Is Israel a "Jewish state" or a "State of the Jews" ? Do you view Judaism as a religion or a nation?" / Shmuel
Israel defines itself as a "Jewish State" and this has always been the goal of Zionism since the father of modern political Zionism, Theodor Herzl, first coined the modern political phrase when he wrote Der Judenstaat, “The Jewish State,” during 1896.
There is only one Jewish state in the world and just like any other people we have the right of self-determination and we determine our nation as Jewish. However, this does not mean that non-Jews can not be full citizens with equal rights. We have non-Jews at every level of society, including government ministers, supreme court justices and ambassadors. Just as Jews lived and continue to live in many parts of the world that define themselves according to a religious, ethnic or national criteria, non-Jews have complete equality and freedoms in Israel.
While some mistakenly think of being Jewish purely in religious terms, to be Jewish is to be part of a great nation, civilization, culture and people. We are a people who had a language, borders, sovereignty and the rule of law before the vast majority of most states came into existence. I frequently tell visiting dignitaries who are similarly uncertain that Jews are to Israel as the Chinese are to China and the Greeks are to Greece.
Our ancient texts never referred to Judaism, which is a modern construct, but referred to "Am Yisrael" the People of Israel, or "Bnei Yisrael" the Children of Israel. This connotes Peoplehood.
For more information on this, please read my article "A Counter-Argument to the Assault on Israel's Legitimacy".
- Sources for 'The Truth About the Peace Process'
- Why isn't the Israeli government more flexible on the issue of the settlements?
- Regarding the recent reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, is this agreement in Israel's interests and is it better the Palestinians speak in one voice during the negotiations?
- How do you see negotiations with an ultra-religious group like Hamas that believes everything must remain under Islamic rule?
- What is your reaction to Egypt's position regarding their role in Palestinian reconciliation and the opening of the Rafah crossing?
- Is Israel a "Jewish state" or a "State of the Jews" ? Do you view Judaism as a religion or a nation?" / Shmuel
- whats Israel's position on Palestinian state? Ibrahim Mansour
- What is the future for Israeli-Indian relations? / Utsav Sanduja, Canada
- Did the recent WikiLeaks revelations do any harm to Israel-US relations? / David, Michigan
- Why is Israel’s public advocacy failing? / Eli, Haifa
- All posts