The independent left in Israel, 1967-1993: Essays in memory of Noam Kaminer

.Meir Amor, Odeh Bisharat, Arie Dayan, Carmel Kaminer, Matan Kaminer, Smadar Nehab Kaminer, Anat Matar.
November Books
Book by Joel Beinin

The Independent Left in Israel, 1967-1993, deals with a small group of dissidents who were active in a range of Israeli left-wing movements in the post-1967 period, without managing to change the nature of Israeli society or effectively challenge the increasingly oppressive direction taken by the state. 

And yet, this group raised crucial questions of analytical and political value that served to examine core aspects of history, politics, and social relations in Israel/Palestine, and continue to do so today. Among these activists was Noam Kaminer, who was involved in various progressive political initiatives since the 1970s. He died of cancer in 2014, and the collection of essays reviewed here, edited by family members and colleagues, is dedicated to his memory.

Beyond personal tributes and reminiscences, the book offers an overview of campaigns, movements, and debates that have occupied the Israeli left over the last fifty years. It is a testimony to both the vibrancy of radical ideas and to political failure: that we debate basic issues that should have been settled long ago, and we do that from a position of marginality, means that the system the left hoped to undermine is still in place. However, things are not static, progress has been made on some fronts, and it is important to document that for historical reasons and for contemporary purposes, drawing on the lessons of the past.