Ernest Gellner notes that the quarrel between himself and Anthony Smith could be summarized by the question: do nations have navels? According to his modernist outlook, while some nations might have navels, others do not, and in any case it is not important; while in Smith's conception, navels constitute an 'ethnic core', essential for nation-building. Yet in the pre–independence nation-building process, what Smith considers Israel's ethnic core—mainly the concepts of the 'Chosen People' and 'Holy Land'—either did not have the same meaning or did not play the important role that Smith attributes to them. Indeed, Smith's account of Zionism is a post–independence invention and in this respect a further corroboration of modernism.
This article deals with the relation of Micha Yosef Ben Gurion (Berdichevski)—one of the central formulators of the Zionist idea and of modern Hebrew literature—to the Zionist political sphere. As a wordly Jewish intellectual, Berdichevski attempted to establish a kind of Zionism that would allow Jewish individuals to engage in it as an act of their desires. In exploring how his carnal inclinations affected his vision of the political, I argue that Berdichevski's perception fails qualitatively by transposing its guiding sensual approach to the formulation of the new Jewish political sphere. As this article will show, Berdichevski's relation to the Jewish political revolution reveals a sometimes limited perception regarding the possibilities of freedom inherent in political activity and often contradicts his own aspiration to nurture the liberty of Jewish individuals.
Ethnocentrism and the Temple Mount
connection to the workings of the divine realms ( Scholem  1992: 59–61 ). In writing about the conjured-up “messianic claim,” 1 Scholem alerts his readers to the force of the messianic Eros and Zionism’s susceptibility to its allure, particularly when
kashrut in favour of personal religious devotion. 7 As in other countries, the Liberals rejected Zionism. 8 The Zionists and the Liberals were both internally heterogenous groups, meaning that it is difficult to speak of either in general terms
The present article focuses upon post-Zionism as an emergent counter-hegemonic discourse in contemporary Israel. Offered here are a broad analysis and survey of post-Zionism in the following order: (1) a review of the history of the concept 'post-Zionism' since its emergence in 1993, as well as a retrospective view of its sources; (2) an exposure of manifestations of post-Zionist culture in Israel; (3) an analysis of four dif- ferent theories of post-Zionism; (4) an account of some ideological con- troversies surrounding post-Zionism; and (5) an evaluation of the state of post-Zionism in the mid 2000s and an estimation of its future prospects. In the spirit of critical theory it is argued that post-Zionism should not be weighted in positivistic terms of popularity or effectiveness but rather in terms of an 'immanent' category, which taps undercurrents, and a 'tran- scendent' category, which points to exogenous normative horizons.
Over the last fifteen years Israeli culture has witnessed the development of batey midrash (houses of Jewish studies) modeled after traditional batey midrash, but without regard for halakhah and open to men and women alike. They represent an attempt to connect and reconnect to the sources of Jewish learning and strive to reconcile uni- versalistic and pluralistic aspects of Israelis' identity with their Jewish identity that has been dormant since the establishment of the state of Israel. With a reflective and pluralistic educational approach the batey midrash present opportunities for exploration of students' relationship to tradition, to Israel and Zionism, God, their communities, their own spiritual path, and the 'other' in all its representations. As the continu- ing conflict with the Palestinians renders existence in Israel ever more difficult, more existential questions arise, requiring a deepening of the Jewish connection so that the two sides' worlds are in dialogue.
Rabbi John Rayner was an eminent proponent of ethical Zionism. His views about Israel are related in this article to his views about Judaism and Jewish ethics. The three pillars of Judaism are: truth, justice and peace. Rabbi Rayner personified these values to a remarkable degree. The common thread that runs through his countless sermons and articles was the emphasis on the gentler and more outward-looking values of Judaism. It is by cultivating and exemplifying these values, he believed, that Jews could best help humanity find signposts to justice and peace, not only in the Middle East but everywhere. Ethical Zionism, as understood by Rabbi Rayner, is based on Jewish values. The State of Israel is the main political progeny of the Zionist movement. It follows that the State of Israel ought to reflect Jewish values in its external relations. In the event of a clash between Israeli behaviour and Jewish ethics, Rabbi Rayner invariably came down on the side of Jewish ethics. He consistently placed principle above pragmatism and morality above expediency. He was an honest and courageous man who always spoke truth to power.
Jacqueline Rose, The Question of Zion (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005).
Mira Sucharov, The International Self: Psychoanalysis and the Search for Israeli-Palestinian Peace (Albany: SUNY Press, 2005).
A Paradigm Shift in Israel Studies?
In 2010, more than two decades after the first post-Zionist studies rattled Israeli academe, Asaf Likhovsky (2010) suggested that several studies that were published in the first decade of the current century are perhaps pointing at a new direction in the field of Israel and Zionist studies. Likhovsky described these studies as a third wave in Israeli historiography and referred to the scholars who produced these studies as “post-post-Zionists.” While older historians of Israel and the Yishuv as well as their post-Zionist critics were primarily interested in the grand political themes of the Zionist era, Likhovsky (2010: 10) identified a series of studies that, as he put it, “are interested in mentalities, rituals, mannerisms, emotions; the trivial, private, mundane; the body and soul and their social construction; in disgust and desire; in attitudes to garbage and hair; in views of food and consumption; in statistics and vaccinations; in the ideas of housewives, but also lawyers, statisticians, psychoanalysts, and nurses (but not the politician, the soldier, the general).”
This article focuses on the concept of identity by juxtaposing New Age philosophy and nationalism in the Israeli context. Based on my qualitative research, I deconstruct the Israeli New Age discourse on ethno-national identity and expose two approaches within this discourse. The more common one is the belief held by most Israelis, according to which ethno-national identity is a fundamental component of one's self. A second and much less prevalent view resembles New Age ideology outside Israel and conceives of ethno-national identities as a false social concept that separate people rather than unite them. My findings highlight the limits of New Age ideology as an alternative to the hegemonic culture in Israel. The difficulty that Israeli New Agers find in divorcing hegemonic conceptualizations demonstrates the centrality and power of ethno-national identity in Israel.