Should Israel Be Special?
Hillel Halkin argues in an interesting article about David Ben Gurion, in the Jerusalem Post, that Zionism demands no standards of the Jewish State, and that this in fact came to be the position of the Ben Gurion we know as Israel's first Prime Minister.
My reaction is that in fact, Halkin (to his horror I would assume) makes the post-Zionist argument, and retroactively (and incorrectly) ascribes it to Ben Gurion.
Ben Gurion never claimed that Israel was a State like all others. He insisted that it was the only venue where Judaism could survive. He proclaimed the 1956 Sinai Campaign the beginning of "Bayit Shlishi" (the Third Temple era.) He always saw Israel as the embodiment of essentialist Judaism, though the content of that essence got vaguer and vaguer as he "matured".
Furthermore, while detaching Israel's existence from its "purpose for existance" may be healthy psychologically for Israelis, and help in fending off criticism that holds Israel to a higher standard, it provides no justification for Diaspora Jews to move to Israel, or support it with their money and efforts. And it provides no justification for Israelis contemplating moving to New York or New Zealand to stay.
The contradiction of a Zionism that insists on the need for, and special status, of a Jewish State, is that it demands a "higher" standard based on a Jewish "essence". Otherwise why bother (and for many Jews it is a bother.) Certainly, by Halkin's post Zionist standard, Israel has a right to exist, but does it have the same claim on Jews both in Israel and around the world?