“CULTURAL ZIONISM OR POLITICAL ZIONISM? WHICH WAY FORWARD FOR ISRAEL?” on Radio National

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/religionandethicsreport/cultural-zionism-or-political-zionism3f-which-way-forward-for-/4305842

There is a stalemate in the Middle East—no longer any tangible peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. But at the same time, as The Economist reported recently, the Jewish community around the world is flourishing.

So could this revival in Jewish life be used to restart the peace process? Could this renewed confidence of the international Jewish community transform Israel itself?

And could the answer lie in a state that is more, not less, religious; in an Israel that emphasises cultural Zionism, rather than political Zionism?

Charles Manekin is associate professor of Jewish philosophy at the Meyerhoff Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Maryland. He’s written widely, under his own name, on ancient and medieval Jewish history. From time to time, he also writes about Israeli politics, under the pen name Jeremiah Haber. And it’s under that pseudonym that’s he’s written an essay for a new book, After Zionism (2012).

In his essay, he discusses whether Israel can be transformed into what he calls an ‘Abrahamic state’. It’s an orthodox Jewish scholar proposing an unorthodox idea for a settlement in the Middle East.

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