Michael Oren on Zionism

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The Saturday Essay

In Defense of Zionism

The often reviled ideology that gave rise to Israel has been an astonishing historical success.

By Michael B. Oren.

Published online August 1, 2014. To be published in print edition August 2, 2014.  Mr. Oren was Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. from 2009 to 2013. He holds the chair in international diplomacy at IDC Herzliya in Israel and is a fellow at the Atlantic Council. His books include “Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East” and “Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present.”

Michael Oren writes movingly about the miracle of Zionism and the survival of the Jewish state of Israel.  Contemplate his important thoughts.  Shabbat Shalom.


>  The idea is Zionism. It is the belief that the Jewish people should have their own sovereign state in the Land of Israel.

>  Yet Zionism, arguably more than any other contemporary ideology, is demonized.

>  The democratic ideals integral to Zionist thought have withstood pressures that have precipitated coups and revolutions in numerous other nations. Today, Israel is one of the few states—along with Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the U.S.—that has never known a second of nondemocratic governance.

>  But Israelis refuse to relinquish the hope of resuming negotiations with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. To live in peace and security with our Palestinian neighbors remains the Zionist dream.

>  Zionism, nevertheless, will prevail. Deriving its energy from a people that refuses to disappear and its ethos from historically tested ideas, the Zionist project will thrive. We will be vilified, we will find ourselves increasingly alone, but we will defend the homes that Zionism inspired us to build.

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