Idea of Jewish state is ‘morally problematic’ and ‘undemocratic,’ says Jewish professor

A Jewish professor from the University of Massachusetts questioned the right of the Jewish people to have their own nation in a column he wrote in the New York Times on Saturday.

Professor Joseph Levine said the idea of a Jewish state is “morally problematic.”

In the opinion piece, entitled “On Questioning the Jewish State,” professor Joseph Levine determined any Jewish state is unacceptable.

“I conclude, then, that the very idea of a Jewish state is undemocratic, a violation of the self-determination rights of its non-Jewish citizens, and therefore morally problematic,” wrote Levine.

“There is an unavoidable conflict between being a Jewish state and a democratic state,” he added.

In his piece, Levine contends the term “people” can be broken down into two subcategories: ethnic and civic. He argues only a civic people have a right to their own state and a nation run by an ethnic group is undemocratic.

“Any state that ‘belongs’ to one ethnic group within it violates the core democratic principle of equality, and the self-determination rights of the non-members of that group,” he wrote.

“True equality, therefore, is only realizable in a state that is based on civic peoplehood,” he later adds.

Levine is a professor of philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he teaches and writes on political philosophy.

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