Eidelberg, Paul 1928-

views updated

EIDELBERG, Paul 1928-

PERSONAL: Born June 21, 1928, in Brooklyn, NY; son of Harry and Sarah (Leimseider) Eidelberg; married Phyllis Leif, December 27, 1947; children: Steven, Sharen, Sarah Elizabeth. Education: University of Chicago, M.A., 1957, Ph.D., 1966. Religion: Hebrew.

ADDRESSES: Home—Shabtai Negbi, Gilo 63/32, Jerusalem, Israel.

CAREER: Sweet Briar College, Sweet Briar, VA, visiting professor of political science, 1966-67; North Carolina State University at Raleigh, assistant professor of politics, 1967-68; Kenyon College, Gambier, OH, associate professor of political science, 1968-70; University of Dallas, Irving, TX, associate professor of political science, 1970-74; Claremont Men's College, Claremont, CA, research professor of political science, 1974-76; Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel, professor of political science, 1976—; founder, Foundation for Constitutional Democracy; president, Yamin Yisrael political party. Visiting professor of political science, Yeshiva University, New York, NY, 1987-88. Visiting lecturer at colleges and universities, including Kenyon College, 1973, Claremont Men's College, 1975 and 1976, and St. Thomas Aquinas College, 1976. Cofounder, Institute of Statesmanship and Torah-Philosophy, Jerusalem, Israel. Military service: U.S. Air Force, 1946-53; became first lieutenant.

MEMBER: American Political Science Association.

AWARDS, HONORS: Earhart Foundation grant, 1974 and 1977; Salvatori Center grant, 1976.


The Philosophy of the American Constitution: A Reinterpretation of the Intentions of the Founding Fathers, Free Press (New York, NY), 1968, reprinted, University Press of America (Lanham, MD), 1986.

A Discourse of Statesmanship: The Design and Transformation of the American Polity, University of Illinois Press (Champaign, IL), 1974.

On the Silence of the Declaration of Independence, University of Massachusetts Press (Boston, MA), 1976.

Beyond Detente: Toward an American Foreign Policy, Sherwood Sugden (LaSalle, IL), 1977.

Hamazema shel Sadat, Reshafim (Tel Aviv, Israel), 1978.

Sadat's Strategy, Dawn Publishing (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), 1979.

Jerusalem vs. Athens: In Quest of a General Theory of Existence, University Press of America (Lanham, MD), 1983.

The Case of Israel's Jewish Underground, Dawn (Dollard des Ormeaux, Quebec, Canada), 1985.

Israel's Return and Restoration, [Jerusalem, Israel], 1987.

Beyond the Secular Mind: A Judaic Response to the Problems of Modernity, Greenwood Press (New York, NY), 1989.

(With Will Morrisey) Our Culture "Left" or "Right": Litterateurs Confront Nihilism, E. Mellen Press (Lewiston, NY), 1992.

Demophrenia, Prescott Press (Lafayette, LA), 1994.

Judaic Man: Toward a Reconstruction of Western Civilization, Caslon (Middletown, NJ), 1996.

Making Votes Count: They Don't in Isreal!, Ariel Center for Policy Research (Shaarei Tikva, Isreal), 1999.

Jewish Statesmanship Lest Israel Fall, ACPR (Shaarei Tikva, Israel), 2000, University Press of American (Lanham, MD), 2002.

Contributor to periodicals, including Midstream, International Behavioral Scientist, Congressional Record, The Review of Politics, and Journal of Nuclear Medicine. Contributor of articles to newspapers in various countries, including the United States, Israel, and several European and South American nations.

SIDELIGHTS: Political writer and activist Paul Eidelberg earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, where he studied under the influential scholar Leo Strauss, before relocating to Israel to teach at Bar-Ilan University and eventually enter politics. Eidelberg, an Orthodox Jew who advocates a sound political structure for the State of Israel, is the author of Jewish Statesmanship Lest Israel Fall. In that work Eidelberg cites a number of reasons for the tenuous condition of the Jewish state, including heterogeneity—the mixing of races and cultures—"Jews and Arabs," noted reviewer Shmuel Ben-Gad in Midstream, "but also amongst Jews who have made aliyah [pilgrimage] from many different countries." Discord between secular and religious Jews and what the author states as "a lack of Jewish statesmanship and Jewish national purpose" also serve to threaten Israel's Jewish identity, according to Ben-Gad's article.

Discussing the country's political system, Eidelberg argues for replacing the parliamentary-based Knesset with one of a U.S.-style democracy. He "recommends a presidential system (with only a Jew eligible to be president) so that a strong, focused policy can be pursued," commented Ben-Gad. "For a similar reason, recommends that the upper house of a bicameral Knesset be largely filled though electoral district elections rather than the current method of proportional representation." Eidelberg also proposes that Jews alone be eligible for membership in the upper house "and would have to be certified as having some prescribed level of Jewish knowledge," as the critic continued. The author's Jews-only policy would also extend to the judiciary.

Is Eidelberg's thinking racist? Bar-Gad felt that the author's arguments are based on his Orthodox interpretations of the Hebrew scriptures; "the book does not intend to be a work of apologetics but rather a creative work based upon the Torah." The reviewer added, "One does not need to be Orthodox to recognize the role religion can play in elevating the national character and strengthening the national will." He said that Eidelberg "writes beautifully" and that a reader need not agree with each of the author's proposals to find value in Jewish Statesmanship Lest Israel Fall.



Canadian Philosophical Review, January, 1990, review of Beyond the Secular Mind: A Judaic Response to the Problems of Modernity, p. 11.

Choice, February, 1990, L. E. Newman, review of Beyond the Secular Mind, p. 965.

Midstream, September, 2000, Shmuel Ben-Gad, review of Jewish Statesmanship Lest Israel Fall, p. 41.

Perspectives on Political Science, winter, 1991, review of Beyond the Secular Mind, p. 58.*