Jeffrey Levine
CFO | Seeking a just world I Author

Does Israel have the right to exist?

Why, after 76 Years of a State, 3,400 years of history, the promise of the Bible and God, connection, archaeology, and longing for our Land, is the Right of Israel’s existence a legitimate question?

I am sharing this from Medium. Enough to make my blood boil.

“In practice, to say “Israel has the right to exist” is really code, intentional or unintentional, for “Israel has the right to maintain its character as a Jewish supremacist ethno-state.” This is currently happening through refusing Palestinians citizenship or collaboration as equals, or the right of return to their ancestral lands. Considering the fact that Palestinians have spent the last few decades either in ghettoized villages in the West Bank or in the open air prison camp of Gaza, and embrace absolute resistance to their own disempowerment and exclusion, to say “Israel has the right to exist” is a declaration of commitment to either eternal war, ethnic cleansing, or genocide.”

I think our response could be this response by Rabbi Sacks:

“I had been engaged in dialogue for two years with a gentle and seemingly moderate imam from the Middle East. One day, in the middle of our conversation, he turned to me and asked,

“Why do you Jews need a land? After all, Judaism is a religion, not a country or a nation.”

I decided at that point to discontinue the dialogue. There are 56 Islamic states and more than 100 nations in which Christians form the majority of the population. There is only one Jewish state, 1/25th the size of France, roughly the same size as the Kruger National Park in South Africa. With those who believe that Jews, alone among the nations of the world, are not entitled to their own land, it is hard to hold a conversation.”

Obsession with the Jews, Israel

This prevalence of evil and negativity in the world is overwhelming. We Jews are charged with making this world a better place; this seems to be in conflict with the world’s single obsession with Palestine (and their ignorance of facts, support of Hate, Blood Libels, and terror make the world a darker place).

In this blog – I will explore and ask:

  • What gives a country a right to exist?”
  • Why do the Jews need their own land?
  • What is the path forward?

What gives a country a right to exist?


Curious, I posed some questions to Chat GPT.

“While the question of Israel’s right to exist remains a subject of debate and contention, the reality is that Israel exists as a sovereign state recognized by the international community.”

Israel is not alone. Look at this.

“While America’s right to exist as a sovereign nation is widely recognized under international law, its legitimacy is contingent upon upholding democratic principles, respecting human rights, and addressing historical injustices. Efforts to improve America and fulfill its ideals should involve promoting equality, justice, and inclusion for all its citizens and fostering positive relationships with the global community.”

Me- However, there are many states that do not uphold democratic principles, respect human rights, and address historical injustices. What rights do they have? Provide a few examples.


The question of the right of states to exist, especially those that do not uphold democratic principles or respect human rights, is indeed contentious and raises ethical and geopolitical considerations. Here are a few examples of states that have faced criticism for their governance practices:

North Korea: The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is widely criticized for its authoritarian regime, led by the Kim dynasty. The government exercises tight control over all aspects of society, suppresses political dissent, and commits widespread human rights abuses, including forced labor camps, political imprisonment, and restrictions on freedom of expression and movement.

Saudi Arabia: While Saudi Arabia is a wealthy and influential state in the Middle East, it has faced criticism for its lack of democratic governance and poor human rights record. The country’s absolute monarchy restricts political freedoms, suppresses dissent, and discriminates against minority groups, including women, religious minorities, and migrant workers.

China: The People’s Republic of China (PRC) operates within an authoritarian political system. The government tightly controls media and information, suppresses political dissent, and commits human rights abuses, including mass detention of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, crackdowns on pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong, and censorship of internet content.

Russia: Under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin, Russia has faced criticism for its lack of political pluralism, suppression of dissent, and violations of human rights. The government has cracked down on political opponents, independent media, and civil society organizations, and has been accused of election manipulation and undermining democratic processes.

Syria: The Syrian Arab Republic, under the leadership of President Bashar al-Assad, has been embroiled in a brutal civil war since 2011. The Assad regime has been accused of widespread human rights violations, including the use of chemical weapons against civilians, indiscriminate bombings of civilian areas, and arbitrary detention and torture of political opponents.

In these examples, the right of these states to exist is not necessarily questioned from a legal standpoint, as they are recognized as sovereign entities under international law. However, their governance practices and human rights records have led to criticism and calls for reform from the international community. The debate over the legitimacy of their existence often revolves around ethical considerations, including the responsibility of the international community to uphold human rights and promote democratic governance.

Notice Iran and Qatar are missing from this list!!

Why do The Jews need a Land?


As we celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, I’m compelled to ponder the question: Why did Judaism and the Jewish people need a homeland? This day serves as a reminder of the Jewish people’s historical journey and the significance of Israel as a beacon of hope and resilience.

We are perhaps faltering in many ways, but the intentions are there. We are only 76 years removed from the exile of 2,000 years. One of the fascinating aspects of Jewish history is observing its resilience and adaptability. Whether it was Ezra’s and Nehemiah’s leadership in restoring Jerusalem, Judaism and Israel or Yochanan ben Zakkai’s establishment of the centre of learning in Yavna, Judaism has continuously evolved to meet changing circumstances. This includes replacing the temple-centric approach with a synagogue-based one, making Judaism more accessible and transitioning it from a violent to a peaceful religion.

The vision of a peaceful and just society remains a guiding principle that transcends time and place.

However, such changes are still lacking in other parts of the world, such as the Christian West or the Muslim world, where conflicts persist, as seen in the war in Ukraine and others.

In contemplating these themes, we are not just invited, but compelled to delve deeper into the complexities of history, identity, and faith. It’s a time for introspection, remembrance, and celebration as we navigate the intricate tapestry of Jewish heritage and destiny, stirring a sense of curiosity and the desire to explore the depths of our rich heritage.

Let’s, start with the Parsha of Kedoshim

דַּבֵּ֞ר אֶל־כׇּל־עֲדַ֧ת בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל וְאָמַרְתָּ֥ אֲלֵהֶ֖ם קְדֹשִׁ֣ים תִּהְי֑וּ כִּ֣י קָד֔וֹשׁ אֲנִ֖י יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶֽם׃

Speak to the whole Israelite community and say to them: You shall be holy, for I, your God יהוה, am holy.”

After a comprehensive list of morals, a guide to living – and the giving over of a moral code – a constitution , covenant it is written.

וָאֹמַ֣ר לָכֶ֗ם אַתֶּם֮ תִּֽירְשׁ֣וּ אֶת־אַדְמָתָם֒ וַאֲנִ֞י אֶתְּנֶ֤נָּה לָכֶם֙ לָרֶ֣שֶׁת אֹתָ֔הּ אֶ֛רֶץ זָבַ֥ת חָלָ֖ב וּדְבָ֑שׁ אֲנִי֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֔ם אֲשֶׁר־הִבְדַּ֥לְתִּי אֶתְכֶ֖ם מִן־הָֽעַמִּֽים׃

and said to you: You shall possess their land, for I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey. I יהוה am your God who has set you apart from other peoples.”

So, we can only truly fulfill this calling and create a model society in our Land.

And here I want to share what Rabbi Sacks wrote:

Why do we need a Land? From Rabbi Sacks

The question of the need for a land of our own is worth exploring. There is no doubt, as D.J. Clines explains in his book, The Theme of the Pentateuch, that the central narrative of the Torah is the promise of and journey to the land of Israel.

Yet why is this so? Why did the people of the covenant need their own land? Why was Judaism not, on the one hand, a religion that individuals can practice wherever they happen to be, or on the other, a religion like Christianity or Islam whose ultimate purpose is to convert the world so that everyone can practice the one true faith?


A society needs land, a home, and a space location where a nation can shape its destiny according to its deepest aspirations and ideals. Jews have been around for a long time, almost four thousand years since Abraham began his journey. During that period, they lived in every country on the face of the earth, under good conditions and bad, freedom and persecution. Yet in all that time, there was only one place where they formed a majority and exercised sovereignty: the land of Israel, a tiny country of difficult terrain and all too little rainfall, surrounded by enemies and empires.

Jews never relinquished the dream of return. Wherever they were, they prayed about Israel and facing Israel. The Jewish people have always been the circumference of a circle at whose centre was the holy land and Jerusalem the holy city. During those long centuries of exile, they lived suspended between memory and hope, sustained by the promise that God would bring them back one day.

Only in Israel is fulfilling the commands a society-building exercise, shaping the contours of a culture as a whole. Only in Israel can we fulfill the commands in a land, a landscape, and a language saturated with Jewish memories and hopes. Only in Israel does the calendar track the rhythms of the Jewish year. Judaism is part of the public square in Israel, not just the private, sequestered space of synagogues, schools, and homes.

Jews need a land because they are a nation charged with bringing the Divine Presence down to earth in the shared spaces of our collective life, not least – as the last chapter of Acharei Mot makes clear – by the way we conduct our most intimate relationships, a society in which marriage is sacrosanct and sexual fidelity the norm.

This message that Jews need a land to create their society and follow the Divine plan contains a message for Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike. To Christians and Muslims, it says: if you believe in the God of Abraham, grant that the children of Abraham have a right to the Land that the God in whom you believe promised them, and to which He promised them that after exile they would return.”

The path forward

How can we move forward in this world of Hate and resolve our mission and challenge?

Yuval Harari astutely (or naively) points out that our conflicts often revolve around “trivial” matters, such as “the Rock” and land, when we should be focusing on more pressing issues that unite us. There is ample space for coexistence, and we should strive towards a more just world together. Initiatives like the Abrahamic Accords and the Saudi normalization are steps in the right direction, contrasted with Iran’s leadership, which seems bent on destruction and evil. I am not so sure that people desire the same things: health, happiness, security, compassion, and freedom.

In sum, our aspiration is to see Israel serve as a model society within the United Nations. Perhaps these challenges exist to test and refine us. Harari noted that our greatest danger lies in our internal divisions and inability to find common ground.

For Israel to strive, we all must seek Unity, with respect and tolerance, recognizing our differences as part of the mosaic that makes Israel and the Jewish People a beacon of hope in this fractured world. 

About the Author
Jeffrey is a CFO | Seeking a just world I Author -living in Jerusalem. He is a young grandfather who has five kids and seven grandchildren. Jeffrey is promoting a vision for a better and fairer world through and is the author of Upgrading ESG - How Business can thrive in the age of Sustainability
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