The Guardian''s Harriet Sherwood called this "elegant".
Reconstructionist narrative with twisted liberationist theology, I''d say.
It''s AB Yehoshua''s latest:
Some excerpts and my comments:-
[Zionism''s] definition...[is a] simple concept [but] has turned into one of the most confused and complicated notions of identity, and its overuse has made it impossible to agree on what it means....So it’s about time that we try to define the word “Zionist” realistically. First of all, we must remember that from a historical perspective, the concept emerged only at the end of the 19th century. It’s meaningless to try and describe Yehuda Halevi as a Zionist, or any other Jew who immigrated to the Holy Land in centuries past.
Really? That''s like writing "it''s meaningless to call AB Yehoshua a Zionist". What hubris!
...concepts only have significance from the time when they emerged in a specific historical context, and tossing them around freely as labels for anything we choose is a clearly anachronistic act.
Not true. Murder and rape are the same today as yesteryear.
He continues to quibble in extreme obfuscation:
...my grandfather’s grandfather, for example, who came to the Land of Israel from Thessaloniki in the mid-19th century, cannot be considered a Zionist. He came to settle in the Land of Israel, not to establish a state here...Not only were these Jews [including Hassidim] not interested in establishing a Jewish state, but they include some who saw − and still see − the State of Israel as an abomination and a desecration of God’s name.
In the future, the Messianic king will arise and renew the Davidic dynasty, restoring it to its initial sovereignty. He will build the Temple and gather the dispersed of Israel.
That''s a state in modern terminology.
And he defies any ability of the Jewish people to conceive of their physical homeland or to apply modern requirements of security:
Nor is there any connection between the size of the country and Zionism. If the Arabs had accepted the partition plan in 1947, the State of Israel within the partition borders would have been just as Zionist as it is within different borders.
Size is not important he insists:
If the State of Israel had conquered and annexed the east bank of the Jordan and repealed the Law of Return, it would have ceased being Zionist even though it would be three or four times the size. The state was Zionist when it controlled the Gaza Strip, and it was just as Zionist after it withdrew from it. Many countries have seen changes in the size of their sovereign territory, but their core identities remained intact.
Of course, it works the other way - if we have too little territory, we have no state, no economy, no security and so, given the Arab hostility, since 1920, which does not predicate their terror on any borders or expanse of land, are you an anti-Zionist if you insist Jews must yield and surrender and compromise despite all the animosity?
Does he require the proposed "Palestinian state" to include Jewish citizens just as he fights for Arab rights in Israel when he writes this?
Moreover, it’s almost certain that there will be a similar law [as the Right of Return] in the Palestinian state that I hope will be established, speedily and in our days. It would behoove that state to legislate a law of return that would enable every exiled Palestinian to return to the Palestinian state and obtain asylum and citizenship. But neither the Israeli Law of Return, nor a similar law in the future Palestinian state, contradict general immigration laws that set specific entry criteria, as is customary in every country of the world.
And here come the liberationist ideology:
Liberating the concept of Zionism from all the appendages and addenda that have adhered to it would not only clarify the ideological and political arguments we have among ourselves, and thus prevent these disputes from being mythologized, but it would also force critics abroad to clarify and focus their positions.
Again, an outstanding novelist turns into a minor political ranter.