Term Paper: Israeli Politics and Society

Pages: 2 (624 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  Topic: History - Israel  ·  Buy This Paper

Israeli Politics

Separating Religion from National Identity: Interview with Avraham B. Yehoshua."

Palestine - Israel Journal of Politics, Economics, and Culture

When researching the Middle East, one of the most important concepts to question is the idea of 'identity.' The state of Israel is based upon the commonly shared Jewish identity, religion, and history of all of its citizens. However, its notions of citizenship and identity extend far beyond its physical borders. Everyone who is Jewish is potentially a citizen of Israel. This sense of citizenship encompasses many different individuals within its definition, including people of different races, ethnic groups, and levels of religiosity. The state of Israel illustrates one of the paradoxes of the region. Every Middle Eastern person has intense tribal loyalties, not all of which are harmonious with his or her national identity. To better understand the state of Israel, and notions of Israel self-definition the Palestine - Israel Journal of Politics, Economics, and Culture interviewed Avraham B. Yehoshua, one of Israel's most notable authors.

Judaism is a religion, Israel is a nation, yet one can be Jewish and primarily associated with the secular and gentile world. Furthermore, notes Yehoshua, even during Israel's earliest days of existence, pagan worshippers who were members of the nation yet who did not observe the laws of Moses, lived within its borders. After centuries of persecution in the gentile world, when the Jewish people founded Israel once again, the ideal of the melting pot emerged, where all Jews, Chinese, African, and American-Jews alike would become one, once they accepted their affiliation with the new state. Ironically, notes Yehoshua, this melting pot ideal is not inherently Jewish at all, in the historical sense, but has its roots in the ideals of America, which was profoundly influential upon the culture of Israel during this time period. But America is a different type of nation than… [END OF PREVIEW]

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