Gap among Jews widens on question of Zionism
By Yakov M. Rabkin
March 8, 2007

A profound division has developed between Zionist advocates of Israel and
Jews, secular and religious, who reject or question Zionism and actions
taken by the state of Israel.
Public debate about Israel’s place in Jewish continuity has become open
and candid.

Many Jews try to come to terms with the contradictions between the
Judaism they profess to adhere to and the Zionist ideology that has taken
hold of them. This coincides with serious concerns expressed across
Israel’s political and religious spectrum about the future of Israel.

Quite a few Jews now publicly ask whether the chronically besieged ethnic
nation-state in the Middle East is “good for the Jews.” Many continue to
be concerned that militant Zionism destroys Jewish moral values and
endangers Jews in Israel and elsewhere. This debate has entered pop
culture as well: The recent film Munich by Steven Spielberg sharply
focuses on the moral cost of Israel’s chronic reliance on force.

It remains to be seen whether the fracture between those who hold fast to
Jewish moral tradition and the converts to Jewish nationalism may one day
be mended. However fateful for Jews and Judaism, this fracture may not
necessarily affect Israel, which nowadays counts many more evangelical
Christians than Jews among its unconditional supporters.

Yakov M. Rabkin, author of “A Threat From Within: A Century of Jewish
Opposition to Zionism,” is professor of history and associate of the
Centre for International Studies at the University of Montreal. His
e-mail is

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