The Zionism Riddle

Zionism has been the question that keeps changing. Once it was: “How to build a safe home for the Jews of the world?” Today it’s more nearly: “How to build a safe neighborhood around the mighty militarized state of Israel?” Yuval Noah Harari, the Israeli philosopher-historian, put the question bluntly in the Washington Post this spring: “Will Zionism survive the Gaza War?” There’s the riddle.

Hussein Ibish, Mishy Harman, and Shaul Magid.

Depending on who’s speaking and who’s listening, Zionism can stand for refuge, or for settler statehood, or for religious ethno-nationalism. Early liberal Zionists like Albert Einstein and Hannah Arendt thought we would have figured out by now how a religious nation could also be open, inclusive, democratic, and peaceful. Were they asking too much?


Guest List
Mishy Harman
Host of the Israel Story podcast.
Shaul Magid
Author of The Necessity of Exile.
Hussein Ibish
Senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington.

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