A crucial intellectual battle has begun, to strip the Jews of their political independence and national sovereignty.
The very idea of a Jewish state is undemocratic, a violation of the self-determination rights of its non-Jewish citizens, and therefore morally problematic.
– Joseph Levine, “On Questioning the Jewish State,” The New York Times, March 9.
The nation is a soul, a spiritual principle. Two things… constitute this soul or spiritual principle.One is the possession in common of a rich legacy of memories; the other is present-day consent, the desire to live together, the will to perpetuate the value of the heritage that one has received.
– Ernest Renan, “What is a Nation?” 1882
Well there you have it. The mainstreaming of the once-unthinkable is now upon us… courtesy of the “paper of record.”
In an over 2,000-word opinion piece, published last Saturday in the Times, Joseph Levine, a professor of philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, disputes the rights of Jews to national self-determination, the exercise of political sovereignty and a nation-state of their own – even within the Green Line.
This is the first of a two-part response to this perniciously poisonous piece – in which I will show why for Israel to be democratic it is imperative that it be Jewish.
Over the years, we have learned that when it comes to the topic of Israel and the Mideast conflict we should expect the asinine rather than the astute to be the paper’s standard fare.
It seems nothing is too outrageous, outlandish or out of touch with reality for the Times to refrain from subjecting its readers to it. Being manifestly misinformed, blatantly biased, deliberately distortive – even deceptive – has never been an obstacle to publication in the “Gray Lady’s” opinion section, so long as the sentiments conveyed do not diverge from some prevailing politically correct paradigm.
But even given the cavalcade of the harebrained and the hallucinatory that have (dis)graced the opinion pages of the paper, Levine’s hapless harangue stands out as a real doozie.