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The Levant in 2200

Reader comment on item: Accepting Israel as the Jewish State[: Public Opinion in Four Arab Countries]

Submitted by KM (India), May 18, 2010 at 08:31

Calling any state a "Jewish" state is as anti-modern as having a "Muslim" or "Christian" state. There are a few of those, so Israel has every right to call itself whatever it wants. But by doing so, it allies itself more with Saudi Arabia and Iran than with Europe and the US. And any Jewish person who supports Israel as a Jewish state needs to swallow that. Declaring an official religion and keeping national icons like the flag and anthem religion-specific almost certainly makes those in the minority religion less engaged and less patriotic. This matters more if it's a big minority.

As to the right for Jews to immigrate to Israel, and not descendants of any other religion - well that's quite explicitly racial/tribal/discriminatory. No other country claims that lineage across two millennia (say 30 generations) is grounds for citizenship. At most it's 2-3 generations. A Jewish person has as much "right" to move to an "ancestral" Levant (even though their ancestor may have been in a Syrian Levant), as any human being has a right to move to the Afar region in Ethiopia, where all modern humans came from.

When the current power dynamics have ebbed, 100-200 years from now, there will be no Israel as a Jewish state in the Levant. The Internet, new intelligent technologies and resulting global education will de-Balkanize us to a dizzying degree, harmonizing different narratives. There'll be a secular "one-state" to which people of all parts of the world can travel to, live in, work in. Could be as soon as 2100. It'll be EU-nified. The resonance of the holy sites will be almost as weak as the religious import of the pyramids to tourists as the world becomes more secular. It's only the artificial and temporary pressure from those with Holocaust memories and immediate relatives that is cheering on the existence of an anti-modern religion/ethnicity driven identity, or "Jewish state". So ... Elie Wiesel, Alan Dershowitz and others are likely to get a brief thrill when the Pals recognize a Jewish state (to get their initial thrill of having their Pal state) but will come to understand in their twilight years, much to their chagrin, that their battle, of a tribal primacy (special status for Jewish qualities or suffering) is a losing battle. Progress is inexorable and fate is pitiless when it comes to the tribal dreams of old men. They may be in deep denial, but they're smart enough to know that this future, while one that scares them, is likely.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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