What Was Wrong with the Old Zionism?

A new theory of Jewish nationalism promises to be more liberal than the old one. But it profoundly misunderstands Zionism—and liberalism.

From the cover of A Political Theory for the Jewish People, by Chaim Gans. Oxford University Press.

From the cover of A Political Theory for the Jewish People, by Chaim Gans. Oxford University Press.

Observation
March 30 2016
About the author

Peter Berkowitz is the Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His writings are posted at www.PeterBerkowitz.com.


Academic liberals tend to distrust nationalism and all its works, regarding them as rooted in atavistic and parochial sentiments and therefore as promoting a politics inimical to a humane universalism. Such liberals tend to be particularly distrustful of—if not downright hostile to—Zionism, the national movement of the Jews, and they often believe that this distrust is mandated by the version of liberalism to which they subscribe.

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More about: History & Ideas, Israel & Zionism, Liberalism, Nationalism, Political philosophy