ties with African countries were mostly severed in the period 1967-1973, and only a few have been partially restored. There are better links with the countries of Europe, and associate membership in the EEC. Diplomatic ties with the Soviet Union were broken in 1967.

The impression is thus created in the reader's mind that the author is being careless in his formulations. This impression simply compounds the difficulty of justifying the effort required to follow his train of thought through five hundred more pages of text. Yet another disincentive for attending closely to Eisenstadt's argument is his insistence on so vaguely qualifying his claims that they become untestable. Consider, for example, the long term consequences for Jewish political, social, and cultural development that Eisenstadt traces to the historical role and substantive message of these ancient elites.

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