Israel Picks Identity Over Democracy. More Nations May Follow.

Source: The New York Times

By Max Fisher

 

Amid a moment of national euphoria, Israel’s founding prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, emerged from retirement in July 1967 to warn Israelis they had sown the seeds of self-destruction.

Israel had just won a stunning military victory against its neighbors, elating Israelis with a sense that the grand experiment of a Jewish state might really work.

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But Ben-Gurion insisted that Israel give up the territories it had conquered. If it did not, he said, occupation would distort the young state, which had been founded to protect not just the Jewish people but their ideals of democracy and pluralism.

Now, a half century and one year later, Israel has formally declared the right of national self-determination, once envisioned to include all within its borders, as “unique to the Jewish people.”

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