Kimmerling, Baruch 1939–

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Kimmerling, Baruch 1939–

PERSONAL: Born October 16, 1939, in Romania; immigrated to Israel, 1952; naturalized citizen; son of Mordechai and Hana (Laszlo) Kimmerling; married Diana Aidan; children: three. Education: Hebrew University of Jerusalem, B.A., 1965, M.A., 1968, Ph. D., 1975.

ADDRESSES: Home—48 Bar-Kohbah St., Ste. 31, 97875, Jerusalem, Israel. Office—Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Hebrew University, Jerusalem 91 905, Israel. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: Freelance writer for newspapers and the Israeli Broadcasting Service, 1962–68; Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, lecturer, 1983–89, associate professor, 1989–97, George A. Wise Professor of Sociology, 1997–. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, Center for International Studies, research fellow, 1978–79; Israel Foundation, trustee, 1983–85; University of Washington, research fellow, 1987–88, Henry Jackson School for International Studies, University of Washington, Seattle, visiting associate professor, 1987–88, visiting professor, 1991–92; University of Toronto, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Sociology.

MEMBER: Israel Studies Association (member of board of directors, 1989), American Sociological Association, International Sociological Association, American Political Science Association, Israel Sociological Association, Middle Eastern Studies Association.

AWARDS, HONORS: Peretz Naftali award, 1972–73; Massachusetts Institute of Technology fellowship, 1978–79; Israel National Council for Research and Development grant (joint), 1982–84; Israel Foundation Trustees grant (joint), 1983–85; Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society grant, 1983; Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture award, 1985; Stroum fellowship, University of Washington, Seattle, 1987–88, for advanced research in Jewish studies; United States Institute of Peace grant, 1990; Eshkol Institute grant, 1993; Silber Center research grant, 1997–98.


Zionism and Territory: The Socioterritorial Dimensions of Zionist Politics, University of California, Institute of International Studies (Berkeley, CA), 1983.

Zionism and Economy, Schenkman Publishing Co. (Cambridge, MA), 1983.

The Interrupted System: Israeli Civilians in War and Routine Times, Transaction Books (London, England), 1985.

(Editor) The Israeli State and Society: Boundaries and Frontiers, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 1989.

(With Joel S. Migdal) Palestinians: The Making of a People, Free Press (New York, NY), 1993, revised and published as The Palestinian People: A History, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 2003.

Between State and Society: The Sociology of Politics (textbook in Hebrew; two volumes), Open University (Tel Aviv, Israel), 1995.

The Invention and Decline of Israeliness: State, Society, and the Military, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 2001.

Politicide: Ariel Sharon's Wars against the Palestinians (biography), Verso (New York, NY), 2003.

Natives, Immigrants, Settlers: The Israeli State between Cultural Pluralism and Cultural War, Am-Oved (Tel Aviv, Israel), 2003.

The Changing Meanings and Boundaries of Politics (textbook; in Hebrew), Open University (Tel Aviv, Israel), 2004.

Contributor to anthologies and references, including Comparative Social Dynamics: Essays in Honor of Shmuel Eisenstadt, edited by Moshe Lissak, E. Cohen, and U. Almagor, Westview, 1984; Israeli Society and Its Defense Establishment: The Social and Political Impact of a Protracted Violent Conflict, edited by Moshe Lissak, Frank Cass (London, England), 1984; and The Oxford Companion to Politics of the World, edited by Joel Krieger, Oxford University Press, 1993, revised edition, 2001. Consulting editor for Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 1980. Contributor to periodicals, including Rural Sociology, European Journal of Sociology, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Strategic Studies, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Middle Eastern Studies, and American Sociological Review. Editor and member of the editorial boards of professional journals.

SIDELIGHTS: Baruch Kimmerling teaches courses on the sociology of Arab-Israeli conflicts and contemporary Israeli and Palestinian society. His books include Palestinians: The Making of a People, written with Joel S. Migdal, in which six decades of history are studied in relation to the formation of the contemporary community. The authors evaluate the impact of Turkish, British, and Israeli rule and document significant turning points, including the Great Arab Revolt in the 1930s, the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948, the Six-Day War of 1967, the Intifada that began in 1987, and the international backlash against the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) for supporting Saddam Hussein during the first Gulf War. The book was revised and published as The Palestinian People: A History.

Kimmerling is the author of The Invention and Decline of Israeliness: State, Society, and the Military, in which he considers the state of Israeli identity and writes that since the 1967 war, it has fallen into seven subcultures that include secular Ashkenazi upper-middle class, national religious, traditionalist "Orientals," Orthodox religious, Arabs, Russian immigrants, and Ethiopians. Kimmerling is concerned that the melding of these groups will cause a divide between the religious and the secular cultures and a loss of nationalism.

Ian S. Lustick wrote of Kimmerling in the Middle East Journal that "his extraordinary output of books and articles is not as well known in the United states as it should be, but this volume should go far to solve that problem…. This volume is valuable for its synthesis of findings of the new generation of Israeli political sociologists [and] for a host of fresh and provocative insights into the exciting political struggles."

Politicide: Ariel Sharon's Wars against the Palestinians is Kimmerling's political biography of the Israeli leader through the present time. The "politicide" of the title is a term that Kimmerling writes defines Sharon's actions intended to "destroy the political national existence of a whole community of people and thus deny it the possibility of self-determination." Kimmerling documents Sharon's 1953 massacre of forty-three Palestinian refugees, including seven women, at a refugee camp, and other murders and destruction for which he has been responsible through the years. He writes that Sharon's brutality did not go unnoticed, even within the military, but his crimes against the Palestinians went unpunished, and usually unacknowledged.

Ted Schmidt noted in Catholic New Times that "this is a fascinating study of Ariel Sharon, the man whom a frightened populace thought could bring peace…. Kimmerling, like many Jewish humanists has no time for the accusations of anti-Semitism levelled against critics of Israel 'used by North American Jewish organizations and functionaries as well as conservative intellectuals.' What he does have time for are the many brave Israelis to whom he dedicates his book, people like 'all the brave Israeli women who stand before checkpoints in the early morning hours to prevent Palestinian laborers from being harassed.'" Schmidt added: "These are the people who 'better reflect the spirit of humanism and nonviolent and active resistance against this bad regime which has hijacked the Israeli political culture. They have paid a high personal price for their conviction and give me hope for the future.'"



Politicide: Ariel Sharon's Wars against the Palestinians (biography), Verso (New York, NY), 2003.


Catholic New Times, November 30, 2003, Ted Schmidt, review of Politicide, p. 8.

Commentary, April, 1993, Daniel Pipes, review of Palestinians: The Making of a People, p. 62.

International Journal of Comparative Sociology, January-April, 1994, Ruth W. Mouly, review of Palestinians, p. 156.

Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2003, review of Politicide, p. 730.

Library Journal, March 1, 2003, Nader Entessar, review of The Palestinian People: A History, p. 106; August, 2003, Nader Entessar, review of Politicide, p. 108.

Middle East Journal, summer, 2002, Ian S. Lustick, review of The Invention and Decline of Israeliness: State, Society, and the Military, p. 528; summer, 2003, review of The Palestinian People, p. 527.

Middle East Policy, winter, 2003, Jay Murphy, review of Politicide, p. 156.

Middle East Quarterly, winter, 2004, Meyrav Wurmser, review of The Invention and Decline of Israeliness, p. 81.

Nation, March 25, 2002, Alexander Cockburn, "The Nightmare in Israel," p. 8.

New Republic, April 21, 2003, Benny Morris, review of The Palestinian People, p. 31.

New Statesman, August 25, 2003, Stephen Howe, review of Politicide, p. 37.

Publishers Weekly, December 7, 1992, review of Palestinians, p. 48; June 16, 2003, review of Politicide, p. 61.

Shofar, summer, 2004, Rebecca Kook, review of The Invention and Decline of Israeliness, p. 182.

Social Forces, June, 1995, Christina Zacharia, review of Palestinians, p. 1639.