Political Choices In Pollard Case

Norman Podhoretz cites Nathan Glazer for the view that "Israel is the religion of American Jews." This is precisely the problem. When religious loyalty is put above patriotism--as it should be--believers can be charged with political disloyalty, as Catholics were before the 1960s in America. However, for non-Jews religious loyalty has not usually meant loyalty to a particular secular state or religious territory. For Catholics since the loss of the Papal States in 1870, religion has not involved maintenance of a particular political order.

As the object of Jews' religious devotion, Israel does unfortunately raise unique questions of loyalty. Had the early Zionist view prevailed that Jews not returning to a Jewish state would disappear through conversion or assimilation, the problem would not exist. That is obviously not the current reality.



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