The Louis Brandeis Debate, Can You Be An American And A Zionist?

by Phil Schneider
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The accusation that is usually referred to is one of “dual loyalty.” This is a mistaken term which seems to indicate that one cannot be both a strong supporter of the United States and a strong supporter of the State of Israel.

Being a Zionist is certainly not the same as being a supporter of the United States of America. But in the greater scheme of things, there are actually very few contradictions between the two attitudes. Actually, the roots of the United States of America have many religious underpinnings. Many of the Zionist values also go back to the same Bible that inspired so many of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America.

Louis Brandeis, a leading American Jewish lawyer around the time of World War I and World War II, was a person who personified the idea of dual loyalty being a positive thing and not a negative thing. Ultimately, he would serve for decades on the Supreme Court of the United States. His Zionist Pride reinforced his American pride.

Brandeis explained that the more complex idea of dual loyalty is a positive thing and not a negative thing. America and the United States are not on opposite positions on many issues at all. They are not just allies. They share many common values and stand up for many of the same ideas of freedom and opposition to tyranny.

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