A Zionist Dream – Part 3
time has come to shed the hollow slogans and restrictive labels that we place
upon ourselves. They thwart the Zionist
Dream from spreading its wings and soaring upward.
ethnic, cultural and religious diversity contributes to its uniqueness,
providing a comparative advantage internationally when it comes to original
thinking and unconventional approaches.
Instead of channeling this uniqueness into creating an Israeli spirit of
togetherness and exceptionalism, many political careers – and even entire
political parties – are based on exploiting these differences to divide and
too many instances, discrimination and racism created gaps between ethnic groups
and between religions, phenomena that have still not been entirely eradicated.
There is a need to remember the past so that we will not repeat it. But seven decades after the creation of
Israel, the time has come to relegate the Sephardi and Ashkenazi labels to the
history books and to leave them there.
We are Israelis, and it is a good thing that we marry each other. The way forward requires understanding that
the perpetuation of income gaps in the 21st century is due primarily
to gaps in education – and these are resolvable. In light of the strong link between parental
education and their children’s scholastic achievements, such education gaps are
essentially a market failure that countries can reduce by funneling more
resources to those pupils whose parents are relatively uneducated.
the complex workings of economies into slogans limits thought and is not
constructive in addressing core challenges.
A free market and a modern economy are not synonymous with jungles. The invisible hand makes it possible to reach
horizons that we could only have imagined in the past, but it is unable and
does not need to solve all of societies’ challenges. Infrastructures and services that benefit
all, that connect and provide equal opportunities, that provide care and
assistance in troubled times – these are realms that require strategic vision
and action at the national level.
tags such as Left and Right increase divisive clustering instead of encouraging
unobstructed and practical perspectives.
No side has exclusivity to concepts of justice and common sense, or to
updating the Zionist Dream to the current century. Israeli governments are created on the basis
of reaching out to the extremes rather than connecting on the basis of common denominators
– which still commands a majority in Israel.
recent elections resulted in the current coalition. But the Likud could have chosen Labor, Yesh
Atid and Kulanu instead. These four
parties include 75 MKs that account for nearly two-thirds of the Knesset. They could have created a government capable
of fulfilling the Zionist Dream – had this been its primary objective.
each side takes advantage of the opportunity, when it presents itself, to
choose directions that mortgage the nation’s future. To avoid having to sit with the other side,
partnerships are made with Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) parties insisting on
depriving their children of the basic right to a core education that would
provide them with the ability to successfully contend in a modern, open and
elephant in the room that prevents realization of the Zionist Dream is the West
Bank. This is not just a story about
transferring huge shares of society’s resources there for decades. In an era of missiles, the settling of
civilians in the midst of a hostile population does not provide protection but
instead guzzles limited military resources to protect the settlers from their
a world in which Jews and Muslims are willing to live in democratic countries
with crosses on their flags and Christianity as their official religion, Jews
also have a right to a democratic home of their own. But Judaism is not the proprietary domain of
any stream. The time has come to grant
all of Israel’s Jews the freedom to decide for themselves the degree of
religion that they want in their lives.
With Israel’s Arab minority, we need to build a shared future in this
country. A look around the neighborhood
is sufficient for understanding the alternatives.
the end of the day, this is not simply a Zionist Dream but a Dream that will
save the Zionist enterprise. The future
will require a different sort of preparation than what we have known thus far. We face a world in which there will be
greater movement of goods, of capital – and of people. Israel’s future depends on our most educated
children and grandchildren wanting to remain here and having others with whom
to work and shoulder the burden – and with whom they can feel a joint sense of