Celebrating Israel’s birthday, ‘2 luminary philosophers’ to explore whether Zionism and liberalism are ‘complementary identities’

Israel/Palestine
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Last week, five Jews debated the question of Whether Israel could be Jewish and democratic in a downtown New York synagogue dedicated to the LGBT cause. We covered it thoroughly; the thrust of the panel was that liberalism and Zionism are very difficult if not impossible to reconcile.

(A member of the Peace Now board held out a “glimmer of hope” that a Jewish state can yet be democratic; while a founder of Jews for Economic and Racial Justice said that 65 years of concrete actions show the concept doesn’t work.)

Well this weekend, a very different Jewish panel gathers in a Jewish space uptown. At the Jewish Community Center in celebration of Israel’s birthday, two liberal Zionists, Michael Walzer and Moshe Halbertal, are sure to argue that Israel can “navigate” the shoals of ethnocracy and that Zionism and liberalism are “complementary identities.” The event is being livestreamed here.

Here’s the announcement at the JCC and the David Sonabend Center for Israel:

Israel Forum: Zionism and Liberalism–conflicting values or complementary identities?

Can you be a liberal and a Zionist? How does Israel navigate its identity as a Jewish Democratic State? The Israel Forum is proud to present luminary philosophers Professors Moshe Halbertal and Michael Walzer in a conversation about Israel, nationalism, liberalism and religion, moderated by Jane Eisner, editor in chief of the Forward. Refreshments will be served. In collaboration with and funded by UJA-Federation of New York.

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