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Athens in JerusalemClassical Antiquity and Hellenism in the Making of the Modern Secular Jew$
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Yaacov Shavit

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774259

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774259.001.0001

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A ‘Polis’ in Jerusalem: The Jewish State

A ‘Polis’ in Jerusalem: The Jewish State

(p.432) 15 A ‘Polis’ in Jerusalem: The Jewish State
Athens in Jerusalem

Yaacov Shavit

, Chaya Naor, Niki Werner
Liverpool University Press

This chapter turns to politics. Here, the return of the Jews to history was also their return to the realm of politics and statesmanship, whether as participants in European politics in various countries or as a new emerging political entity in Palestine from 1882. The idea of a Jewish state could be nourished by the memories of Jewish independence and Jewish sovereignty in biblical and post-biblical times, or by the messianic prophecies, but no one seriously thought of a revival of a Jewish kingdom. Thus it was the European political experience which was the political school of the Zionist movement. When Jews of the late nineteenth century lost faith in absolute enlightened monarchies (or after monarchies gave way to other types of government), the liberal-democratic paradigm of state that they adopted was closer to the political heritage of classical antiquity than to the Jewish political heritage. In that they followed the course taken by Western civilization.

Keywords:   Jewish state, Zionism, Jewish politics, statesmanship, European politics, political heritage, classical antiquity

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