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Burkean Zionism?

July 14, 2014

In a discussion of Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France, Tikvah executive director Eric Cohen wonders how modern Zionism relates to the principles of Burkean conservatism. In a time of severe insecurity—like many Jews found themselves at the end of the 19th century—what would Burke have counseled? According to Cohen, the answer is neither pious passivity nor radical revolution, but what he identifies as an idea of Jewish re-founding. National Affairs editor Yuval Levin also finds a Burkean strain in certain Zionists, but Rabbi Meir Soloveichik dissents. Is it really Burkean for statesmen like Ben-Gurion to appeal directly to the Bible and disparage the two-thousand years of the rabbinic tradition?


More about: Jewish Political Thought  • Zionism