Baruch Kimmerling

Baruch Kimmerling

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Baruch Kimmerling was an Israeli
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 scholar and professor of sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem ; ; abbreviated HUJI) is Israel's second-oldest university, after the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. The Hebrew University has three campuses in Jerusalem and one in Rehovot. The world's largest Jewish studies library is located on its Edmond J...

. Upon his death in 2007, The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

described him as "the first academic to use scholarship to reexamine the founding tenets of Zionism and the Israeli State". Though a sociologist by training, Kimmerling was associated with the New Historians
New Historians
The New Historians are a loosely-defined group of Israeli historians who have challenged traditional versions of Israeli history, including Israel's role in the Palestinian Exodus in 1948 and Arab willingness to discuss peace. The term was coined in 1988 by one of the leading New Historians, Benny...

, a group of Israeli scholars who question the official narrative of Israel's creation.

Biography


Baruch Kimmerling was born in the Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

n border town of Turda
Turda
Turda is a city and Municipality in Cluj County, Romania, situated on the Arieş River.- Ancient times :The city was founded by Dacians under the name Patavissa or Potaissa...

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 in 1939. He was born with cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term encompassing a group of non-progressive, non-contagious motor conditions that cause physical disability in human development, chiefly in the various areas of body movement....

, a developmental disability which would confine him to a wheelchair for the last three decades of his life. His family narrowly avoided the Holocaust by escaping from their village in a gypsy wagon
Vardo
Vardo can refer to:*Vardø, a municipality in Norway*Vårdö, a municipality in Finland*Vardo , the traditional horse-drawn wagon used by the English Romani Gypsies...

. The family immigrated to Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 in 1952, and took up residence in a ma'abara (immigrants' camp), Sha'ar Ha'aliya, before moving to a small apartment on the outskirts of Netanya
Netanya
Netanya is a city in the Northern Centre District of Israel, and is the capital of the surrounding Sharon plain. It is located north of Tel Aviv, and south of Haifa between the 'Poleg' stream and Wingate Institute in the south and the 'Avichail' stream in the north.Its of beaches have made the...

.

Despite his significant disabilities, which caused Kimmerling to experience motor difficulties and speech problems, his parents raised him as a typical child and encouraged him to strive high. He graduated from the Hebrew University in 1963, and obtained his PhD
PHD
PHD may refer to:*Ph.D., a doctorate of philosophy*Ph.D. , a 1980s British group*PHD finger, a protein sequence*PHD Mountain Software, an outdoor clothing and equipment company*PhD Docbook renderer, an XML renderer...

 in 1973 as a sociologist. Kimmerling was known for his work analyzing Jewish settlement
Jewish settlement
Jewish settlement may refer to :* Israeli settlement : Jewish communities currently established in the West Bank or in the Golan Heights, between 1967 and 2006 in the Gaza strip or between 1967 and 1981 in the Sinai....

s in terms of colonialism
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

. He lectured widely and wrote nine books and hundreds of essays. He also wrote numerous newspaper articles, in venues such as Haaretz
Haaretz
Haaretz is Israel's oldest daily newspaper. It was founded in 1918 and is now published in both Hebrew and English in Berliner format. The English edition is published and sold together with the International Herald Tribune. Both Hebrew and English editions can be read on the Internet...

and The Nation
The Nation
The Nation is the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States. The periodical, devoted to politics and culture, is self-described as "the flagship of the left." Founded on July 6, 1865, It is published by The Nation Company, L.P., at 33 Irving Place, New York City.The Nation...

. He held a chair at the University of Toronto
University of Toronto
The University of Toronto is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated on the grounds that surround Queen's Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King's College, the first institution of higher learning in Upper Canada...

.

Kimmerling was an outspoken critic of Israeli policies, and spoke out on issues related to the Arab-Israeli conflict. He was dubbed one of Israel's New Historians
New Historians
The New Historians are a loosely-defined group of Israeli historians who have challenged traditional versions of Israeli history, including Israel's role in the Palestinian Exodus in 1948 and Arab willingness to discuss peace. The term was coined in 1988 by one of the leading New Historians, Benny...

, and himself insisted that he was a patriotic Zionist dedicated to celebrating the diversities of cultures within Israel, and to the ideals of a secular state. Unlike some critics of Israeli policy, he publicly opposed the proposed boycott of Israeli academics
Academic boycotts of Israel
Proposals for an academic boycott of Israel have been inspired by the historic academic boycotts of South Africa which were an attempt to pressure South Africa to end its policies of Apartheid....

 by the Association of University Teachers
Association of University Teachers
The Association of University Teachers was the trade union and professional association that represented academic and academic-related staff at pre-1992 universities in the United Kingdom...

 in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, arguing that it would "weaken the last public sphere of free thinking and free speech in Israel."

Kimmerling died at the age of 67 after a long battle with cancer
Cancer
Cancer , known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the...

. He was buried in the secular cemetery at Kibbutz Mishmarot, leaving his wife, Diana Aidan, and three children.

Major publications

  1. Zionism and Territory: The Socioterritorial Dimensions of Zionist Politics. Berkeley: University of California, Institute of International Studies, 1983, 289 pages.
  2. Zionism and Economy. Cambridge, Mass.: Schenkman Publishing Company, 1983, 169 pages.
  3. The Interrupted System: Israeli Civilians in War and Routine Times. New Brunswick and London: Transaction Books, 1985. [229 pages]
  4. Baruch Kimmerling and Joel S. Migdal, Palestinians: The Making of a People. New York: Free Press, 1993, 396 pages. Paperback enlarged edition: Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press is a publishing house established on January 13, 1913, as a division of Harvard University, and focused on academic publishing. In 2005, it published 220 new titles. It is a member of the Association of American University Presses. Its current director is William P...

    . Italian version: La Nuova Italia Editrice, 1994. Enlarged Edition, 2002 [page 512]. Enlarged and revised Hebrew version: Keter, 1998, 300 pages. Arabic: Ramallah, 2001.
  5. The Invention and Decline of Israeliness: State, Culture and Military in Israel. Los Angeles and Berkeley: University of California Press
    University of California Press
    University of California Press, also known as UC Press, is a publishing house associated with the University of California that engages in academic publishing. It was founded in 1893 to publish books and papers for the faculty of the University of California, established 25 years earlier in 1868...

    , 2001, 268 pages.
  6. The End of Ashkenazi Hegemony. Jerusalem: Keter, 2001, 124 pages (Hebrew).
  7. Politicide: Sharon’s War Against the Palestinians. London: Verso, 2003.
  8. Baruch Kimmerling and Joel S. Migdal, The Palestinian People: A History. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press is a publishing house established on January 13, 1913, as a division of Harvard University, and focused on academic publishing. In 2005, it published 220 new titles. It is a member of the Association of American University Presses. Its current director is William P...

    , 2003, 604 pages.
  9. Immigrants, Settlers, Natives: Israel Between Plurality of Cultures and Cultural Wars. Tel Aviv: Am Oved
    Am Oved
    -History:Am Oved was founded in 1942 by Berl Katznelson, who was its first Editor in Chief.It was created as an organ of the Histadrut, Israel's federation of Labor, with a goal of publishing books that would "meet the spiritual needs of the working public." Its most well-known series is "Sifriyah...

    , 2004 (Hebrew, 630 pages).
  10. (As editor) The Israeli State and Society: Boundaries and Frontiers. Albany: State University of New York Press
    State University of New York Press
    The State University of New York Press , is a university press and a Center for Scholarly Communication. The Press is part of the State University of New York system and is located in Albany, New York.- History :...

    , 1989, 330 pages
  11. Sociology of Politics: A Reader. Binyamina: The Open University, 2005 (Hebrew)
  12. Shuli bamerkaz: Sippur hayyim shel sotziolog tzibburi (Marginal in the Center: The Autobiography of a Public Sociologist), Hakibbutz Hameuhad, 2007, 252 pages, (Hebrew)
  13. Clash of Identities: Explorations in Israeli and Palestinian Societies, New York: Columbia University Press
    Columbia University Press
    Columbia University Press is a university press based in New York City, and affiliated with Columbia University. It is currently directed by James D. Jordan and publishes titles in the humanities and sciences, including the fields of literary and cultural studies, history, social work, sociology,...

    , 2008, 431 pages.

External links

  • Homepage at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
  • Sociologist Baruch Kimmerling, 'new historian,' dies at age 67 Obituary in Haaretz
    Haaretz
    Haaretz is Israel's oldest daily newspaper. It was founded in 1918 and is now published in both Hebrew and English in Berliner format. The English edition is published and sold together with the International Herald Tribune. Both Hebrew and English editions can be read on the Internet...

    , 21 May 2007
  • Controversial critic of Israel's origins and its role in the Middle East Obituary in The Guardian
    The Guardian
    The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

    , 26 June 2007
  • Israeli sociologist who strongly criticised the state’s policies Obituary in The Times
    The Times
    The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

    , 14 June 2007
  • A life less ordinary Interview by Dalia Karpel in Haaretz
    Haaretz
    Haaretz is Israel's oldest daily newspaper. It was founded in 1918 and is now published in both Hebrew and English in Berliner format. The English edition is published and sold together with the International Herald Tribune. Both Hebrew and English editions can be read on the Internet...

    , 19 October 2006