Shavit's concluding chapter "By the Sea" is a very poignant meditation on historical and contemporary dimensions and issues of Israeli and Jewish identity.

Shavit’s concluding chapter “By the Sea” is a very poignant meditation on historical and contemporary dimensions and issues of Israeli and Jewish identity.  Shavit writes:

“We Israelis face a Herculean mission. To live here we will have to redefine a nation and divide a land and come up with a new Jewish Israeli narrative (417).”

He continues to articulate on the Jewish Israeli narrative in his concluding paragraph:

“I walk into the very same bar I walked into some weeks ago. Once again I sit by the bar and sip my single malt. I see the ancient port through the windows, and I watch people sitting in restaurants and walking into galleries and wandering about the pier. Bottom line, I think, Zionism was about regenerating Jewish vitality. The Israel tale is the tale of vitality against all odds. So the duality is mind-boggling. We are the most prosaic and prickly people one can imagine. We cannot stand puritanism or sentimentality. We do not trust high words or lofty concepts. And yet we take part daily in a phenomenal historical vision. We participate in an event far greater than ourselves. We are a ragtag cast in an epic motion picture whose plot we do not understand and cannot grasp. The script writer went mad. The director ran away. The producer went bankrupt. But we are still here, on this biblical set. The camera is still rolling. And as the camera pans out and pulls up, it sees us converging on this shore and clinging to this shore and living on this shore. Come what may (419).”

Refer to the chapter and analyze and include the following:

In thinking on the issues of religion, secularity, culture, and conflict that are discussed in this chapter, fully analyze at least two aspects through which Israel can be redefined.  In turn, what are two of the most important ways in which Shavit discusses Israeli and Jewish identity?  Think of this through two manners which you found to be the most new or different. 

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