Is Judaism a race? Ask Israelis – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

For some time, shows of Israeli purity have not been the sole property of rabbis who serve the divine will. These demonstrations formulate and express something essential within the Israeli identity. “We” Israelis are everything “they” are not. Being Israeli is no longer a territorial or a religious definition, nor even a national definition resting on religious foundations. The Israeli state might be more Jewish than democratic, but being Israeli means belonging to a separate race that also happens to be Jewish; what counts is the Israeli race.The economic argument – that foreigners take jobs away from Israelis – is a pretext. Even if there was no unemployment Israelis would not love Arabs, Sudanese or other foreigners. Even were army service voluntary Haredim would be considered foreigners, representatives of another culture and not Israeli. Even were there peace between Israel and the Arab states, Israeli identity would still be wrapped in fear.The Israeli race defines its identity as Zionism. Within that identity, it seems, are religion, territory, nationalism and a dream. All these components, however, are the products of ideology. Religion is neither belief in God nor what is written in the Scriptures, but rather the religion defined by the State of Israel. For that reason, Reform Judaism, for example, is rejected. The territory is neither that which was recognized by the United Nations, nor what was promised to the Jews as a national home, nor a sanctuary from anti-Semitism. Rather, it is a boundary-less sprawl that sends satellites into the land of another people and refuses to confine itself in a defined national container. The territory that has been allocated to this Israeli entity is too small for it. The state is only the beginning of the age of redemption, not its consummation.Israeli nationalism does not tolerate other narratives, and it is based on the fear of external threats. The dream – and this is the trick that promotes unity – refers to peace and national solidarity. Whoever is not reconciled to this mass of components is not Israeli.

via Is Judaism a race? Ask Israelis – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News.

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