“Throughout this essay, I have claimed that the main divide in Israeli society has to do with identity rather than security, and that the two camps give different answers to the question ‘Who are we?’ Most supporters of the right-religious bloc have a straightforward answer to this question: we are Jews. We can peacefully live together with anyone else who accepts Israel as a Jewish state, although not in numbers that would threaten a robust Jewish majority. However, such people will always be considered ‘strangers and sojourners’ rather than full members of our tribe.
“Supporters of the center-left bloc tend to have a different and more ambiguous answer to the question of who we are. On the one hand, typically when center-left politicians (and the protest movement’s leaders) speak in the first-person plural mode, they speak of us, Israelis, rather than us, Jews. On the other hand, the protest movement’s re-appropriation of Zionist symbolism (the flag, the Declaration of Independence, and HaTikvah), its frequent references to Jewish history, and its celebration of army duty as a core component of Israeli-Jewish identity were not just PR measures but sincere expressions of their worldview.”