Radical and ultraliberal critics of Israel present it in the darkest possible terms, as an ethnocentric, militaristic, paranoid entity. Even to the more levelheaded outside observer, the Jewish state’s actions can seem clumsy at the best of times, belligerent at the worst. But in the Jewish heart and mind, Israel deserves a special place, and a different kind of consideration. For much like the traditional institutions of Jewish communities of old, the State of Israel provides perhaps the most critical of services for its people. Indeed, it is an institution fundamental to the survival and prosperity of the global Jewish community. Through such means as the Law of Return, the IDF, and the Israeli security services, it provides Jews with a home and a sanctuary in times of emergency. It also instills in them a sense of pride that only a sovereign nation, living in its own land, can foster.

Marla Braverman, “The Zionist Imperative,” Azure No. 43 (Winter 2011), 25.

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