Calling the Equality Bluff: Women in Israel

Edited by Barbara Swirski and Marilyn P. Safir. Pergamon Press, 1991, $19.95.

For better or for worse, women in Israel face challenges that are distinctive, if not unique. Focusing on the particular in Israeli women’s lives, the 40-plus articles collected in Calling the Equality Bluff dispel stereotypes about women in the work place, the kibbutz, the army, the family, politics, and religious life. The sociological studies that make up much of the book are nicely complemented by personal pieces, some of them quite compelling; Palestinian women talking about their families, hopes, and frustrations; Jewish women—from a General to a factory worker —talking about their achievements and disappointments.

Broadly feminist in orientation, this collection is required reading for anyone who wants more than a nodding acquaintance with the complex, heroic, fallible women of Israel.