The Zionist Ideas

The Zionist Ideas

Visions for the Jewish Homeland—Then, Now, Tomorrow

Gil Troy
Foreword by Natan Sharansky

JPS Anthologies of Jewish Thought Series

608 pages


April 2018


$34.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

The most comprehensive Zionist collection ever published, The Zionist Ideas: Visions for the Jewish Homeland—Then, Now, Tomorrow sheds light on the surprisingly diverse and shared visions for realizing Israel as a democratic Jewish state. Building on Arthur Hertzberg’s classic, The Zionist Idea, Gil Troy explores the backstories, dreams, and legacies of more than 170 passionate Jewish visionaries—quadruple Hertzberg’s original number and now including women, mizrachim, and others—from the 1800s to today.

Troy divides the thinkers into six Zionist schools of thought—Political, Revisionist, Labor, Religious, Cultural, and Diaspora Zionism—and reveals the breadth of the debate and surprising syntheses. He also presents the visionaries within three major stages of Zionist development, demonstrating the length and evolution of the conversation. Part 1 (pre-1948) introduces the pioneers who founded the Jewish state, such as Herzl, Gordon, Jabotinsky, Kook, Ha’am, and Szold. Part 2 (1948 to 2000) features builders who actualized and modernized the Zionist blueprints, such as Ben-Gurion, Berlin, Meir, Begin, Soloveitchik, Uris, and Kaplan. Part 3 showcases today’s torchbearers, including Barak, Grossman, Shaked, Lau, Yehoshua, and Sacks.

This mosaic of voices will engage equally diverse readers in reinvigorating the Zionist conversation—weighing and developing the moral, social, and political character of the Jewish state of today and tomorrow.

Author Bio

Gil Troy is Distinguished Scholar of North American History at McGill University. A columnist for the Jerusalem Post and the Daily Beast, he has authored twelve books, including Moynihan’s Moment: America’s Fight against Zionism as Racism and Why I Am a Zionist. Natan Sharansky is former deputy prime minister of Israel and chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel.


“The Zionist Ideas is a must-read, a comprehensive Zionist Bible for the twenty-first century. The outstanding scholar and community leader Gil Troy presents an impressive range of thinkers, from yesterday to today, from left to right, illuminated by his extraordinary commentary, all of which affirm the enduring moral character of the Zionist idea: that Zionism, beyond safeguarding the Jewish state, is anchored in a humanistic ideology of universal resonance.”—Irwin Cotler, former minister of justice and attorney general of Canada and human rights activist

“This work promises to be an important contribution to Jewish historiography. I highly recommend it.”—Howard Sachar, professor emeritus of history and international affairs at George Washington University

“This magnificent work is the perfect follow-up to Arthur Hertzberg’s classic The Zionist Idea. Combining, like Hertzberg, a scholar’s eye and an activist’s ear, Gil Troy demonstrates that we now live in a world of Zionist ideas with many different ways to help Israel flourish as a democratic Jewish state. A revived Zionist conversation, a renewed Zionist vision, can help create a Jewish state that reaffirms meaning for those already committed to it, while addressing the needs of Jews physically separated from their ancestral homeland, as well as those who feel spiritually detached from their people. How lucky we are to have this new book, filled with old-new ideas, Theodor Herzl style, to guide this important and timely conversation.”—Natan Sharansky, from the foreword

“Expanding the canonical book The Zionist Idea, The Zionist Ideas clarifies the wealth of rich ideas regarding the Jewish people’s sovereign national home in the land of Israel. This book will help flip today’s destructive ‘dialogue of the deaf’ into a thoughtful, constructive conversation—perhaps from which a new shared vision for Jewish nationalism will emerge.”—Ruth Calderon, member of Knesset 2013–15 and author of A Bride for One Night: Talmud Tales

“As the story of Zionism continues to unfold in the twenty-first century, Gil Troy provides those who wish to understand its past, present, and future this invaluable guide.  Building on Hertzberg’s seminal volume, The Zionist Ideas expands our range of vision, exploring Zionism in its political, religious, and cultural dimensions as imagined by Zionists both in Israel and the Diaspora. With expertly curated selections, and his own penetrating analysis, Troy accompanies us on a tour of Zionism’s evolution from the ideology of a fledgling, yet ancient, national movement to the philosophical underpinning of its own manifestation: the miracle of statehood for the Jewish people.  Embracing the diversity of views about an ideology come to life, he offers clues to Zionism’s next chapters as Israel matures, struggles, and strives to keep faith with its founders’ vision.”—Daniel B. Shapiro, former U.S. ambassador to the State of Israel 

Table of Contents

Foreword by Natan Sharansky    
Introduction: How Zionism’s Six Traditional Schools of Thought Shape Today’s Conversation    
Part One. Pioneers: Founding the Jewish State
1. Pioneers: Political Zionism
Peretz Smolenskin
It Is Time to Plant (1875–77)
Let Us Search Our Ways (1881)
The Haskalah of Berlin (1883)
Leon Pinsker
Auto-Emancipation: An Appeal to His People by a Russian Jew (1882)
Theodor Herzl
The Jewish State (1896)
From the Diaries of Theodor Herzl (1895)
Third Letter to Baron Hirsch (1895)
Max Nordau
Zionism (1902)
Muskeljudentum, Jewry of Muscle (1903)
Jacob Klatzkin
Boundaries: Judaism Is Nationalism (1914–21)
Chaim Weizmann
On the Report of the Palestine Commission (1937)
Natan Alterman
Shir Moledet (Song of the homeland) (1935)
Magash HaKesef (The silver platter) (1947)
Albert Einstein
Palestine, Setting of Sacred History of the Jewish Race (with Erich Kahler) (1944)
2. Pioneers: Labor Zionism
Moses Hess
Rome and Jerusalem (1862)
bilu Manifesto (1882)
Joseph Hayyim Brenner
Self-Criticism (1914)
Nahman Syrkin
The Jewish Problem and the Socialist Jewish State (1898)
Ber Borochov
Our Platform (1906)
Aaron David Gordon
People and Labor (1911)
Our Tasks Ahead (1920)
Rachel Bluwstein
My Country (1926)
Berl Katzenelson
Revolution and Tradition (1934)
Rahel Yanait Ben-Zvi
The Plough Woman (1931)
3. Pioneers: Revisionist Zionism
The Union of Zionists-Revisionists
Declaration of the Central Committee of the Union of Zionists-Revisionists (1925)
Vladimir Jabotinsky
The Fundamentals of the Betarian World Outlook (1934)
Evidence Submitted to the Palestine Royal Commission (1937)
The Iron Wall ([1923] 1937)
Saul Tchernichovsky
I Believe (1892)
They Say There’s a Land (1923)
The Irgun
Proclamation of the Irgun Zvai Leumi (1939)
Avraham (Yair) Stern
Eighteen Principles of Rebirth (1940)
Haim Hazaz
The Sermon (1942)
4. Pioneers: Religious Zionism
Yehudah Alkalai
The Third Redemption (1843)
Samuel Mohilever
Message to the First Zionist Congress (1897)
Isaac Jacob Reines
A New Light on Zion (1902)
Abraham Isaac Kook
The Land of Israel (1910–30)
The Rebirth of Israel (1910–30)
Lights for Rebirth (1910–30)
Moshe “Kalphon” HaCohen
Mateh Moshe (Moses’s headquarters) (1920)
Meir Bar-Ilan (Berlin)
What Kind of Life Should We Create in Eretz Israel? (1922)
5. Pioneers: Cultural Zionism
Eliezer Ben-Yehudah
A Letter of Ben-Yehudah (1880)
Introduction to The Complete Dictionary of Ancient and Modern Hebrew (1908)
Ahad Ha’am (Asher Zvi Ginsberg)
On Nationalism and Religion (1910)
The Jewish State and the Jewish Problem (1897)
Hayyim Nahman Bialik
The City of Slaughter (1903)
At the Inauguration of the Hebrew University (1925)
Micah Joseph Berdichevski
Wrecking and Building (1900–1903)
In Two Directions (1900–1903)
On Sanctity (1899)
Martin Buber
Hebrew Humanism (1942)
An Open Letter to Mahatma Gandhi (1939)
6. Pioneers: Diaspora Zionism
Solomon Schechter
Zionism: A Statement (1906)
Louis Dembitz Brandeis
The Jewish Problem and How to Solve It (1915)
Henrietta Szold
Letter to Augusta Rosenwald (1915)
Horace Mayer Kallen
Zionism and Liberalism (1919)
Stephen S. Wise
Challenging Years (1949)
Milton Steinberg
The Creed of an American Zionist (1945)
Part Two. Builders: Actualizing and Modernizing the Zionist Blueprints
7. Builders: Political Zionism
Israel’s Declaration of Independence (1948)
David Ben-Gurion
The Imperatives of the Jewish Revolution (1944)
Speech to Mapai Central Committee (1948)
Am Segula: Memoirs (1970)
The Law of Return (1950)
Isaiah Berlin
Jewish Slavery and Emancipation (1953)
The Achievement of Zionism (1975)
Abba Eban
Statement to the Security Council (1967)
Teddy Kollek
Jerusalem (1977)
Chaim Herzog
Address to the United Nations General Assembly (1975)
Albert Memmi
The Liberation of the Jew (1966, 2013)
Jews and Arabs (1975)
Yonatan (Yoni) Netanyahu
Letters from Yoni Netanyahu (1968, 1975)
Elie Wiesel
One Generation After (1970)
A Jew Today (1975, 1978)
Natan Sharanksy
Fear No Evil (1988)
Emmanuel Levinas
Politics After (1979)
Assimilation and New Culture (1980)
Martin Peretz
The God That Did Not Fail (1997)
8. Builders: Labor Zionism
Golda Meir
A Land of Our Own (1973)
Address to the United Nations General Assembly (1958)
Muki Tsur
The Soldiers’ Chat (1967)
Amos Oz
The Meaning of Homeland (1967)
Roy Belzer
Garin HaGolan Anthology (1972)
The Members of Kibbutz Ketura
The Kibbutz Ketura Vision (1994)
Yaakov Rotblit
Shir LaShalom, A Song for Peace (1969)
Leonard Fein
Days of Awe (1982)
Yitzhak Rabin
Our Tremendous Energies from a State of Siege (1994)
Shimon Peres
Nobel Lecture (1994)
Shulamit Aloni
I Cannot Do It Any Other Way (1997)
9. Builders: Revisionist Zionism
Uri Zvi Greenberg
Those Living-Thanks to Them Say (1948)
Israel without the Mount (1948–49)
Geulah Cohen
Memoirs of a Young Terrorist (1943–48)
The Tehiya Party Platform (1988)
Moshe Shamir
For a Greater Israel (1967)
The Green Space: Without Zionism, It’ll Never Happen (1991)
Menachem Begin
The Revolt (1951)
Broadcast to the Nation (1948)
Statement to the Knesset upon the Presentation of His Government (1977)
Yitzhak Shalev
We Shall Not Give Up Our Promised Borders (1963)
Eliezer Schweid
Israel as a Zionist State (1970)
The Promise of the Promised Land (1988)
Benjamin Netanyahu
A Place among the Nations (1993)
10. Builders: Religious Zionism
Ben-Zion Meir Chai Uziel
Prayer for the State of Israel (1948)
On Nationalism (ca. 1940–50)
David Edan
A Call for Aliyah (ca. 1950)
Joseph Ber Soloveitchik
Listen! My Beloved Knocks! (1956)
Yeshayahu Leibowitz
A Call for the Separation of Religion and State (1959)
Zvi Yehuda Hakohen Kook
On the 19th Anniversary of Israel’s Independence (1967)
Abraham Joshua Heschel
Israel: An Echo of Eternity (1969)
Esther Jungreis
Zionism: A Challenge to Man’s Faith (1977)
Talma Alyagon-Roz
Eretz Tzvi, The Land of Beauty (1976, 2014)
Eliezer Berkovits
On Jewish Sovereignty (1973)
Gush Emunim
Friends of Gush Emunim Newsletter (1978)
David Hartman
Auschwitz or Sinai (1982)
The Third Jewish Commonwealth (1985)
Commission on the Philosophy of Conservative Judaism
Emet V’Emunah: Statement of Principles of Conservative Judaism (1988)
Richard Hirsch
Toward a Theology of Reform Zionism (2)
Ovadia Yosef
Oral Torah 14 (1979)
11. Builders: Cultural Zionism
Haim Hefer
There Were Times (1948)
A. M. Klein
The Second Scroll (1951)
Leon Uris
The Exodus Song / This Land Is Mine (1960)
Shmuel Yosef Agnon
Nobel Prize Speech (1966)
Naomi Shemer
Jerusalem of Gold (1967)
Yehudah Amichai
All the Generations before Me (1968)
Tourists  (1980)
Gershon Shaked
No Other Place (1980, 1987)
Letty Cottin Pogrebin
Deborah, Golda, and Me (1991)
Anne Roiphe
Generation without Memory (1981)
12. Builders: Diaspora Zionism
Arthur Hertzberg
Impasse: A Movement in Search of a Program (1949)
Some Reflections on Zionism Today (1977)
Mordecai M. Kaplan
A New Zionism (1954, 1959)
Rose Halprin
Speech to the Zionist General Council (1950)
Jacob Blaustein
Statements by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and Mr. Jacob Blaustein on the Relationship between Israel and American Jews (1950, 1956)
Simon Rawidowicz
Babylon and Jerusalem (1957)
Two That Are One (1949)
Irving “Yitz” Greenberg
Twenty Years Later: The Impact of Israel on American Jewry (1968)
Yom Yerushalayim: Jerusalem Day (1988)
Eugene Borowitz
Twenty Years Later: The Impact of Israel on American Jewry (1968)
Herman Wouk
This Is My God (1969, 1974)
Arnold Jacob Wolf
Will Israel Become Zion? (1973)
Breira National Platform (1977)
Hillel Halkin
Letters to an American Jewish Friend: The Case for Life in Israel (1977, 2013)
Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin
Nine Questions People Ask about Judaism (1975)
Alex Singer
Alex: Building a Life (1983, 1986, 1996)
Blu Greenberg
What Do American Jews Believe? A Symposium (1996)
Part Three. Torchbearers: Reassessing, Redirecting, Reinvigorating
13. Torchbearers: Political Zionism
Michael Oren
Jews and the Challenge of Sovereignty (2006)
Tal Becker
Beyond Survival: Aspirational Zionism (2011)
Michael Walzer
The State of Righteousness: Liberal Zionists Speak Out (2012)
Aharon Barak
Address to the 34th World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem (2002)
Yael “Yuli” Tamir
A Jewish and Democratic State (2)
Ze’ev Maghen
John Lennon and the Jews: A Philosophical Rampage (2010)
Daniel Gordis
The Promise of Israel (2012)
Leon Wieseltier
Brothers and Keepers: Black Jews and the Meaning of Zionism (1985)
Irwin Cotler
Speech to the United Jewish Communities General Assembly (2006)
Gadi Taub
In Defense of Zionism (2014)
Bernard-Henri Lévy
The Genius of Judaism (2017)
Asa Kasher
idf Code of Ethics (1994)
14. Torchbearers: Labor Zionism
Anita Shapira
The Abandoned Middle Road (2012)
Ephraim Katchalski-Katzir
My Contributions to Science and Society (2005)
Ruth Gavison
Statement of Principles, Gavison-Medan Covenant (2003)
Einat Wilf
Zionism: The Only Way Forward (2012)
Chaim Gans
The Zionism We Really Want (2013)
David Grossman
Speech at Rabin Square (2006)
Nitzan Horowitz
On the Steps of Boorishness (2013)
Alon Tal
Pollution in a Promised Land (2002, 2017)
Peter Beinart
The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment (2010)
Ari Shavit
Back to Liberal Zionism (2014)
A Missed Funeral and the True Meaning of Zionism (2013)
Stav Shaffir
Knesset Speech (2015)
15. Torchbearers: Revisionist Zionism
Yoram Hazony
The End of Zionism? (1995)
Israel’s Jewish State Law and the Future of the Middle East (2014)
Shmuel Trigano
There Is No “State of All Its Citizens” (2015, 2017)
Israel Harel
We Are Here to Stay (2001)
Caroline Glick
The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East (2014)
Ruth Wisse
Jews and Power (2007)
David Mamet
Bigotry Pins Blame on Jews (2006, 2011)
The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture (2011)
Ze’ev B. “Benny” Begin
The Essence of the State of Israel (2015, 2017)
Reuven Rivlin
Remarks of President Rivlin: Vision of the Four Tribes (2015)
Ayelet Shaked
Pathways to Governance (2016)
16. Torchbearers: Religious Zionism
Daniel Polisar
Is Iran the Only Model for a Jewish State? (1999)
Benjamin Ish-Shalom
Jewish Sovereignty: The Challenges of Meaning, Identity, and Responsibility (2014)
Eliezer Sadan
Religious Zionism: Taking Responsibility in the Worldly Life of the Nation (2008)
Yaacov Medan
Statement of Principles, Gavison-Medan Covenant (2003)
Yehuda Amital
Reishit Tzemichat Ge’ulatenu: What Kind of Redemption Does Israel Represent? (2005)
Benjamin “Benny” Lau
The Challenge of Halakhic Innovation (2010)
Yedidia Z. Stern
Ani Ma’amin, I Believe (2005)
Leah Shakdiel
The Reason You Are Here Is Because You Are a Jew! (2004)
Arnold Eisen
What Does It Mean to Be a Zionist in 2015? Speech to the 37th Zionist Congress: (2015)
Conservative Judaism Today and Tomorrow (2015)
David Ellenson
Reform Zionism Today: A Consideration of First Principles (2014)
17. Torchbearers: Cultural Zionism
Gil Troy
Why I Am a Zionist (2008)
Yair Lapid
I Am a Zionist (2009)
Micah Goodman
From the Secular and the Holy (2018)
Ronen Shoval
Herzl’s Vision 2.0 (2013)
A. B. Yehoshua
The Basics of Zionism, Homeland, and Being a Total Jew (2017)
Erez Biton
Address at the President’s House on the Subject of Jerusalem (2016)
Bernard Avishai
The Hebrew Republic (2008)
Saul Singer
They Tried to Kill Us, We Won, Now We’re Changing the World (2011)
Sharon Shalom
A Meeting of Two Brothers Who Had Been Separated for Two Thousand Years (2017)
Einat Ramon
Zionism: A Jewish Feminist-Womanist Appreciation (2017)
Adam Milstein
Israeliness Is the Answer (2016, 2017)
Rachel Sharansky Danziger
A New Kind of Zionist Hero (2015, 2017)
18. Torchbearers: Diaspora Zionism
Jonathan Sacks
Will We Have Jewish Grandchildren? (1994)
Alan Dershowitz
The Vanishing American Jew (1997)
Yossi Beilin
His Brother’s Keeper: Israel and Diaspora Jewry in the Twenty-First Century (2)
Scott Shay
Getting Our Groove Back: How to Energize American Jewry (2007)
Donniel Hartman
Israel and World Jewry: The Need for a New Paradigm (2011)
Yossi Klein Halevi
A Jewish Centrist Manifesto (2015)
Ellen Willis
Is There Still a Jewish Question? I’m an Anti-Anti-Zionist (2003)
Theodore Sasson
The New American Zionism (2013)
Central Conference of American Rabbis
A Statement of Principles for Reform Judaism (1999)
The World Zionist Organization
Jerusalem Program (1951)
Jerusalem Program (2004)
Source Acknowledgments    

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