Yakov M. Rabkin

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Yakov M. Rabkin is a professor of history at the Université de Montréal, author and public intellectual. His book A Threat from Within: A Century of Jewish Opposition to Zionism was nominated for best French to English translation for "an important and timely work" at the 2006 Governor General's Awards.[1] It has also been listed as one of the three best books of the year by Japan's leading daily Asahi Shimbun in 2010.[2] This book is currently available in fourteen languages.

His book A Threat from Within: A Century of Jewish Opposition to Zionism has drawn both praise and criticism. While the book has been praised for its detailed examination of the history of opposition of Ultra-Orthodox Jews to Zionism and its documentation of "ideas with which all Jews – secular to religious, anti-Zionist to Zionist – should be familiar" it has also been criticised for its "combative writing style and a selective use of history." One critic wrote that: "Rabkin can't resist from widely citing people who name-call and painting all Zionists as evil" and that this style of writing "diminishes the credibility of his argument."[3][4]

His other published works include studies of relations between science and technology,[5] research on cultural aspects of science,[6][7] including studies of Jews in the scientific profession,[8] Science Between the Superpowers (Priority Press), a study of programs for the exchange of U.S and Soviet Union scientists,[9] as well as works on the fate of Soviet science[10] and scientists[11] after the dismemberment of the USSR and, more generally, on science and political freedoms.[12] His current research focuses on demodernization as a global phenomenon.

His most recent book is Comprendre l’État d’Israël which has appeared in French as well as in Russian and Japanese. In 2016 it was published in English: What Is Modern Israel? by Pluto Press. That book examines the Protestant origins of the Zionist project; the adoption of that project in the late XIX century by secular Jews from Central and Eastern Europe, imbued with the ethnic nationalism of the time; the stern resistance Zionism faced from Jews around the world, not least in the Holy Land; and the ongoing Jewish opposition to Zionism from different perspectives, both religious and secular.

Rabkin is a frequent contributor to printed and electronic media on international relations, Russia and the former USSR as well as contemporary Israel. He has argued for freedom of discussion, against political uses of history and shown skepticism with respect to a two-state solution for the Israel/Palestine conflict. He has expressed support for a bi-national state.


  1. ^ '2006 Finalists - Translation (French to English).' Canada Council for the Arts 2006
  2. ^ "Capsule Le livre d'un historien québécois primé au Japon comme l'un des meilleurs livres de l'année 2010". CERIUM. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  3. ^ Amelan, Ralph (2006-12-28). "Enemies of the state - Arts & Culture - Jerusalem Post". Jpost.com. Retrieved 2015-09-29.
  4. ^ Cynthia Ramsay, 'Bias ruins anti-Zionist book,' Jewish Independent 7 April 2006
  5. ^ "From Classical to Modern Chemistry: The Instrumental Revolution - Peter J. T. Morris". Books.google.ca. 1966-01-15. p. 3. Retrieved 2015-09-29.
  6. ^ "Cultural variations in scientific development". Ssi.sagepub.com. 1986-12-01. Retrieved 2015-09-29.
  7. ^ "Citation Visibility of Africa's Science". Sss.sagepub.com. 1979-11-01. Retrieved 2015-09-29.
  8. ^ 'American Jews in the Physical Sciences,' in Stephen Harlan Norwood,Eunice G. Pollack (eds.) Encyclopedia of American Jewish History, ABC-Clio, 2008, vol. 2, pp. 739-742.
  9. ^ Campbell, John C. (Winter 1988–1989). "Capsule review". Foreign Affairs. Council on Foreign Relations.
  10. ^ "Transforming Science and Technology Systems: The Endless Transition? - Werner Meske". Books.google.ca. p. 339. Retrieved 2015-09-29.
  11. ^ Yakov M. Rabkin, Elena M Mirskaya, 'Russia:Science in the Post-Soviet Disunion,' in Barry Lesser, A.D. Tillett (eds.) Science and Technology in Central and Eastern Europe: The Reform of Higher Education, Garland Publishing, 1996 pp.43-51
  12. ^ Yakov M. Rabkin, Elena M Mirskaya, 'Science and Totalitarianism: Lessons for the twenty-first century,' Mark Walker, ed. Science and Ideology: A Comparative History, Routledge 2003 pp.17-33.

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