Israel at 60: ‘A Prophet Perplexed’

[“If you will it, it is no dream.” — Theodor Herzl (Altneuland) 1902]

Comment: From Benny Morris, Israel’s leading historian, on the father of Zionism Theodor Herzl’s imagined reaction to the state of Israel (pun intended) at 60.

(The Guardian) — “Herzl’s dream has been realised, but with the kinds of conflict and society he never foresaw… Herzl would have been aggrieved at – though probably not surprised by – the ostentatiousness of Israel’s nouveaux riches (and virtually all its rich, and there are a surprising number, are nouveaux), and appalled by the roughness, verging on vulgarity, of Israel’s streets – where reprehensible, downright dangerous driving and a certain macho callousness is the norm, and where knife fights occur almost nightly outside teenagers’ discos. Perhaps the deeply secular, anti-theocratic Herzl would have been most flummoxed and incensed by the (burgeoning) numbers, and correlated political power of the orthodox and ultra-orthodox (some 20-25% of the country’s Jews). He believed that God was dead, and religious Jews a dying breed…” Click for full article

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