In 1915, the young Gershom Scholem, already a passionate Zionist and rebel against the assimilationist German Jewish bourgeoisie, wrote the following lines, certain to shock American Zionist ears in 2012:

[Herzl’s] only thought was: the Jewish State. And that we reject. For we preach anarchism. That is, we do not want a State, but rather a free society. . . . We as Jews know enough of the dreadful idolatry of the State . . . to pray to it and to offer it our children as a willing sacrifice to its unquenchable greed and lust for power. We Jews are no Staatsvolk.

I begin with these lines from Scholem as a way of putting into perspective the current campaign to combat the “delegitimization of the State of Israel.” Much of the political activity of the world Jewish community today is being devoted to this campaign, with efforts...

You do not currently have access to this content.