Unformatted text preview: Social Origins of Jewish Nationalism Basics: Nationalism, Ethnicity and Statehood
Basics: Nationalism, Ethnicity and Statehood PreRequisites for National Ideology:
a) Being a Nation
b) Having a Territory Are the Jews a Nation? 2 Criteria: a) Psychologically: the feeling of common origin, identity and belonging. Consciousness of a shared destiny.
b) Politically: the demand and quest for a territory, jurisdiction and independence. An Important Distinction: Ethnicity (objective, attributed): race, language, religion Ethinicism (subjective, selfdefined): awareness, ambition Nationalism (ethnicism+territory): A nationstate Uniqueness of Zionism
Uniqueness of Zionism Historically, Nationalism entailed liberation from a foreign rule or secession from larger territorial entities. The model for the dispersed Jews was return to their former homeland.
No single vernacular language. Hebrew was read and spoken only by the spiritual and religious leaders. Everyone spoke the language of the country they were born.
Different interpretations and understandings of nationalism: practical, political, cultural. Theories of Nationalism
Theories of Nationalism The Primordial/Modernist Debate
The Primordials (Shils, Geertz) claim that ethnonational identities are perennial and tribal and preceded the age of modernity and capitalism. Collective identities have been there since the dawn of mankind and they are created due to innate human instincts and needs.
The Modernists (Gellner, Anderson) assert that national identity was formed late and as a result of modernism and capitalism.
The Role and needs of Modernization: For an incessant capitalist capacity, the modernized industrial society requires viable and productive people. For that to happen, a homogenized culture, shared language, myths of common ancestry and an all
embracing educational system must be embraced. Loyal and conformist citizens are more productive (school system, Law, Army, the vocation market, social ties, culture, socialization)—everything is geared toward that goal. Thus, patriotismlove of country, national consolidation, cultural identity are crucial. Moderate Primordialist: Anthony Smith
Moderate Primordialist: Anthony Smith Agrees that an ethnicity (or ethnie) is primeval and that ethnic collectivities with their heritage and common existence preceded modernity. However, modernity precipitated and accelerated their consolidation into nationalities. Radical Modernist: Elie Kedourie Nationalism is an artificial invention, not primordial and with no connection to the vagaries of modernization. Elites manipulate and entice masses into compliance and the masses who seek leadership, grant them legitimacy. Moderate Modernist: Benedict Anderson The most recent contribution to the discussion: the national bond is imagined through narratives, symbols, ceremonies, myths and rituals. However, these imagined processes are stimulated and induced by modernization. The Nationalism Theory Spectrum
The Nationalism Theory Spectrum Primordials (Ethnic Nationalism)
Ancient, intrinsic, emotional, irrational Modernists (SocioEconomic Nationalism) Modernity with its special pressure and contingencies SuperModernists (Political Nationalism)
Modernity as an invention of capable elites And what about Zionism? Jewish Nationalism: Ethnicity and Ethnicism
Jewish Nationalism: Ethnicity and Ethnicism
Ethnicity (Ethnie): Historically and archeologically, the Jews were a germane and authentic collectivesince ancient times. They are not an artifact of modernity (language, customs, rituals, ceremonies).
Ethnicism: was awaken due to the civic emancipation to minorities in Europe (esp. after the French revolution). Jews where granted citizen’s rights.
National Awakening: the combination of closedknit and insular community with the benefits of enlightment (citizenship, universal education, equality) stimulated awareness and hope for collective entitlement as well.
Independence rather than Autonomy: the translation of national sentiments to a desire to return to the homeland rather than stay in the host country. Why? Negative and positive stimuli Negative Stimuli violence, persecutions:
Negative Stimuli violence, persecutions:
• • • Ageold xenophobia and racial antiSemitism.
Emancipation and access of Jews to previously banned spheres of influence, which stimulated more violence.
Despite new possibilities, Jews remained in same lines of trade (moneylending to banking, peddlers to shops) Continuing Jewish religious and cultural insulation. Positive Stimuli aspirations, hopes: * True, genuine and lingering hope and desire to return to Zion, the Homeland of the Jews.
* Haskala, the Jewish version of enlightment: universal education, universities, historical comparative analysis ...
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This note was uploaded on 11/12/2011 for the course MIDDLE EAS 563 taught by Professor Peleg during the Fall '11 term at Rutgers.
- Fall '11