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Hannah Arendt in Jerusalem$
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Steven Aschheim

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520220560

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520220560.001.0001

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Hannah Arendt's Zionism?

Hannah Arendt's Zionism?

Chapter:
(p.194) Hannah Arendt's Zionism?
Source:
Hannah Arendt in Jerusalem
Author(s):

Richard J. Bernstein

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520220560.003.0012

Hannah Arendt never seriously considered Aliyah, “going up,” the term used for emigration to Palestine/Israel, not before she fled Germany in 1933, not during her years in Paris when she worked for Youth Aliyah; and not when she finally escaped from Europe in 1941. In the early 1940s, she called for the formation of a Jewish army to fight the Nazis. She wrote passionately about her vision of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. But along with Judah Magnes, she actively opposed the founding of a Jewish nation-state. Indeed, if Hannah Arendt's political recommendations had been followed, the state of Israel might never have been founded. For many people, these facts about Hannah Arendt — that she never considered Aliyah and that she actively opposed the founding of the state of Israel — are all that need to be said about Arendt's alleged Zionism. This chapter argues that this would be a serious mistake and shows the reasons why.

Keywords:   Aliyah, Jews, nation-state, Israel, Zionism

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