How Can Israel Be Both Jewish And Democratic?

These are necessary prefatory remarks in answering an increasingly common question: “How can Israel be both a democratic and Jewish state?” While I relish a sustained, passionate, critical dialogue about the difficulties in balancing “Jewish” and “democratic” as ideals that are sometimes in tension, I resent the fact that, all too frequently, the question is asked in a context questioning Israel’s right to exist or essential identity as a democracy. But given that I live in the real world, in this column, I will address the basic question—and in a future post will address some of the dilemmas that necessarily arise

Gil Troy

The Daily Beast, United States

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