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jewish nationalism

  • When Zionism imagined Jewish nationalism without supremacy

    In his recent book, Dr. Dmitry Shumsky shows that, contrary to popular belief, the forefathers of Zionism did not envision a state based on Jewish supremacy. And yet Zionism, he says, inevitably involves the oppression of Palestinians. By Meron Rapoport No one was surprised when the authors of the Jewish Nation-State Law decided to write, in its opening clauses, that “The State of Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people,” and “the right to national self-determination in Israel is unique to the Jewish people." After all, this is precisely what every young Israeli is taught in school, whether they are Jewish or Arab. Israel, so…

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  • Beyond Liberal Zionism: How I became a non-Zionist

    Changes in Israeli society are rendering Liberal Zionism's political program impracticable and irrelevant. Non-Zionism provides an alternative. By Daniel J. Solomon The past decade has not been kind to Liberal Zionists. Israel’s far-right government has undermined democratic norms at every turn, entrenched occupation via continued settlement building, and sought to snuff out the national aspirations of Palestinians. Meanwhile, the American left has taken a harder line on Israel that shades into questioning the Jewish state’s right to exist. [tmwinpost] Being a Liberal Zionist today means inhabiting a political no man’s land. And there is something to admire in the tenacity…

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  • Israel's 'Jewish values' will forever leave Palestinians on the sidelines

    Labor leader Avi Gabbay called the Left too 'liberal' and not Jewish enough, reminding us that he has much more in common with Netanyahu than he lets on. By Iddo Naiss From the earliest days of Jewish nationalism, there were fundamental disagreements between its different stripes over the role their ideology would have once submerged into a state. Many disagreements, but one common denominator: the interests of the Jewish people were first priority. [tmwinpost] This was logical during the period before the founding of Israel, when the Zionist movement worried solely about the fate of the Jewish people around the world,…

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  • Days of rage and marches for freedom: Refusing to hand over Jewish history

    The events of the past weeks are a reminder that while civil rights violations in Israel alienate us from the rest of the world, the actions taken against them bring us back into the fold. We are not handing over our history yet. Following the end of the Cold War, the American academic Francis Fukuyama wrote an article entitled 'The End of History?' His proposal hung on the idea that, in defeating communism, liberal democracy had claimed its place as the final incarnation and supreme form of governance and society, from which no further development or progress was possible - or,…

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  • ‘Religion and politics’ in Israel: The mythology of Jewish nationalism

    The State of Israel has never attempted to build a national identity that would be ‘liberated ’from Jewish ‘religion.’ Instead, it has focused on the construction of a national identity distinct in one critical respect: it is reserved for Jews only. By Yaacov Yadgar One of the more controversial legislative bills being currently pushed forward by the ruling coalition in Israel, a proposed ‘Basic Law:  Israel—the Nation-State of the Jewish People’, seeks to enshrine and ensure, constitutionally so, the State of Israel’s ‘Jewish identity’ as the nation-state of the Jewish People. Several aspects of the proposed bill draw immediate attention: first,…

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  • When Israeli nationalism gets into your food

    Everyone knows that Israel has become a much more racist and nationalist society over the past decade, and particularly since Bibi Netanyahu came to power and formed the most right wing coalition to ever rule the land. So, I can’t say - taking into consideration the persons involved - that the boycott law or loyalty oath come as much as a surprise. And I’m not terribly surprised when foreign workers are deported, when Arabs can’t live in Jewish communities or when Ethiopian Jewish children can’t learn with the white folk. But lately I have this feeling that the nationalism is…

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  • Israeli preschool activity: Who wants to kill us?

    It's nice to think Israel's hard-won self-determination ensured Jewish children can grow up without fear and xenophobia. Yeah, right. Here is a photo taken this week at a preschool in the Tel-Aviv satellite city of Holon: Translation, from the top: "Who wants to kill us? Pharaoh | Greeks | Haman | Nazis | Arabs ↓          ↓               ↓          ↓              ↓ What do we need? WE NEED A STATE Do note that all Arabs (national group) and Greeks (in reference to assimilationist…

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  • New Israeli ID card numbers to begin at 6 million

    Israel is about to begin issuing its citizens with "smart" ID cards - plastic cards with a chip containing various biometric information, as opposed to the laminated paper cards we carried until now. The debate over the biometric database on which these cards will draw is long and ferocious, but it turns out this is only one controversial thing about the cards. Yedioth Ahronoth reported today (h/t 7th Eye) that the serial numbers of the cards (as opposed to the actual ID numbers, which will remain the same), will begin "at six million up, to commemorate the six million Jews…

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  • Facing up to Jewish nationalism and racist violence

    This piece originally appeared on Electronic Intifada and was co-authored with Max Blumenthal When we released the now famous and censored video Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem, we were widely attacked and dismissed for daring to publicize footage of college-age Jewish kids behaving like racist fanatics while intoxicated. We argued that our footage revealed a deep sickness within Israeli society and among diaspora Jews who defined their Jewish identity according to extreme Zionist ideology ("Censored by the Huffington Post and Imprisoned By The Past: Why I Made 'Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem,'" 6 June 2009). We insisted that Jews should focus their outrage not…

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