16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
A wake up call for the true democrats in Israel,
This review is from: The Hebrew Republic: How Secular Democracy and Global Enterprise Will Bring Israel Peace At Last (Hardcover)
It takes courageous authors as Avishai to stimulate a dormant generation of Israelis and Jews in Israel and around the world to confront the delicate issue of Jewish/Israeli national identity. The author, ahead of his time, presents the readers with a vivid and relevant description of the major problem that Israel faces today and more so in the future - the lack of a unifying and modern national identity definition that can support the entire citizen population of Israel, Jewish or not.
Since the state of Israel was born, its citizens were habituated to settle for a lesser democracy in favor of security, religion and "winning" the demographics of the Middle East. It has left the land and its people (Arabs and Jews alike) with an intolerable situation - we have failed to put in place a constitution, we did not separate religion and state and for years "security reasons" served as grounds for racial and ethnic discrimination.
Despite the gloomy state of democracy described above, along with the wars and conflict and a number of economic downfalls - surprisingly, the Israeli peace movement and its ideas prevailed. Today the majority of Israelis believe in the concept of two states and agree to territorial concessions - and we are talking about people who were not too long ago the core of the political right wing! But this did not happen overnight, it took over 40 years of occupation and bloodshed.
The people who started the peace movement were also motivated by ideas that Avishai wrote about in previous works such as the Tragedy of Zionism. It is therefore clear that the major contribution of this book is the beacon it will provide for a new generation of Israelis that can in due time catalyze the much needed change of thought and action that will transform if not completely, then in baby steps the reality of Israeli democracy.