15. Can Israel be a Jewish State - and, if so, for How Long?
Jews - Nearly Everything You Wanted to Know* *But Were Too Afraid to Ask - Peter Cave
Peter Cave [+]
The Open University and New York University (London)
Peter is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, sits on the Council of the Royal Institute of Philosophy and is Patron of Humanists UK and of Population Matters. He has published many papers, light and serious. His books include This Sentence is False: an introduction to philosophical paradoxes and three ‘beginner’s guides’: Humanism; Philosophy; and Ethics. His most recent work is The Big Think Book: Discover Philosophy Through 99 Perplexities. He has written and presented philosophy programmes for BBC radio, and often takes part in public debates.
Peter lives in Soho, central London, enjoys opera, lieder and chamber music (well, he thinks he knows what he likes), even delights in religious music, despite his atheism — and is irritated by builders’ drillings, pointless burglar alarms and unnecessary thuds of music in cafes, restaurants and shops. He is often to be found with a glass of wine — or two.
Dan Cohn-Sherbok [+]
University of Wales (Emeritus Professor) and Rabbi
Dan is the author and editor of a number of books dealing with Israel including Israel: The History of an Idea; The Palestine-Israeli Conflict (with Dawoud El-Alami); Debating Israel and Palestine (with Mary Grey); The Politics of Apocalypse: The History and Influence of Christian Zionism; Introduction to Zionism and Israel: From Ideology to History; The Palestinian State: A Jewish Justification. He has also published several books of cartoons.
Dan lives in Kensington (and Wales) with his wife Lavinia and his Burmese cat. He is frequently to be found drawing cartoons in his London club.
For the Palestinians, the concept of Israel as a Jewish state is anathema. Such a stance is based on the determination to ensure that Palestinians would, like Jews, have the same right of return. In support of his opposition to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, stated in January 2014: The Palestinians won’t recognize the Jewishness of the State of Israel and won’t accept it. The Israelis say that if we don’t recognize the Jewishness of Israel there will be no solution. And we say that we won’t recognize or accept the Jewishness of Israel and we have many reasons for this rejection. The Israeli government, however, is determined that Israel should be a Jewish state, fearing that the Palestinian Authority seeks to establish a Palestinian state next to Israel while at the same time flooding Israel with millions of refugees. From its nineteenth-century beginnings, the Zionist movement was determined to create a Jewish state in the ancient homeland. After centuries of persecution, the Zionists were convinced that Jewish survival could only be assured if the Jewish people had a country of their own. That conviction remains a fundamental principle of Zionism.