The Institute for Zionist Strategies is proud and delighted to present this anthology of essays, articles and contemplative expositions on “liberal nationalism”.
We tend today to regard the phrase “liberal nationalism” as a strange hybrid that amalgamates contradictory values. The concept of “liberal nationalism” is commonly attacked on three grounds. Firstly, nationalism is perceived as a value granting preference to one nation over another and therefore as being at odds with humane liberal values which emphasis the centrality of the individual. The very definition of nationalism occupies a central position in contemporary discussions of political philosophy. Secondly, the definition “liberalism” is vague and unclear while being bandied about daily and used to express a range of different, and even, conflicting views. The third argument is that the very connection between the concepts “nationalism” and “liberalism” is occasionally perceived as an oxymoron. Consequently, the nationalist-liberal theory is sometimes attacked as untrue, inconsistent and incomplete.
The Institute for Zionist Strategies seeks to promote a liberal-national outlook, advocating the belief that an inherent component of human rights supports every person’s right to national self-definition. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and the theory of Roy Baumeister, this self-definition is the means to self-fulfillment while the right to a sense of belonging and identity is the realization of a basic psychological need.
The liberal-national view advocates that nationalism is intended to serve the individual, not to enslave him. Accordingly, there is no contradiction between Jabotinsky’s statements that: “In the beginning, God created the individual” and “In the beginning, God created the nation”. Jabotinsky claimed that humans gather together into a group, community or state in order to improve their standard of living and to increase the liberty of each of its members.
Jabotinsky supported the assumption that the nation is the desired vehicle for a person’s self-fulfillment. He viewed it as a natural entity for an individual to belong to – just as a person is born to a mother and father, so too he is born to his people and it is only within the broad national context of this framework, and through a bond to its unique culture, that a system of collective self-expression can be formed without one culture diminishing from or compelling another.
We invite you to peruse this anthology and to delve deeper with us into the liberal-national perception.
Liberal Nationalism: an Anthology
The etymology of the word “anthology” indicates its origins in ancient Greek and means “bouquet of flowers”. An anthology gathers the best literary works and presents them to the reader while coalescing them around a specific subject, common theme, or similar artistic motifs. In so doing, it enables the contemporary reader access to remote and concealed textual sources he may otherwise have lacked the inclination or time to pursue. Nevertheless, this anthology involves more demanding requirements. It does not merely offer its readers the opportunity to inhale and bask in the fragrance of ancient and contemporary political literature but rather, imposes upon them the obligation to ponder and contemplate.
One of the most common political concepts in our public discourse is “liberal nationalism”. Although many may claim to know of the origins of this ideological variation and its prominent proponents throughout history, its present-day meaning its somewhat vague. A heated argument rages between scholars, polemicists, and politicians as to the essence of national liberalism, and it is not this anthology’s intention to stymie this lively discussion. In practice, it may well be the nature of ideology to change form according to the manner it is understood in any specific place and time, such that any effort to arrive at a final and absolute definition is doomed to failure. We have therefore chosen to tread a different path here.
Naturally, when an editor is required to gather compositions and determine whether they are destined to be published or neglected, every choice or non-choice may potentially result in grievance on the part of participating scholars. Categorizing and classifying ideas is important however the analytical distinctions between similar contributions are, on occasion, too amorphous and do not necessarily further the intellectual discussion.
The political vision that the Institute of Zionist Strategies is attempting to formulate is located somewhere between the curves in the road, the peaks and the valleys that comprise the national-liberal landscape. We invite you to join us in exploring this anthology and to become our partners in the resultant ideological journey.
For the complete study
A single figure indicative of the tremendous deficiency in access to public institutions enjoyed by the residents of East Jerusalem.According to the 2018 report issued by the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research, the residents of the city’s Arab neighborhoods make up only 22% of those receiving a discount the city tax (arnona). This is while they comprise 38% of the city’s total population and the overwhelming majority of its poor.
Receiving an approval for reduction in arnona is subject to clear criteria and supposed to be granted upon request without need for personal consideration of a municipality official. The discrepancy in the number of recipients stems therefore from the residents’ lack of familiarity with the workings of the relevant municipal and state institutions.
Such unfamiliarity has a detrimental influence, not only on the local population’s trust in those same institutions, but also on the entire city economy. Ultimately, improving the standard of living in the Arab neighborhoods is therefore an interest of all parties.
Over recent months, we have assisted dozens of East Jerusalem residents to receive a reduction on their arnona, many of whom were not even aware that such an option existed, not to mention entertaining the possibility that they may be eligible for it.
This summer, the Institute is opening its doors to a group of students from North America who are coming to specialize in our research division.
They will be asked to assist in studying the manners in which democratic countries contend with separatist groups and the radicalization processes of some in the U.S Democrat camp in their stance towards Israel.
For further details on volunteering, internship, research and Hebrew teaching possibilities, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Institute in the media
Miri Shalem was the guest of the political talk show ‘Mishkan Halayla’ on the Knesset TV. There she dealt with the returning elections and the potential window of opportunity for women in politics.
The following articles were published by members of the Institute and contain references to a wide range of issues on the public agenda:
Miri Shalem, CEO of the Institute, reveals the true meaning of the potential political deal between Orly Levy and Alona Barkat.
Israel Harel, founding president of the IZS, explains how the Supreme Court ends up undermining equality of opportunity for Arabs. (Haaretz)
Aryeh Green, research fellow at the IZS, details Jabotinsky’s social thought. (Hashiloach)