Author: Daniel Clifford, PhM Candidate in Philosophy and Public Affairs, University College Dublin
Abstract: The main aim of this paper was to make the connection between the political philosophy of Zionism and Israel's contemporary foreign policy in the Middle East. In doing so, it is intended to demonstrate that Israeli foreign policy is an extension of the basic philosophical premises within early Zionist political theory. The philosophical origins of Israel's political Zionism was then carefully retraced in the paper and assessed.
The paper is split into two portions. The first being the explication, and assessment of early political theorists and philosophers like Theodor Herzl and Ze'ev Jabotinsky. It is argued that there is a close connection between political Zionism and colonialism. Although, this alone doesn't demonstrate the fact Israel is continuing its political vision of a unified homogenous State, it is enough to show that the political philosophy underlying Israel's formation is ultimately one of desired homogeny in relation to its population. The second portion of the paper takes the philosophical arguments of the first portion and assesses whether they provide a good theory for the current ongoing actions of the Israeli State.
The significance of this paper is to show that ideological theory still underlay's contingent facts on the ground and provide an explication of what is perceived to be a complicated issue. Political philosophy is also, in this paper, shown to be a critical tool for navigating some of the underlying moral questions of statehood, Nationality, and identity, for instance can colonialism be justified on ethnic or religious grounds? Although this essay doesn’t claim to provide conclusive answers to all these questions, the framework for discussion of these important philosophical questions is touched upon through the interplay of facts on the ground and cross-referencing of Zionist theory.
Key Words: Zionism, Ideology, Philosophy, Colonialism, Human Rights, Politics, Israel, Palestine.