Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies
Volume 30, Number 3, Spring 2012
pp. 35-61 | 10.1353/sho.2012.0065
According to a frequently repeated story, during the early years of the Zionist movement a number of European Jews were sent to Palestine to investigate its suitability as a location for a Jewish state. They reported back, the story concludes, that "the bride is beautiful, but she is married to another man"—Palestine is an excellent land, but it belongs to others. While its details vary with the telling, the story's central point is often the same: already in the early years of the Zionist movement, Jews recognized that it would be unjust and immoral for them to try to claim Palestine; despite this awareness, the Zionists proceeded with their plans for Jewish statehood there; from the outset, therefore, the establishment of the state of Israel was an act of severe and willful injustice.