Molad, Yoni. “Zionism: An Unfinished Revolution?” Arena 44 (2015): 178-190.
In a recent and fascinating study published in Israel, the history and achievements of Israeli – or Hebrew – modernist art, music, architecture and literature have been documented and discussed under the title ‘How Do You Say Modernism in Hebrew?’ Clearly, the authors and editors of the collection felt that, despite the rich modernist artistic heritage of modern Hebrew culture, the status of modernism in Israeli culture is still underappreciated or misunderstood and its rehabilitation is an important intellectual task. However, the editors did not explicitly raise any political consideration in their book. This essay seeks to address this question and argues that the modernist history of the Zionist movement needs to be re-examined in order to rehabilitate the universalist aspects of the project of Jewish nationalism that lie dormant in its intellectual heritage. This paper is not intended as a definitive statement and does not offer a detailed empirical or historical analysis but rather raises some theoretical and more generally philosophical questions based on what I take to be the ideological heritage of Zionist thought. I am aware that some of the following reflections may fall on deaf ears or even provoke hostile reactions due to the sensitivity of the topic, so I will try to be as clear as possible.