Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Somehow, this one slipped under my radar for 2 days.
As an aside, hopefully this talk about supersessionism makes it clear why the establishment of Israel was so important to much of the Jewish psyche. Many people, it seems, can’t grasp why establishing Israel mattered to Jews aside from some romanticized Biblical claim. I don’t think reestablishing the reign of Biblical kings was a major motivating factor for (largely secular) Zionism at all. For nearly 2,000 years, Jews had been seen as a sort of living fossil – a relic of a bygone era that had no autonomy, agency, or even subjectivity. Its continued survival was interpreted along a continuum of amazement to fury, a long since obsolete people who by all rights should have just become Christian or French or European or American a long time ago. The establishment of Israel was a stunning repudiation of this mentality – in many ways, the first undeniable assertion of Jewish popular agency since entering the diaspora. Here was living proof that we created something, that we were live actors, not a dead relic. Israel was undeniably real and undeniably ours, and commanded the attention, at least, of the global community. In the wake of the Holocaust – when it was an open question whether this wound against the Jewish people was too deep, one we could not survive – this could not have occurred at a more important time.
Please read the whole thing.

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