Impossible Takes Longer by Daniel Gordis
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75 Years After Its Creation, Has Israel Fulfilled Its Founders’ Dreams?
On Israel’s seventy-fifth anniversary comes a nuanced examination of the country’s past, present, and future, from the two-time National Jewish Book Award–winning author of Israel.
In 1948, Israel’s founders had much more in mind than the creation of a state. They sought not mere sovereignty but also a “national home for the Jewish people,” where Jewish life would be transformed. Did they succeed? The state they made, says Daniel Gordis, is a place of extraordinary success and maddening disappointment, a story of both unprecedented human triumph and great suffering.
Now, as the country marks its seventy-fifth anniversary, Gordis asks: Has Israel fulfilled the dreams of its founders? Using Israel’s Declaration of Independence as his measure, Gordis provides a thorough, balanced perspective on how the Israel of today exceeds the country’s original aspirations and how it has fallen short. He discusses the often-overlooked reasons for the establishment of the State of Israel; the flourishing of Jewish and Israeli culture; the nation’s economy and its transformative tech sector; the Israeli-Arab conflict; the distinct form of Judaism that has emerged in the Jewish state; the nation’s complex relationship with the Diaspora; and much more.
Offering new angles of thinking about Israel, Gordis brings moderation and clarity to the prevailing discourse. And through weighing Israel’s successes, critiquing its failures, and acknowledging its inherent contradictions, he ultimately suggests that the Jewish state is a success far beyond anything its founders could have imagined.
Year first published: 2023