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This article offers an explanation for Leo Strauss’s apparently contradictory views on Israel and the Zionist project. Strauss’s views on Zionism, I argue, are intelligible only within an interpretative framework that allows for the fundamentally open-ended nature of Strauss’s thought. With this in mind, the article demonstrates how Strauss was able to reject the philosophical validity of Zionism even as he maintained a sectarian loyalty to Israel and the Jewish people. These twin identities – what I term “Strauss the Philosopher” and “Strauss the Man” – are justified on the grounds of Strauss’s wider thought.