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'fundamentally Just'

That is the phrase that Barack Obama attaches to the "Zionist idea."  Salomon Kalach, in a column in today's Jerusalem Post, attaches great significance to this phrase, and he is right to do so. It is what Louis D. Brandeis persuaded Woodrow Wilson and what Chaim Weizmann persuaded Lord Balfour.  The Zionist idea emerged from Jewish history.  But it was not realized among Jews until the late nineteenth century and deep into the twentieth that their own nation-state was the only guarantee of the civil rights of Jews as individuals and of their rights to a culture.  Yes, there is America where these entitlements might have been safeguarded without Zionism.  But I am sure that the success of Zionism gave a certain self-confidence to American Jews which many of them do not grasp.

Obama grasps that Zionism means a country where the Jews "can take care of themselves no matter what happens."  In this keen comprehension, Obama has brought us back to the essentials.

Of course, both sincere people who are also simply silly and downright cynics now say that the nation state is obsolete.  That's the rationale for the "one-state solution."  It is utterly preposterous. That is the paradigm for most of Saharan and sub-Saharan Africa, for the tribal combines that make up the cartography of Muslim central Asia.