This article, by a Jewish (American?) Zionist, is thought-provoking. He thoughtfully considers the question of whether Israel can tolerate Jews who don’t wish to be identified as subscribers to Judaism; if, as he suggests, the answer is yes, can it tolerate Jews who subscribe to Christ?
If Jewishness is indeed an ethnic or kinship category, it is telling and surprising that our community persists in creating ideological and political boundaries and redlines around participating in communal life, and defines the legitimate discourse of Jewishness in such explicit ways. Aren’t these instincts fundamentally at odds with one another? In this respect, the overlap in the news cycle between the Kaniuk controversy and the Tony Kushner flap is very telling, and hints at the central locus in which the absence of peoplehood pluralism is manifest – in the increasingly crippling Jewish anxiety about Israel that is inclining us to erect internal barriers around ideas about the Jewish state.
Now some of this anxiety is real, rooted in meaningful external and internal threats to the safety and security of the state and people of Israel. It is understandable, to some measure, that we see in some ideas a danger to the sense of kinship or shared ethnicity that lies at the heart of this way of thinking about Jewishness. But anxiety cannot be the ultimate driving force for identity and a communal public policy. Anxiety betrays a loss of confidence in the kind of authenticity about what we believe in, and the instinctual erecting of boundaries around ideas ultimately makes for barriers to participation and stifles a meaningful discourse. Anxiety breeds not growth but constriction. With the genuine challenges facing the Jewish people, constricting growth, creativity, and confidence is entirely backwards.