Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Jews Against a Jewish Israel?

Not to start a debate that is sure to invoke passion from all sides (though I'm not exactly sure what I think), but I just had drinks with a new co-worker who, in the middle of conversation on national security, described himself to me as a non-Zionist Jew.

Probing deeper, he explained that simply that he did not believe in the idea of nation-states (a view I agree with completely). In other words, he does not believe that states should have religious, ethnic or racial identities. A states identity, instead, should be based solely on history or ideology. It follows, that Israel, in theory, should not exist as a Jewish state - though it is ok for Jews to live in Israel. Again, I agree with him completely.

Looking back over the past 50 years, I suggested that Israel's Jewish identity was justified because the existence of a Jewish state had a net-positive effect for both the Jewish people and humanity in general. He disagreed with some decently convincing evidence . (Now I'm not sure what I think).

Finally, I suggested that the existence of Israel as a Jewish state is necessary for the good of the Jewish people and humanity at least in the near future. On this point he agreed. "So I guess I'm a pro-Israel non-Zionist," he responded. Hmmm...never thought about that - I think I am too.

Note: As a disclamer, for all the crazies reading this blog, pro-Israel does not imply anti-Palestinian. I'm pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian.


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