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Post-Zionism has spread like wildfire through Israeli academia, and social and cultural institutions, and has entered the public arena. The post-Zionists are by their own definition anti-Zionist. They believe that the Jewish state has reached the end-of-the-road, and argue that the Zionist enterprise lacked moral validity since its conception, and therefore must be abandoned. Post-Zionists also question the moral base of Judaism. While post-Zionism remains the domain of the leftist intellectual elite, it is undermining the national confidence, and in the justness of the Zionist cause.
The attack by Israeli intellectuals in academia and the media on Israeli nationalism and Jewish particularism poses more than a passing threat to the State of Israel. Israel is now facing a crisis of identity and values that strikes at the basic components and elements of the Israeli identity: Judaism and nationalism. Post-Zionism undermines Israel’s soul and reduces its will for self-defense.
Fortunately for the Jewish State, the majority of its population still believes in the Zionist tenets, and demographically, Israelis who define themselves as traditionalist and religious Jews, are on the rise, while the affluent, secular, and leftist segment of the population is declining. This was evidenced in the victory of the right-of-center parties, led by the Likud in 2009.
Although the Education Law of 1953, sought to inculcate Jewish school children with Jewish cultural values, love of the homeland, and loyalty to the Jewish state, which the current Education Minister, Gideon Sa’ar (Likud), promised to preserve; the urge to be accepted by the leftist post-Zionist cultural elite in academia and the media, permitted civics textbooks in Israeli high-schools to contain post-Zionist themes.
In Saving Israel, Daniel Gordis writes: “The unadulterated American model simply cannot work if the goal is the sustenance of Israel as a Jewish state…Now perhaps more than ever before, articulating how Israel might be unique, and not an inadequate version of another country (America), is a requirement of the utmost urgency.”
To survive, Israel must not strive to be the 51st state of the U.S. but rather seek to be a model of a Jewish democracy that protects its Arab minority but understands and internalizes what it meant to be a homeless people for 2000 years dependent on the whims of others. To protect its future, Israel must return to its Zionist and Judaic roots, and it must effectively transmit these values to the younger generation, born after 1967.
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