Not paradoxical anymore.
I can't think of anything to blog. We're leaving for China next Monday, and I'm occupied with traveler's questions (will my bottles of Passover wine explode in my baggage? will my two-year-old daughter have to translate for us? will I learn to speak only a smattering of Mandarin, in a thick Fujianese accent?).
So I'll throw an article your way by someone who davens and teaches at my shul. I think it's very reminiscent of Michael Walzer's political philosophy.
Israel again [in the modern era] faces political decisions, such as to how to deal with other peoples and/or nations that critically affect their national security. Consider, for example, the following question: Is Israel obligated to construct the security fence, and/or otherwise to pursue policies, so as not to foreclose the possibility that a viable (and peaceful) Palestinian state can emerge in the West Bank? And, whether or not international law, or general moral principles applicable to Israel as a state, would so require, is there some, or any, particularly Jewish value that bears on this
[. . .]
[. . .] Israel’s claim is not that it itself is a just, liberal state. Rather, Israel’s claim is that a state fostering Judaism (but still protecting the basic rights of all citizens) islegitimate within the context of a pluralistic international order that includes both other states dedicated to pure neutral-liberalism, and other states dedicated to “decent” particularist visions, e.g., to Islam, or to Christianity.
Such a pluralistic vision of the place and role of Israel vis-à-vis other nations has, I submit, very deep Biblical roots. Thus the vision of the end of days at the conclusion of Isaiah Chapter 19 is not a vision of an end to all nationalisms, nor a vision of Israel dominating other nations, but rather a picture of Israel co-existing with Egypt and Assyria:
In that day, Israel shall be a third partner with Egypt and Assyria as a blessing on earth. For the Lord of Hosts will bless them, saying, “Blessed be my people Egypt, my handiwork Assyria, and my very own Israel.”