As the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the State of Israel commence, one event in particular stands out: the Extraordinary Zionist Congress. A testing ground and research laboratory for the development of Jewish identity, the Jewish state faces numerous challenges. It cannot afford to prioritize the interests of any one group that formulates its demands and seeks to impose them on others, a principle that must be upheld moving forward.
In recent years, rapid population growth, significant repatriation flows, and profound social changes have transformed the nature of the state's relations with the Jewish diaspora, necessitating the development of new mechanisms to address emerging issues. It has become increasingly difficult to differentiate between secular and religious Jews in Israeli society, with even self-proclaimed secular Israelis maintaining certain religious traditions.
The Zionist movement, we believe, can serve as a common denominator that unites various seemingly contradictory phenomena in the spiritual and political life of the people, based on cultural roots and national identity. Notably, traditional Jewish values have been integrated into a new synthetic model of Jewish state consciousness, evidenced by the growing number of marriages between representatives of diverse cultural and sub-ethnic groups within Israeli society.
Benjamin Zeev Herzl, the harbinger of the Jewish state and leader of the Jewish people, recognized the differences among Jewish groups. Nonetheless, he believed that Zionism could bring together adherents of tradition and proponents of the newest trends in Judaism without requiring either group to make excessive spiritual sacrifices.
The ideology of state Zionism formed the basis for the creation of the State of Israel, and today we must consider what a renewed form of state Zionism might entail. The task of defining this new vision falls not only on the participants in the festivities in Jerusalem but on the entire Jewish community, both in Israel and the diaspora.