False Prophets of Peace

Liberal Zionism and the Struggle for Palestine

This book refutes the long held view of the Israeli left as adhering to a humanistic, democratic and even socialist tradition, attributed to the historic Zionist Labor movement. Through a critical analysis of the prevailing discourse of Zionist intellectuals and activists on the Jewish-democratic state, it uncovers the Zionist left’s central role in laying the foundation of the colonial settler state of Israel, in articulating its hegemonic ideology and in legitimizing, whether explicitly or implicitly, the apartheid treatment of Palestinians both inside Israel and in the 1967 occupied territories. Their determined support of a Jewish-only state underlies the failure of the “peace process,” initiated by the Zionist Left, to reach a just peace based on recognition of the national rights of the entire Palestinian people.

About the author

Tikva Honig-Parnass was raised in the Jewish community of pre-state Palestine, fought in the 1948 war and served as the secretary of the then Radical Left Zionist Party of Mapam (The Unified Workers Party) in the Knesset ( 1951-1954). In '60 she definitively broke with Zionism and joined the ranks of the Israeli Socialist Organization, known as "Matzpen". Since then she has played an active role in the movement against the '67 occupation as well as in the struggle for the Palestinian national rights. She co-edited Between the Lines with Toufic Haddad


"The Zionist Left, formerly hegemonic, has declined since 1977 and is now marginalized, while the differences between it and the center and Right have almost disappeared. But the myth of its 'progressive' nature persists among Western liberals. Based on her knowledge as a former insider, and on her familiarity with the relevant material, Tikva Honig-Parnass performs an invaluable service in forensically deconstructing the myth.”
—Moshé Machover, author, Israelis and Palestinians: Conflict and Resolution

"These books, [Israelis and Palestinians, and False Prophets of Peace] are important contributions not only for historical perspective but for present-day understanding … The fundamental insights of the formative Israeli revolutionary left remain as impressive as ever – inspiring in their clarity of vision, even if it’s distressing to see how, if anything, political discourse about Israel and Palestine has regressed as much as advanced in half a century."
—David Finkel, Against the Current

"After reading Honig-Parnass’ book, one is left with a clear impression that liberal Zionists are neither ‘Israel’s best’ and nor is their double-speak a simple reflection of hypocrisy. Liberal Zionists were, and remain at the heart of the problem."
—Ramzy Baroud, the Palestine Chronicle

"[A]t a time when the hasbarah is working overtime to present Israel as a place where liberal democratic values, individualism and LGBT rights thrive amidst a sea of fundamentalist obscurantism, False prophets of peace is essential reading for winning the debate against those keen to smear solidarity with Palestinian rights as employing double standards and engaging in the demonisation of the ‘only democracy in the Middle East."
—Leandros Fischer, the Weekly Worker