Moshe Dann: Zionism as a CivilizationRoundup: Historians' Take
tags: Holocaust, Israel, Moshe Dann, Jerusalem Post, Zionism
Moshe Dann, a former assistant professor of history, is a writer and journalist living in Jerusalem.
Zionism is not just supporting the State of Israel, it is the recognition of the historical connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel. This connection is critical for understanding the state as the basis upon which a third Jewish commonwealth/ civilization is being created.
The most important factor in the creation of the state is the Shoah. It has shaped the consciousness of every Jew, in one way or another, and it is an open wound. The rise of Jew-hatred and its proxy, opposition to Israel, is a constant reminder that Jews are still vulnerable.
In response to the Shoah, Jews took three major directions.
First, there was an attempt – primarily by Hassidim and haredim (ultra- Orthodox) – to recreate the Jewish world that was lost.
Second was the creation of a sovereign state that would be able to rescue Jews and have the ability to defend itself.
The third response was to assimilate, in varying degrees; building secular or “traditional” Jewish lifestyles and culture, or, in extreme cases, abandoning any connection to Judaism and the Jewish people....
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