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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?

(p.194) Hannah Arendt's Zionism?
Hannah Arendt in Jerusalem

Richard J. Bernstein

University of California Press

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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