Twelve Tribes: Promise and Per­il in the New Israel

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2020

In Twelve Tribes, award-win­ning jour­nal­ist Ethan Michaeli weaves togeth­er the per­son­al his­to­ries of Israelis of all tribes into a nar­ra­tive of social and polit­i­cal change. Read­ers will meet the aging rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies who found­ed Israel’s kib­butz move­ment and the bril­liant young peo­ple work­ing for the coun­try’s boom­ing Big Tech com­pa­nies. They will join thou­sands of ultra-Ortho­dox Hared­im at a joy­ous memo­r­i­al and mar­vel at the life expe­ri­ence of Belay­nesh Zeva­dia, who came to Israel from Ethiopia, and decades lat­er returned to her birth coun­try as the ambas­sador from Israel. They will be chal­lenged by por­traits of Israeli Arabs nav­i­gat­ing the oppor­tu­ni­ties and dis­crim­i­na­tion in a demo­c­ra­t­ic state, through con­ver­sa­tions with Pales­tini­ans who are striv­ing to build insti­tu­tions on nascent land, and by the Israeli set­tlers who are seek­ing to estab­lish a Jew­ish pres­ence on the same land. Framed by Michaeli’s expe­ri­ence as an Israeli Amer­i­can, Twelve Tribes illu­mi­nates the com­plex dynam­ics with­in the coun­try and reveals Israel as a land of para­dox­i­cal inter­sec­tions‚ a place where all of the world’s strug­gles meet, and a micro­cosm for the chal­lenges faced by all nations today.

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