Thursday, September 21, 2006

Anarchy, State, or Utopia

There is an interesting article in the WaPo today about Theodore Herzl's ongoing legacy in Israel. The debate about whether or not the remains of his son and daughter should be buried beside him in a Jewish cemetary -- both of whom are regarded as recreant members of the faith by ultra-Orthodox groups -- tellingly echoes one of the big questions that Thomas Friedman leaves readers to consider at the end of From Beiruit to Jerusalem. That is, what kind of place do Jews/Israelis want Israel to be?

Will it be a nation in the geo-political sense that also serves a return from the Diaspora? Or it will it be the the fulfillment of G-d's covenant with Abraham, a fully religious endeavor with the political ramifications considered a necessary cost? Friedman purported that this question must be answered before there can be any forward movement in the cyclical Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

I tend to agree with him which can be wildly frustrating. What it means is that those of us who are indirectly affected by the conflict, the US and the Western World writ large, cannot help to bring about a resolution. It seems to be much like therapy; the first step is admitting that you have a problem.


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