Moses Maimonides, Democratic Zionist

The great Hebrew essayist Ahad Ha’am, who understood probably better than any other early Zionist thinker the tensions between the movement’s aspirations and the Jewish tradition, wrote that the medieval theologian Moses Maimonides “did not recognize any value to the principle of nationhood.” Examining Maimonides’ speculations about the messianic era in his legal magnum opus, known as the Mishneh Torah, James A. Diamond concludes that Ahad Ha’am was “flatly wrong.”

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Read more at Jewish Review of Books

More about: Aḥad Ha’am, Democracy, Messianism, Moses Maimonides, Zionism

 

Israeli Sovereignty Would Free Residents of the West Bank from Ottoman Law

To its opponents, the change in the legal status of certain areas of Judea and Samaria is “annexation;” to its proponents, it is the “extension of sovereignty” or the “application of Israeli law.” Naomi Khan argues that the last term best captures the practical implications of the measures in question. Since the Six-Day War, the Jewish state has continued to uphold the Ottoman legal system in areas of the West Bank under its jurisdiction—despite the fact that the Ottoman empire ceased to exist in 1922; “annexation” would end this situation. Setting aside the usual questions of foreign policy, security, and the possibility of Palestinian statehood, Khan argues that this change would be the one most felt by those who live there:

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Read more at JNS

More about: Annexation, Israeli law, Ottoman Empire, Palestinian Authority, West Bank