Kimmerling, Baruch 1939-2007

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Kimmerling, Baruch 1939-2007


See index for CA sketch: Born October 16, 1939, in Transylvania, Romania; died May 20, 2007. Sociologist, activist, and author. Kimmerling was a critic of Zionism and Israeli militarism whose books were often used as school texts in Palestinian schools. His parents were Zionists who left their homeland for Israel in 1952. Kimmerling attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he earned a B.A. in 1965, M.A. in 1968, and Ph.D. in 1975. He worked primarily as a freelance writer until 1983, when he joined the Hebrew University of Jerusalem faculty as a lecturer. He was named George A. Wise Professor of Sociology in 1997 and directed the Center for the Study of Documentation of Israeli Society from 1985 to 1987. While critical of what he felt were anti-Semitic attitudes on the part of some Palestinians, Kimmerling staunchly protested many of Israel's political policies. The sociologist pointed to Israel's poor treatment of Palestinians as evidence of misguided policy, and he criticized its militaristic culture that emphasized the importance of army service. Kimmerling was frequently ridiculed and called disloyal for his opinions. Despite suffering from multiple sclerosis that left him wheelchair bound, he managed to publish ten books, most of which concerned Israeli politics. Among these are Zionism and Territory: The Socioterritorial Dimensions of Zionist Politics (1983), The Interrupted System: Israeli Civilians in War and Routine Times (1985), Palestinians: The Making of a People (1993), which was written with Joel S. Migdal and revised as The Palestinian People: A History (2003), and The Changing Meanings and Boundaries of Politics (2004).



Times (London, England), June 14, 2007, p. 70.