(1) Modern Zionism; (2) Commentary on Friendship

Werner Dannhauser discusses the intellectual roots of the Jewish state and modern Zionism as a religious and political movement. He speaks about the origins of the word “Zion,” and characterizes Judaism as a geographical, land-based religion, recalling paradigms of traditional Jewish thought and the problem of exile. He addresses charges of imperialism and racism that are often raised in response to Zionism, defending the right of Jews to have their own country, and acknowledges that his own Jewish faith and Zionist political beliefs are intertwined.

Concluding the episode [25:30], William Bennett considers the meaning of friendship according to an Aristotelian model of mutual enjoyment, usefulness, and true friendship.

At the time of this interview, Dannhauser, a Fellow at the National Humanities Center (1981-83), was professor of government at Cornell University.

William Bennett was director of the Center.

This edition of Soundings was conducted by Wayne J. Pond.

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