Define Jewish democracy

Leading Israeli commentator Bernard Avishai on the dirty little secret of the Jewish state:

That Israel is for Jews, and let’s not be too fine about what Jewish means. That “Jewish and democratic” means doing what we’ve done to privilege “Zionism”–exclude non-Jews from “nationalized” land, empower (or pander to) orthodox rabbis, root identity, even citizenship, in bloodlines,… sacrilize… Jerusalem–and continue doing so as long as there are more of us than them. That Israel’s fate is to hit regularly at Palestinian insurgents and other enemies–“mow the lawn,” in the words of an Israeli intelligence officer I know–and that so long as we are not at peace, we might as well cultivate national unity by supporting, or just overlooking, West Bank settlements, whose leaders are custodians of classical Zionism’s heroic spirit.

Text and images ©2023 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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