On Israel & Zionism

I’ve been writing on Israel since college. But in the mid-1990s, I decided to begin a systemic study of the history and political theory underlying the Zionist movement. This was in response to what seemed to me to be a dramatic weakening of Israel’s commitment to its constitutional status as a “Jewish state”–that is, to its character as the national state of the Jewish people.

Since then, I’ve contributed a number of books and essays to the effort to try and clarify what it means for Israel to be a Jewish state, to trying to understand what happened to this idea, and to proposing ways in which commitment to this idea can be strengthened in Israel and abroad. The most important of these was my book The Jewish State: The Struggle for Israel’s Soul, which played a central role in sparking a revival of Zionist thought and after its publication in 2000. As a result, a number of historians have credited me with formulating “neo-Zionism” as a response to post-Zionism in Israel. (See, for example, Ilan Pappe, The Idea of Israel: A History of Power and Knowledge [Verso, 2014], pp. 248-250; Elisabeth Roudinesco, Revisiting the Jewish Question [Polity, 2014], pp. 183-184; Benny Morris, Making Israel [University of Michigan, 2007], pp. 222, 226).

Among my writings on Zionism and the national state:



A Jewish State: Herzl and the Promise of Nationalism (Jerusalem: Sella Meir and Tikvah, 2020). [Hebrew]

David Hazony, Yoram Hazony and Michael Oren, eds., New Essays on Zionism (Jerusalem: Shalem Press, 2006).

The Jewish State: The Struggle for Israel’s Soul (New York: Basic Books and The New Republic, 2000).  



“Should Universities Protect Campus Anti-Semites?” Public Discourse, February 11, 2024.

“The Current Crisis in Israel’s Constitution,” in Simon Rabinovitch, ed., Defining Israel: The Jewish State, Democracy and the Law (Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 2018), pp. 145-157.

“On the National State, Part 3: Character,” Azure 14 (Winter 2003)

“On the National State, Part 2: The Guardian of the Jews,” Azure 13 (Summer 2003)

“On the National State, Part 1: Empire and Anarchy,” Azure 12 (Winter 2002)

“Antisocial Texts: Who Removed Zionism from Israel’s Textbooks?” The New Republic, April 17 & 24, 2000

“Did Herzl Want a 'Jewish' State?” Azure 9 (Spring 2000)

“The Jewish State at 100,” Azure 2 (Summer 1997)

“The End of Zionism?” Azure 1 (Summer 1996)


Jerusalem Letters

"Conversation With Dave Rubin," April 28, 2019

"VIDEO: “The Hebrew Bible, Christians and Israel,” Address at the 2015 CUFI Summit," November 3, 2015

"The Case for a Druze State," July 22, 2015

"On the Current Crisis in Israel’s Constitution," March 29, 2015

"Israel’s Jewish State Law and the Future of the Middle East," November 24, 2014   

"The Hamas Terror Tune That Became the Anthem of Israel’s Soldiers in Gaza," August 11, 2014   

"VIDEO: My Response to A.B. Yehoshua on Israel as a Jewish State," May 5, 2013

"Appointment to Government Committee to Examine Liberal Arts in Israel," February 13, 2013

"Israeli Government Approves Establishment of Shalem College," January 14, 2013

"EU Council President Van Rompuy: The Time of the Nation-State is Over," November 14, 2010

"More on Kuhn, Kant, and the Nation-State," August 26, 2010   

"Israel Through European Eyes," July 14, 2010   


Research Reports

Yoram Hazony, Michael B. Oren and Daniel Polisar, “The Quiet Revolution in the Teaching of Zionist History: A Comparative Study of Education Ministry Textbooks on the 20th Century” (Jerusalem: Shalem Press, 2000)

“On History and Evasion: A Response to the Education Ministry and Prof. Israel Bartal Concerning A World of Changes” (Jerusalem: Shalem Press, 2000)



My Response to A.B. Yehoshua on Israel as a Jewish State, The Annual Jerusalem Symposium in Memory of Avi Schaefer, February 17, 2013

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