The Unmaking of Gershom Gorenberg
The central question in the debate over Israel’s future is this: Can it remain both Jewish and democratic? Israel’s defenders answer with an enthusiastic yes. They point to the influence minority groups and parties often hold in Israel’s governing coalitions and the equal rights available to all citizens. To them, Jewish identity and democracy have a natural synergy in Israel, and a modern nation-state in the historic Jewish homeland presents itself as a model of compatibility between religion and egalitarian self-rule.
But many on the left see expressions of Israel’s Jewish identity as impediments to the country’s progress on the path to a true liberal democracy. The country’s union of Judaism and politics is, to them, incongruous. Indeed, American-Israeli author Gershom Gorenberg argues, Israel is a country best defined by its contradictions. So is his newest book, The Unmaking of Israel.
About the Author
Lazar Berman is program manager of the foreign and defense policy studies department at the American Enterprise Institute. This is his first review for Commentary.