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shlomo sand

  • Does Israel have a place in Jewish identity?

    The proposed 'Nation-State Law' and a wave of violence point to the urgency of questioning Israel's place in Jewish identity. Shlomo Sand's latest book, 'How I Stopped Being a Jew,' offers a starting point for such a discussion. When I left Palestine this summer, I was relieved to leave the Israeli flag behind. No more blue and white snapping at everyone who passes military checkpoints. No more Star of David standing high over the army bases. Saying goodbye to the Israeli flag, or so I thought, would also mean an end to my ambivalence about it. Upon seeing the flag,…

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  • Is a binational identity possible in Israel?

    Two academics get into a public intellectual debate over secular national identity and the characteristics of binationalism in the future of Israel or binational state. Despite their bitter assaults against one another's ideas, they are far closer than they realize. By Jeremiah Haber It’s open season on Prof. Shlomo Sand of Tel Aviv University in the pages of Haaretz, following the publication of his latest book, How and Why I Stopped Being a Jew. The thesis of the book is that there is no such thing as secular Jewish experience (although he grants that there are people who have fashioned for themselves a…

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  • Fantasized homeland: Review of Shlomo Sand's new book

    A review of Shlomo Sand's "The Invention of the Land of Israel" and other musings on religious Zionism. "After the people was exiled from its land by force of arms, it kept faith with it in all the lands of its diaspora, and never ceased from praying and hoping to return to its land and renewing in it its political sovereignty."  Among the many falsehoods contained in Israel's Declaration of Independence, this must be the most baseless, yet you can hardly describe the core of Zionism without it. After dedicating his earlier book, "The Invention of the Jewish People," to…

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  • How is Zionism different from other forms of nationalism?

    Nationalism is inherently illiberal in its distinction between citizens and non-citizens. But are all nationalisms equally illiberal? And should we hold Israel to different standards than other countries that claim to be liberal democracies? By Sean Lee Two of my colleagues make the point that it is not only Zionism, or Jewish nationalism, that is illiberal, but rather nationalism in and of itself. I think that there is a lot of truth in this, especially given that much modern nationalism is rooted in 19th century European nationalism, which was decidedly illiberal in the way we define liberalism today. What I…

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