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Beyond the Nation-StateThe Zionist Political Imagination from Pinsker to Ben-Gurion$
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Dmitry Shumsky

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300230130

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300230130.001.0001

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Ahad Ha’am

Ahad Ha’am

Neither a “Spiritual Center” nor a “Jewish State”

(p.90) Chapter Three Ahad Ha’am
Beyond the Nation-State

Dmitry Shumsky

Yale University Press

This chapter analyzes the political outlook of Asher Ginsberg (Ahad Ha'am, 1856–1927), the founder of spiritual–cultural Zionism. The approach to Ahad Ha'am in this historiography, however, is another instructive example of the distortion that the nation-state paradigm creates in the study of the history of Zionist national thought, and any reevaluation of the ideological history of Zionism must contend with this distortion as well. Here, it will also become clear that the nation-state methodology creates a somewhat artificial dichotomy in its representation of the Jewish national vision held by Zionism's founders. This time, the dichotomy to be overcome is between the Herzlian “Jews' state” and the Ahad Ha'amian so-called spiritual center.

Keywords:   Asher Ginsberg, Ahad Ha'am, spiritual–cultural Zionism, nation-state paradigm, Jewish national vision, spiritual center

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