Secular Zionism


Zionism represents Jewish nationalism, or support for it, in the historic Land of Israel. The Zionist movement has been predominantly secular and its main aspiration pertained to granting Jews the capacity to be masters of their own fate by having their own state. Secular Zionists, self-defining as atheist or traditional, comprise roughly 55 percent of the Israeli population.

Conflict Resolution Challenges

Core narratives

In order to determine their own future, and avoid the dependency and vulnerability associated with communal life under non-Jewish rule, Jews should have a nation-state in their biblical homeland.

Primary Legal System

Israeli law. Secondarily, international law, with an emphasis on the primacy of the right for national self-determination over individual rights.

Desirable Trajectory

As the world becomes increasingly colored by nation-states, Jews should ensure the durability of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people and encourage all Jews who so desire to relocate to Israel.

Prominent Stakeholders

Mapai/Labor, Likud, Blue & White, Israel Beitenu, New Hope, The Israelis, Yesh Atid and the Jewish Agency.


Secular Zionists confront two tensions. First, an ideological tension between those approving of Israeli rule over the entire Jewish homeland and those protesting the immorality of occupying another people. And second, a pragmatic tension between the claim that annexation of the West Bank/Judea & Samaria does not provide an answer to the demographic challenges which annexation will create and the claim that an independent Palestinian state will endanger Israeli security. Most Secular Zionists conduct utilitarian (cost-benefit) calculations in order to identify the optimal path.

Meet Perle: Secular Zionism Worldview

Perle: on the Conflict