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Politician Yair Lapid irked the Israeli Left by saying his party and Likud are the country’s “two patriotic parties.” Why does the Left consistently fail to persuade fellow citizens that they are, indeed, just as patriotic as other Israelis?

This is a segment from The “Who Killed Hanukkah?” Edition.

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One comment on “The Perplexing Problem of Patriotism

  1. Greg Pollock says:

    How can it not but be patriotic to affirm the Declaration of Independence as founding and constitutional? Yet has not the national right avoided its words asserting

    “[Israel] will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”

    as translated by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs? Have Israeli Arabs benefited equally from State sponsored development? Are not East Jerusalemites now inhabitants of the State of Israel? Are groups like Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem able to express their political and social rights as national right groups do? How can the phrase “do not buy settlement products” be subject to tort while “do not buy such and such product, for we are on labor strike” is admissible political speech if the Declaration controls?

    Patriotism cannot be avoided; it will always be with us. The question is ever what form it will take. The national right’s great embarrassment is the State’s founding, for the Declaration is simply not of their minds. There is a natural link between legalism and patriotism in your Declaration; a natural bridge denying the globalist/educated vs localist patriot divide. Yet it seems to have no traction. This is the right’s greatest victory; with it comes legislative supremacy and a humbled Court. The national right’s key strategy is to make all discourse that of national defense, the State protector of the People, which requires that the People be trained to act properly in their own defense, IDF necessity generalized to absolute, complete, existential definition. Why cannot the Declaration also be part of the essential definition of the State, for with the Declaration Israel came to be in civil war.

    I am not a patriot. I see no fundamental difference between Jews and Palestinians in nationalism. I believe ancient Romans could be as grandly patriotic as any living today, as so too were so many Soviets. Life is unique to no people as to no species. An evolutionary biologist sees process over a grand scale. We humans are unique in our ability to see such process while embedded within it; no other species can predict its future as we can, even if those predictions are coarse in grain. I cannot condemn your enemies for I see the same processes in you. Is this view not what allowed recovery of Germany and Japan after war?

    But we really do not want to see our true place in grand process. We bridle at how miniscule we are. We fear our self loss, so affirm ourselves into Nation and People, this a secular form of the eternity offered to children of God; just know this has been done even before recorded history began. It’s a Devil we make, for my People cannot be everyman’s People, so my Nation as God will alienate others’, on the road to mutual Devils in conflict. Yet a pact with the Devil cannot be avoided, for that is part of our evolutionary process, our survival through group formation. I actually think your Declaration gives about the best pact possible. Why won’t you take it?

    The fight is not patriotism vs globalism; it is about what you want to be, what you want your children to have the opportunity to be. The fight is not with your enemies but within the plurality you affirm as yourselves.

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