Religion, war and Israel's secular millennials

Being reasonable?

By Stacey Gutkowski

Religion, war and Israel's secular millennials


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-3999-3
  • Pages: 296
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: October 2020
  • BIC Category: Politics, Social groups: religious groups & communities, POLITICAL SCIENCE / General, RELIGION / Religion, Politics & State, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Jewish Studies, Palestine, Israel, 21st Century History: From C 2000 -, Society & social sciences / Jewish studies


How do secular Jewish Israeli millennials feel about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, having come of age in the shadow of the Oslo peace process, when political leaders have used ethno-religious rhetoric as a dividing force? This is the first book to analyse blowback to Palestinian and Jewish-Israeli religious nationalism among this group in their own words, based on fieldwork, interviews and surveys conducted after the 2014 Gaza War.

Offering a close reading of the lived experience and generational memory of participants, Gutkowski offers a new explanation for why attitudes to Occupation have grown increasingly conservative over the past two decades. Examining the intimate emotional ecology of Occupation, this book offers a new argument about neo-Romantic conceptions of citizenship. Beyond the case study, it also provides a new theoretical framework and methods for researchers and students studying emotion, religion, nationalism, secularism and political violence.


'Why do Israeli millennials acquiesce to the Occupation? Gutkowski's meticulously researched book presents a strikingly intricate description of a sensibility among young secular Zionists that the Occupation is "regrettable," but the only "reasonable" option. In so doing, she illustrates the ongoing relevance of Albert Memmi's portrait of "the colonizer who refuses."'
Joyce Dalsheim, Associate Professor of Global Studies, UNC Charlotte

'Secularism is a contested term in Israeli society, where religion and nationalism are almost inseparable. Unpacking secularism and addressing its contradictions and inconsistencies, Gutkowski's study of Hiloni (secular) millennials provides a fascinating and often under-studied observation of contemporary Israel. Rationality and pragmatism, Hiloni millennials identify themselves with, turns out to be centrist and rather conservative, exposing again secularism's boundaries and limitations.'
Guy Ben-Porat, Professor of Politics and Government, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel


1 Who is a secular Jew?
2 Generational memory
3 My Other, myself
4 Imagining jihad
5 No atheists in foxholes?
6 Imagining home(land)
Conclusion: Being reasonable?
Post-script: Religion, violence and the secular
Appendix: Research method


Stacey Gutkowski is a Senior Lecturer in Conflict Studies at King's College London

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