Thursday, August 27, 2015

Einstein and Zionism

Einstein was committed to the notion of a Jewish nation as a cultural construct.

At the same time, however, Einstein was both a pacifist and an internationalist.

He therefore was at odds with the concept of a more militaristic, nationalistic Zionism that emerged following World War II.

In 1952 Israel's President Wiseman died. The prime minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, offered the now vacant office of the presidency to Einstein.

Einstein, however, declined the offer, citing his philosophical differences regarding the nature of the new Jewish state.

Einstein is of course today remembered for his work in physics. Few people realize that he might also have been remembered as a former president of the state of Israel.