Berlin and Popper between nation and empire: diaspora, cosmopolitanism and Jewish life*

I . . . begin with the strange fact that the State of Israel exists The Jews have enjoyed rather too much history and too little geography. And . . . Israel must be regarded as . . . historical redress for this anomalous situation.1 [L]ike other human beings, [Jews now] can make a free choice either … to live as . . . normal member[s] of a natural community without having to worry about . . . identity. Or [to accept] a certain degree of spiritual discomfort [and] remain in the Diaspora.2

Living in an overwhelmingly Christian society imposed [on Jews] the obliga- tion to give as little offense as possible – to become assimilated.3 I opposed Zionism initially because I was against . . . nationalism, but I never expected the Zionists to become racists. It makes me feel ashamed in my origin: I feel responsible for the

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