Jacob Talmon between “good” and “bad” nationalism

History of European Ideas 34 (2):197-205 (2008)

Jacob Talmon was a believer in nationalism, and in Jewish nationalism of the Zionist variety in particular. He was convinced of the moral right of Jews to establish their own state in Palestine/Eretz Yisrael. On the other hand, he was aware of the dangers inherent in nationalism, of its tendency toward chauvinism, intolerance toward “the other,” and violence. In the case of Zionism he contrasted the pre-1967 movement, which he believed was characterized by moderation in the spirit of his hero, Chaim Weizmann, and post-1967 Zionism, which took on the very characteristics he deplored in right-wing Polish nationalism and in the extreme national movements of other ethnic groups. This article analyzes his critique of Israeli ideology and policy in the post-1967 period, and asks whether the distinction he makes between “good” Zionism as formulated by the founders of the movement, and “bad” Zionism as personified by Menachem Begin and the leaders of religious Zionism, is justified
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DOI 10.1016/j.histeuroideas.2007.12.006
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