A Jewish state or an Israeli democracy? In the talks that appear to be taking place between Israel and the Palestinians, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked his negotiating partner to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. One can understand the prime minister: A man so little observant of the Jewish religious tradition is unsure of his Jewish identity, hence his insecurity about the identity of his state - and the need to seek validation from our neighbors.Then he turns to theorizing:
Most Israelis would respond to this by saying Judaism and Jewishness represent not a religion but a people, so Israel must belong not to all its citizens but to the Jews of the world, who, as we know, prefer not to live here.Strange, I didn't know you could only join a people via religious conversion and not by taking part in its day-to-day culture. But perhaps there's a secular Jewish people-culture I'm not aware of?Did you see the cat coming out of the bag? Sand approaches the subject of Jewish nationality with the tools that seemed to work for European nation states before they began dismantling them, and since the Jews don't fit into those pigeonholes, it must be that they're fooling themselves. You can't be a nation if you don't follow the rules as defined by Shlomo Sand, and if you insist then you're cheating and deserve to be reprimanded. And forced to desist, too.