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The sad reality is that defending the term Zionism—not “Israelism” or some still newer neologism to describe the Israeli nation-state, as opposed to the Jewish nation—defends the past and future of the Jewish people, history and aspiration as well as the present reality. Equally sad is that Zionism must always be on the defensive, always responding to yet another attack or lie, always patiently explaining Jewish history and Jews’ rights to a state in their own land.
But there is another, prospective dimension. All national projects are works in progress. The term Zionism must be retained; but the content is continually reformulated, consciously or not. The challenge is to make the process of reformulation conscious and explicit.
Israelis hotly debate Zionism as it relates to culture, to the religious-secular divide, to Arab minorities, and much more. But the term has not been much debated by American Jews, many of whom caught between their knee-jerk defenses and embarrassed evasions, or even vicious attacks, and whose understanding of the diversity of Zionist movements and the state of Israel is minimal or, worse, shaped by their enemies or equally ignorant media.
The opportunity is to reinvent Zionism and reclaim it as a proud description of a multifaceted concept that now, fortunately, has a state of its own. The first step to remaking Zionism in the future is learning what Zionism meant in the past.
This article originally published by the Middle East Forum, April 30, 2012.
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Obama went to begin the Arab Spring in Egypt which is still his target; Israel is just the lever.
Qatar’s wealth and Turkey’s size should not preclude us from telling it as it is: Qatar and Turkey are among the worst villains in the Gaza tragedy.
New Delhi would do well to remain aware of the predicament of Israel today.
his Tisha B’Av, and this Tu B’Av, remember: Hashem will protect us if we unite and rally around Him
Israel’s morality is underscored by its unprecedented restraint and care for loss of life.
The Gazan octopus arm is a test case, as the rest of the arms are closely watching it.
Obama has chosen shaky ally on the way out over strong ally solidly in the American orbit.
World War I had sown chaos throughout the centuries-old Jewish communities of Eastern Europe.
The IDF pounding continued and it again seemed only a matter of time before Hamas would be forced to accept the Egyptian proposal.
Nothing is ever so clear in the complex and often brutal calculus of urban warfare.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/zionism-neologism-and-nationalism/2012/08/31/
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