The State of Democracy in Israel and the U.S.

Episode 36 · December 29th, 2022 · 55 mins 26 secs

About this Episode

Like many progressive Jews living outside Israel, Marc Overbeck watched the most recent Israeli election returns with mounting concern regarding the future of a democratic Israel. He feared the incoming government – described as the most right-wing in Israel’s history – could turn the country into something unrecognizable.  For example, one of Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition partners, Itamar Ben Gvir, has said Arabs should be expelled from Israel. Overbeck, a Reconstructionist leader who has worked in government in two countries, sat down to write his thoughts. What came out was an impassioned defense of the longed-for ideal of Israel as a Jewish state and democracy and defender of human rights for all. He raises up two idealistic thinkers: Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, founder of Reconstructionist Judaism, and Theodor Herzl, catalyst of modern political Zionism. He also offers an impassioned defense of the idea of democratic government as a force for good. 

Theme song, “Ilu Finu” by Rabbi Miriam Margles. Her album This is the Day is available for purchase at CDBaby:

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