Studies on Jewish People, Identity and Nationality was written with a sense of the urgency of bringing up for renewed discussion the issue of nationality—its nature, its problematics, and its status today. Israel is still very far from realizing its national goals and from crystallizing its identity as a Jewish-democratic state. A retreat from nationhood as an ideology that shapes both interior and foreign policy and the decline of national feeling as a uniting factor of the nation for which the state came into being—both of these still threaten the continued development and even the very existence of the state of Israel. Several of the papers in the book confront directly the anti-national ideology that has become routine in historiography and in posmodernist social and political thought.
The book aims to put the subject of nationhood on the agenda of Israel’s political, social, and cultural elite. It attempts to present the background and to clarify the concepts, and most of all to raise the questions—which have controversial solutions—for renewed discussion, and to highlight their importance from the perspective of a national worldview. The subject is presented from diverse perspectives to sustain the public discourse and to divert it from a tendency toward conflict and polarization to a tendency toward agreement.