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Podcast: Neil Rogachevsky & Dov Zigler on the Political Philosophy of Israel’s Declaration of Independence

March 31, 2023 | By: Neil Rogachevsky & Dov Zigler

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Nearly 75 years ago, on May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion proclaimed Israel’s sovereignty: a renewed Jewish state, the political expression of the national home of the Jewish people, located in their ancestral homeland.

Many essays and books have been published about the words Ben-Gurion spoke that day—Israel’s Declaration of Independence. But Professor Neil Rogachevsky and his co-author Dov Zigler take a new angle on the Declaration and what it means.

In a new book from Cambridge University Press, Israel’s Declaration of Independence: The History and Political Theory of the Nation’s Founding Moment, they look at the drafting process and distill from the elements that endured from draft to draft—as well as from the elements that were changed or removed—a political theory of Israel’s founding, in which the political purposes of the Israeli project are made most clearly manifest.

How, in other words, did Israel’s founders think about rights, about citizenship, about the justifications of Israel’s sovereignty, an Israeli view of freedom, of civil order, and of religion? That’s the subject of their new book—and the subject of the conversation they have here with Mosaic’s editor, Jonathan Silver.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.

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More about: Jewish Political Thought  • Religion and State in Israel  • Tikvah Podcasts  • Zionism  

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