Excellent piece, Zohar. Thoughtful and on-point. I tweeted it.

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Oct 11, 2023Liked by Zohar Atkins


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With respect, and with some trepidation, I must differ with your characterization of Zionism. The reason is simply that one can effectively exercise political power without being part of a state where one's "own people" are a majority and reign supreme. This was not true for most of human history, but due to the exceptional example of the United States of America, it has become true: Chuck Schumer is no less valid and effective a wielder of Jewish political power than Netanyahu. And the existence proof provided by the American alternative, it seems to me, ought to change both our moral and political calculations.

Someday, perhaps when emotions are less raw, I would love to see your take on the work of the German-Jewish philologist Victor Klemperer, whose two-volume diary "I Will Bear Witness" is both harrowing and extraordinarily thoughtful. In his entry for July 9, 1933 he remarks:

"We hear a lot about Palestine now-- it does not appeal to us. Anyone who goes there exchanges nationalism and narrowness for nationalism and narrowness."

Would you call him an anti-Semite for that remark? Or would you include his principled and humane cosmopolitanism (rootless or not!) in the 1/100? I don't think it's so uncommon as that, but I may have selection bias.

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