The Law of Return stipulates that any Jew can return to the Jewish homeland and claim immediate Israeli citizenship. Who qualifies as a Jew, under that law, has been a source of contention throughout the history of the state. Netanyahu’s newly-formed coalition government may seek to change major aspects of the law, bringing the debate back into the public conversation. On this episode, Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain maneuver through thought-provoking questions about belonging to the Jewish people. Is Israel the state of the Jewish people or is it the state of Judaism? Who should be defined as Jews? Is Jewishness an ethnicity, a set of religious observances, or both?
A transcript of this episode is available here.
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Thoughtful debate elevates us all. Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain revive the Jewish art of constructive discussion on topics related to political and social trends in Israel, Israel-Diaspora relations, and the collective consciousness of being Jewish.
The podcast draws its name from the concept of machloket l’shem shemayim, “disagreeing for the sake of heaven” and is part of the Institute’s iEngage Project.