Daniel Gordis, recipient of the National Jewish Book Award and Senior Vice President and the Koret Distinguished Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, discusses his forthcoming book “The Promise of Israel: Why Its Seemingly Greatest Weakness Is Actually Its Greatest Strength.” His blog posts are featured on The Arty Semite courtesy of the Jewish Book Council and My Jewish Learning’s Author Blog Series. For more information on the series, please visit:
People sometimes ask: What would you like your book to accomplish? In this case, my answer is easy: I would be thrilled if “The Promise of Israel” changed the conversation that we’re having about Zionism.
“The Promise of Israel” makes an audacious and seemingly odd claim. It suggests that what now divides Israel and the international community is an idea: the idea of the ethnic nation-state — a country created around a shared cultural heritage. Yes, it is true that the Israelis and the Palestinians are still tragically locked in an intractable and painful conflict; but that, I believe, is not the primary reason for Israel’s unprecedented fall from international grace.