To Be an Arab in IsraelPart of the CERI/Sciences Po. series
Laurence Louer’s book treats an enigmatic, little known but highly important people: Israel’s Arab citizens. As she points out, their political influence appears destined to grow, heightening tension with those Jewish Israelis who question their right to full citizenship. Arab political leaders were initially courted by Israeli politicians, especially the Labour Party, which was keen to attract Arab support, and many Arab intellectuals were drawn towards Left politics. In the 1990s Israel’s Arabs began to abandon socialism in favour of an accommodation with Islamist parties. Louer also offers a detailed discussion of the Islamist phenomenon in Israel, with its personalities and politics, at a time when Muslim Arabs are finding their voice politically.
‘The Arabs of Israel are more than ever a major political issue, at a time when many want to re-draw the map of the Middle East […] At the mercy of Israel’s political elites, some of whom want to integrate the Arabs yet further while others want to expel them, their fate will be a major indicator of the balance of power and the fault lines in the region.’ — Gilles Kepel
‘Behind the increasing shrillness of Jewish-Arab relations within Israel lie deep ambiguities, and it is these which render Louer’s imaginative and elegantly written book so important.’ — Times Literary Supplement
Laurence Louër is Associate Professor at the Centre for International Studies (CERI), Sciences. An Arabist, Louër specialises in Middle East studies. Editor of Critique Internationale from 2006 to 2017, she is the author, among other writings, of To Be An Arab in Israel (Hurst/Columbia), Transnational Shia Politics (Hurst/OUP) and Shiism and Politics in the Middle East (Hurst/OUP).