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Israel at 50: An Israeli Perpsective

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Publication Date: January 1998

Publisher(s): American Jewish Committee

Author(s): Yossi Klein Halevi

Series: American Jewish Year Book vol.98 (1998), pp.25-46

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)

Keywords: History; Zionism; Identity Formation; Israeli Jews

Type: Report

Coverage: Israel


The author argues that each of Israel's "rescue missions"--ingathering diasporas, psychologically healing the Jews, and re-empowering Judaism-- has generated unforeseen dilemmas, which threaten to undermine the state. Israel has yet to successfully complete the transition from state-building to nation-building due to unresolved identity questions. Fifty years into statehood, external borders are still not agreed upon, nor are the internal borders between Israeliness and Jewishness, democracy and faith. He states that in the coming decades, Israel must imprint its society with a national identity that respects diversity but offers shared values, myths, and goals.