July 24, 2018

CHOOSING TO BE PHARAOH INSTEAD OF THE JEWS:

Israel Picks Identity Over Democracy. More Nations May Follow. (Max Fisher, July 22, 2018, NY Times)

Amid a moment of national euphoria, Israel's founding prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, emerged from retirement in July 1967 to warn Israelis they had sown the seeds of self-destruction.

Israel had just won a stunning military victory against its neighbors, elating Israelis with a sense that the grand experiment of a Jewish state might really work.

But Ben-Gurion insisted that Israel give up the territories it had conquered. If it did not, he said, occupation would distort the young state, which had been founded to protect not just the Jewish people but their ideals of democracy and pluralism.

Now, a half century and one year later, Israel has formally declared the right of national self-determination, once envisioned to include all within its borders, as "unique to the Jewish people." [...]

Above all, the law may be a choice between two visions of Israel that have come into growing tension. American diplomats have long issued a version of Ben-Gurion's warning: If Israel did not make peace with the Palestinians, they said, it would have to choose between its dual identities as a Jewish state and democratic one.

Posted by at July 24, 2018 4:09 AM

  

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