I cannot imagine why such a movement would be appropriate for our time or any time. Canaanism was an ideological belief, born in the first half of the 20th century, that sought to separate religion from Jewish identity and supplant it with an identity based on the ancestral land of Israel and Hebrew language.At the core, these efforts were founded on a rejection of over two millennia of Jewish history and a messianic belief that creating a new paradigm would unite different peoples living in Israel.
Canaanism never attracted wide support from the Jewish population let alone the non-Jewish population of Israel.The foundations of Canaanism were based on faulty history and a misunderstanding of unifying forces within a society and a people.The reality of 2500 years ago is only one aspect of the forces that create a people today.I might discover that fifteen generations ago my ancestors were living in Latvia or Poland, but that does not give me a deep or strong bond with the ancestor of the Pole or Latvian, who may have lived near my ancestor.
Identity is shaped through common beliefs, culture, and history.What makes Israel unique to Judaism is the feelings of belonging Jews of all ages have upon arrival in Israel.What makes Judaism unique to Israel, is the connection and responsibility felt for the Land and the people united by the longing for the Land, even after a separation of two millennia. Canaanism failed to value those connections and offers nothing that could make it of value to our day.
As an observant Jew, I feel quite confident that we have the best Movement around, though unfortunately many people, both within and without, obscure the beauty of Judaism. Clearly, then, the main thrust of the Canaanites, as I understand, to negate Judaism and create a new culture based on the ancient Canaanite one, is wholly antithetical to traditional Judaism. Even putting the Jewish angle aside, though, the Canaanites were always a tiny movement, comprised of some intellectuals whose ideas clashed with the reality of today's Middle East, where the vast majority of the Arab world also has no interest in such a reconstruction.
Since the time of Avraham, and continuing through all our travails throughout history, Israel has always been the home of the Jewish people. While Israel still faces many internal and external challenges, the loving reunion between land and people that we have witnessed over the past century clearly demonstrates the eternal relevance of Judaism in Israel and around the world. By learning more about Judaism and correctly applying its wisdom and moral teachings to contemporary Israel, we will hopefully soon see an ideal society which will serve as a guide to the rest of the world.
It would seem to me that harkening back to a movement from the 1940s that wanted to return to a time some 3000 years in the past is not the way of progress. More, it would appear to me to be unworkable, as well as regressive. I tend to disbelieve that the present day nations, such as Egypt, would agree to be subsumed in usch a scheme. Frankly, it seems ludicrous to me that anyone would think they could ‘undo’ or wipe out history. So no, I would not think it appropriate, or even reasonable to entertain this idea.
Copyright 2020 all rights reserved. Jewish Values Online
N O T I C E
THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN ANSWERS PROVIDED HEREIN ARE THOSE OF THE INDIVIDUAL JVO PANEL MEMBERS, AND DO NOT
NECESSARILY REFLECT OR REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF THE ORTHODOX, CONSERVATIVE OR REFORM MOVEMENTS, RESPECTIVELY.