Israel Not the 51st State

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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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  • ObamaYoMoma

    Leftism is a mental disease.

  • UCSPanther

    The Jews have always been an independent minded people, and they should be.

    They should stand on their own, do what is necessary to survive and if the rest of the world doesn't like it, to hell with them, and that includes the United States, especially where Obama is concerned.

    • gago

      With that analogy… today there would be 1 jew in a museum somewhere in Germany. Independent minded until they're up a certain creek without a paddle. Lol; dumba$$.

  • Talia

    I feel the pain in what you write and i share it. Thank you for voicing these concerns.
    But! i think there is a real change happening right now in the country. A long overdue change of genuine attempts to understand what are we about and how we will work out everything.
    It is so jewish to question ourselves all the time. isnt it?! so let me point something out- have you noticed how contrary to other countries and in spite of numerous attempts to bring chaos and violence into the demonstrations in the summer and even after – it didn't happen???
    in spite of many efforts bought and paid for by the new israeli fund aka Sorros there never was violence or huge rift in the country? not the so called "exclusion of women" not on the attempts of starting race and color warfare lol in Israel?
    In stead something started that i hope will flourish and hopefully will spread to other countries- the Mutual guarantee counter-movement ! the round tables of all the sections in our society sitting and discussing all the things we avoided talking about. of understanding how different and diverse we are as a nation and the problem is not or only the price of cheese:) but the public atmosphere the luck of trust, meaning and good relations between us.
    I share your concerns about our country and indeed the USA and in fact the all of the Western world but i think this is also a huge opportunity as well. and i believe if this trend will spread and continue we will also succeed !

  • Bert

    "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." This is the correct direction for Israel and also to reduce its dependency on other countries and especially a declining U.S. under Obama.
    In all this discussion one should include the Ideas of Moshe Feiglin at
    He offers a balance that can bridge the gap between the religious and the secular and is attracting both.
    He did so well in the recent Likud leadership vote that Netanyahu felt obliged to illegally steal some of Feiglins's votes to hide the growing rejection of Netanyahu and his old style corrupt politics.

  • Anneke9

    Shouldn't that be the 58th state seeing how Obama thinks there are currently 57?

  • Schlomotion

    It must Hardcore Platonism this week at FPM, because this article glares out in its naked embrace of the Greater Good at the expense of all else. I am shocked at the brief reveal of honesty: “were Israel to take the values of American democracy to their full and logical conclusion, it is quite likely that it would simply cease to be a Jewish state.” That is a potent damnation of Israel as antithetical to the values of western Democracy.

    The author explains further that free speech cannot be tolerated. It is bad for Israel that the Minister of Education was not a religious zealot. It is bad for Israel that the Minister of Education voices concern about the rabid xenophobia of Israelis who had been to Poland. So she had to go. The author says that anything that is not patriotic indoctrination with Zionism is anti-Zionist and therefore bad for Israel. The author laments that schoolbooks are not pre-censored and designed only by Zionist propagandists. For the full hit-list that Daniel Pipes and Campus Watch have made to eliminate free thinkers in Israel, look at the fatwa here at Middle East Forum:

    Let's hope, through concerted effort, Joseph Puder's desire to prevent American style Democracy to reach its fullest extent in AMERICA never comes to pass.

  • dartson

    As a secular right-wing Israeli Jew, I disagree with some of the author's points. First, equating secularism with the lack of Jewish and Zionist values does not reflect the reality in Israel. In fact, the largest right-wing nationalist party in Israel besides Likud is Yisrael Beytenu, supported mainly by the secular voters. Second, the term "traditionalists" is very vague. People who light candles on Sabbbath once a week, but lead a secular way of life otherwise, define themselves as traditionalists. Third, the author forgets to mention that one of the growing segments in the Israeli population are ultra-orthodox Jews who share neither democratic nor Zionist values. Fourth, the Israeli democracy is too benevolent and is often exploited by anti-Zionists, but the alternative – a fanatical ultra-orthodox theocracy – would be worse. The Likud and other right-wing parties are on the rise, because the secular Jewish majority shifted to the right. Yes, leftist moonbats still dominate the MSM, but their rants hardly convince anyone. When the reality kicks in, in the form of the Palestinian rockets and suicide bombers, even some Shenkin street leftists start to abandon their "peace now" pipe dream.

    • 2012Adamovich

      I agree largely with what you say I see no contradiction is being a secular atheist right-wing Jew.

  • digdigby

    Hey, Israel. America's Catholic Church has been there. We embraced 'Americanism' as a central value for over a 100 years and know it is payback time as 'democracy' gone mad marginalizes and stifles our freedom of conscience and speech. America was NOT founded as a 'democracy', it is a republic. Israel was founded not as a 'democracy' but as a constitutional Jewish state.