There are really only two fundamental visions regarding the essence of Zionism. The first is that the purpose of Zionism is to redeem the past; that the Jewish people are obligated by history to create a state in order to redeem the entire Land of Israel (which would include Judea, Samaria, and parts of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan). This vision sees the state as a means to the land and the people as a means to the state. The land becomes a Moloch – a pagan god that is idolatrized and worshiped. Jewish history becomes a dictator of Jewish behavior. This vision has been in ascendance since the 6-Day War.
The second says the purpose of Zionism is to create alternative future options for the Jews by creating one state on the planet in which the Jews are a majority. This vision sees the land as the means to the state and the state as the means to serve the people. It sees the land as an essential prerequisite for the creation of the state and the state as an essential prerequisite for creating alternative future options for the Jewish people. This is the vision I embrace but which has been in decline since the 6-Day War. The decline of my vision of Zionism and the ascendance of the land-fetishism vision terrifies me and makes me fearful about the future survival of the Jewish people.
Therefore, I believe that the ideological settlement project and the settler's cultural influence throughout the country, is more dangerous to the survival of Israel than the Iranian nuclear program. I believe the direction Israel is taking is suicidal. To paraphrase Lincoln, Israel cannot for long exist half democratic (the constitutional democracy in which all Israel's citizens live) and half undemocratic (the military regime in the West Bank). It must eventually become one or the other but it cannot be both. Either the regime in the West Bank becomes democratic (which means the end of Israel as a Jewish state) or the regime in Israel proper will become increasingly undemocratic.
The right thinks it can get away with maintaining the present half free/half unfree situation; the left believes that if only Israel were really nice to the well-meaning Palestinians we would have peace, the lamb would lay down with the lion and Arab and Jew could walk hand in hand singing We Shall Overcome as they tiptoe through the tulips of universal brotherhood. I believe that both are guilty of self-deception on a colossal scale, but that the policies of the right are more dangerous to Israel's survival than the left, that the right has come to the wrong conclusions for the right reasons and that the left has come to the right conclusions for the wrong reasons. Whenever I write or speak about Israel or Israel/Diaspora relations this viewpoint acts as my intellectual filter.
For a basic understanding of my General Jewish Perspective, click here.