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The question of Jewish sovereignty shapes Jewish identity in Israel, the status of non-Jews, and relations between Israeli and Diaspora Jews, yet its consequences remain enigmatic. Yaacov Yadgar highlights the shortcomings of mainstream discourse and offers a novel explanation of Zionist ideology and the Israeli polity. Yadgar argues that secularism's presumed binary pitting religion against politics is illusory. He shows that the key to understanding this alleged dichotomy is Israel's interest in maintaining its sovereignty as the nation-state of Jews. This creates a need to mark a majority of the population as Jews and to distinguish them from non-Jews. Coupled with the failure to formulate a viable alternative national identity (either "Hebrew" or "Israeli"), it leads the ostensibly secular state to apply a narrow interpretation of Jewish religion as a political tool for maintaining a Jewish majority.

Title Sovereign Jews : Israel, Zionism, and Judaism / Yaacov Yadgar.
Publisher Albany : State University of New York Press
Creation Date 2017
Notes Includes bibliographical references and index.
Format vii, 279 pages
24 cm.
Language English
Copyright Date ©2017
Identifier ISBN9781438465333
ISBN1438465335
System Number 990039382870205171

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