But not divided on the role of ethnicity – or, if they were, the ones who wanted Israel to be a state of all its citizens – names that come to mind are Hannah Arendt, Albert Einstein, and Judah Magnes – lost
Hannah Arendt and Albert Einstein weren’t Israelis. But absolutely Israelis have been divided on the role of ethnicity and citizenship all throughout history. Just to pick a few examples that are current debates there are Russian Christians which Shas party is extremely hostile to while the rest of Israel’s society is rather welcoming. The Labor party’s ethnic attitude towards Mizrahi Jews is one of the biggest reasons for Israel’s shift to the right. Early Zionists hadn’t really considered the role of Mizrahi Jews when the Palestinians started their attacks against the Jewish population in the 1920s they drove Mizrahi indigenous Jews (and Ottoman religious immigrants) into the arms of the Zionists. Zionism then had to address this issue. There was a similar issue in the 1950s when the Arab countries expelled their Jewish populations.
Similarly on the Palestinians die. Circassians were originally classified as being Palestinians but have had their legal status changed and now serve in military sensitive roles. Something similar to what had happened to Druze earlier though mostly in the prestate days. The Israelis are trying to engage in something similar with ethnic Palestinian Christians.
Part of what Zionists complain about when they talk about the demonization of Israel is a tendency to not look at actual policy and make blanket untrue statements about Israel. The reason you thought Israel has this blanket discriminatory policy is because you are getting your news about Israel from antizionist sources which almost always oversimplify and often simply lie about Israeli policy. Israeli ethnic politics in the real world are complex and nuanced dealing with all sorts of subgroups that have their own opinions and trends. The actual situation bears little resemblance to the version you are going to hear in leftist propaganda about “Jews” and “Palestinians”.
There is to this day no such thing as Israeli nationality.
Of course there is an Israeli nationality. That’s the nationality of the citizens of Israel, quite a lot of non-citizens in the area broadly influenced by Israel and broadly many children of expats. I think what you probably mean is that the courts have been unwilling to recognize an Israeli nation for legal purposes. To contradict your point above this is an active area of debate. There most certainly area members of the Knesset today that support the creation of an Israeli nationality which would allow Muslims willing to be loyal to Israel but who don’t want to convert to have higher obligations (military service) and greater privileges (no housing discrimination).
In general though this is an area where the Western Left is simply intolerant. Israel is populated almost entirely from people whose origins were Byzantine (Orthodox Christians and Muslims) not the Western Roman Empire (Latin Rite Catholics and later Protestants). The West went through an evolution on the concept of nationality and state that the east didn’t. There are lots of issues in the Israeli / Palestinian conflict liking the Western European definition of nation instead of the Byzantine one is not one of them. Everyone involved in the conflict agrees with the Byzantine concepts and not the Western European concepts. A lot of your theology about religion and state are a product of the Reformation and the French Revolution. When you are dealing with Israel you are dealing with people for whom the Reformation and reactions to it are not part of their cultural heritage. In Eastern Europe the church and the state are still comfortably unified. Your choice of church is essentially a product of your ethnicity not your theology. A person is Greek Orthodox vs. Russian Orthodox because he’s Greek not because he holds that one does not need to take confession before every communion.
If you talked to a typical Israeli they don’t even have the cultural background to even understand what you as a westerner mean by “separation of church and state” or how you were using “Israeli national” above. Their concept of both “state” and “religion” are too different from your concept of those terms. Israel really is a foreign country. I’ve never been able to understand why western leftists have so much trouble just accepting that Israelis aren’t westerners.