Chapter

Binationalism and Jewish Identity

Amnon Raz-krakotzkin

in Hannah Arendt in Jerusalem

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2001 | ISBN: 9780520220560
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520923669 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520220560.003.0010
Binationalism and Jewish Identity

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This chapter argues that binationalism was the necessary conclusion of the analysis of anti-Semitism, the nation-state, and colonialism, the issues discussed in The Origins of Totalitarianism. Seen thus, the rights and perspective of the Palestinians were an integral part of the discussion of Jewish rights and self-definition and of the vision of Jewish political emancipation. At the same time, it was an approach that challenged dominant modern political concepts in which both anti-Semitism and imperialism were acceptable. In her writings against the partition plan, Arendt warned against the blindness of the Jewish leadership, who had surrendered to colonial interests, including those of the Soviets (who were the most enthusiastic supporters of the partition solution and later supplied military aid to the Jewish forces). She condemned Zionist reliance on imperialist power as an adoption of the same principles that enabled the political influence and victory of anti-Semitism. She claimed that the actual policy of the Zionist movement demonstrated the failure of its leadership to understand anti-Semitism as an historical — and not natural — phenomenon, and to perceive that its origins were grounded in the foundations of modern reality and modern consciousness.

Keywords: anti-Semitism; partition; Palestinians; Jewish rights; self-definition; political emancipation; Zionist movement

Chapter.  6759 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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