Today I came across i09’s love letter to the future, What It Means to Love the Future, and it finally gave me the motivation to finish my article for the Times of Israel on why an Israeli politics lacking in good old fashion Zionist visioning is broken at its core. The article argues, in short:
To be more explicit: what sort of State would we or our representatives in government like to see, say, twenty years in the future? What is our goal, our ideal version of the Jewish State and its ideal relationship with the region, with the Jewish People, and with the world as a whole? Not having even a basic answer to these questions is like setting out of the house with no purpose in mind, no money in your wallet and no sense of what the weather is like outside. Sure, it can be fun for a while to wander – but it is deeply irresponsible when you have pressing issues at stake.
The current debate in Israel revolves around either the means (who will sit in the coalition), or the past (who did what to who) instead of what future we would like to have. For example, the debate about whether and how the Ultra-Orthodox and the Palestinian/Arab-Israelis will serve the country is certainly important because it can give us important information about the capacity of our vehicle of State to address the challenges it is facing, but rarely if ever in the discussion does a public leader or intellectual bring up how this vehicle upgrade might be required for us to arrive safely in a better future and why. For all of the talk of ‘Yesh Atid’ (that there is a future) that future is no more than a parve version of utopia: an Israel good for the middle class, with equal opportunity for all.