Retrieving Zionism as an imaginative discourse for the Jewish people is the best answer to the “crisis” of liberal Zionism. To the left, I say: Separating Judaism and Zionism and treating them as discrete projects is a deep misunderstanding of both. Zionism is the discourse of what the Jewish people can make possible in the longing for a return to Zion.
It may manifest in different choices and may translate to different political realities, but a Zionist Jew sees opportunity and is challenged by what is not present to make it so; it has been, and could be again, the greatest project of Jewish spiritual, religious, political, and cultural renewal our people has ever seen.
To the right, which accuses liberal Zionists of betraying Israel with their agitation that it be better, I demand to know: When did Judaism tolerate — much less legislate — complacency?
Liberal Zionism should rehabilitate the “ought” of Israel as a legitimate discourse that neither rejects the country’s accomplishments nor seeks to improve it except through its own democratic processes, empowering it in the spirit of a Maimonidean messianic longing which knows that sovereignty is only the beginning of an opportunity to do something great, to enact the visions of justice and righteousness that our tradition demands become the enduring legacy of the Jewish people.
Yehuda Kurtzer, “The Politics Of Loyalty”, Israel Now: A Special Supplement to the Jewish Week (29 May 2015), 14-15.