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Obligation in Exile: The Jewish Diaspora, Israel, and Critique with Ilan Zvi Baron
Debate about Diaspora Jews and Israel typically falls under the question of support. Sometimes debate is about whether or not as Jews we support Israel, and sometimes it is about what is meant by support. This debate, however, is problematic on multiple fronts. First, the debate may be counterproductive because instead of helping to bring Jewish communities together through a connection with Israel, the debate contributes to Israel serving as a divisive force. Second, the debate ignores the much more serious question about what Israel means for the Jewish people. In this talk, Dr Baron argues that debate about Israel among Jewish communities is not so much about Israel’s policies and what support for Israel means. Instead, debate about Israel is about our Jewish identity: of what kind of Jew one is. As a consequence, the terms of our debate about Israel needs to change if there is hope for a future healthy relationship with the State of Israel.
Ilan Zvi Baron is an Associate Professor in the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University, where he is also the Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Jewish Culture, Society and Politics. He has published on International Relations theory, identity and security, dual loyalty, the Jewish Diaspora’s relationship with Israel and the international cultural politics of Israeli cuisine. His most recent books include, “Obligation in Exile: The Jewish Diaspora, Israel and Critique,” published by Edinburgh University Press, and, with Manchester University Press, “How to Save Politics in a Post-Truth Era.” He has held visiting posts at the University of British Columbia, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.