From a political and strategic perspective this [one state solution] is the end of the Jewish state, this is the end of the initial Zionist idea.

Shlomo Ben Ami

The ideology of Zionism, which calls for the establishment of a Jewish state, has dictated Israeli politics for decades.

But is it compatible with a democratic Israel? And can a state exclusively for Jews be a genuine democracy?

Palestinians argue that Zionism has become a byword for racism and colonial expansion.

In this episode, Mehdi Hasan challenges Shlomo Ben Ami , the former Israeli foreign minister and avowed liberal Zionist, on the challenges of Zionism and the failures of the Israeli peace camp.

Also joining the discussion are: Avi Shlaim, a renowned new historian and emeritus professor of international relations at the University of Oxford; Paul Charney, the chairman of the Zionist Federation; and Diana Buttu, a Palestinian lawyer and legal advisor to the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

 

 

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Read the full transcript of Head to Head - Is Zionism compatible with democracy? here

Source: Al Jazeera