For those who think and posted here that "Jewish" is either "religion" or a whimsical adjective. - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Fortuna Benmayor
    • 14.10.10 | 15:31 (IST)

    The essence of the word "Yehudi" / "Yehudit" (Jewish) or "Medina Hayehudit" (Jewish State) lies on the fact that we Jews have been mostly an endogamic tribe, then a halachically endogamic people. Yes, numerous mixes, rapes, conversions and other blurring of the membrane have occurred throughout the ages. We are a people, and an uncommon one, to be a nation-state in Herzl's XIX Century mindset. Jewish is so many things in one -history, "tribe", Torah uniting these diverse endogamic ethnicities until the XX century in one destiny-. Add to it peoplehood, nation, language, permanent persecution, holocaust, way of life, religious or counter-religious specificity... mindset sometimes, perhaps even a certain collective psyche... Now all that is more, way more, than what you have in an ordinary nation-state. It is a deeper, more complex, old feeling -a mystery even- so as to match an ordinary nation-state. Yet, Israel has done it. It is a nation-state, despite the uncommonly strong ties between the members of this mostly endogamous nation. So the big Arab minority in Israel -20%- has to live in a vibrant democracy, and yet, have to deal with being a minority towards much more than some ethnicity, race or history. Both Jewish Israelis and Arab Israelis don't fit towards the state of Israel and towards each other, as "majority" & "minority" in a normal nation-state. That's what is causing the root problem. Then come the ones who are angry at Israel for not being like everybody else, and yet succeeding to the most part. And then come Arab Israelis and protest elements which are in themselves contradictory, because their being Israeli citizens, is being a minority with rights, and yet, not part of the family the state of Israel was founded for. How to accommodate all this, is not via an oath, but rather through an honest opening up of these issues.

    from the article: The core of the conflict
    First published 02:29 14.10.10 | Last updated 02:29 14.10.10
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