Sasha Polakow-Suransky, an Open Society Foundations fellow, was an op-ed editor for The New York Times from 2011 to 2015 and a senior editor at Foreign Affairs from 2007 to 2011. His first book, The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s Secret Relationship With Apartheid South Africa, was published in 2010. (October 2017)
Too many people on the European left scoff at nationalism, mistaking their own distaste for evidence that the phenomenon no longer exists or is somehow illegitimate. If 2016 and 2017 have proven anything, it is that this sort of visceral nationalism, or loyalty to one’s in-group, still exists and is not going away. Those who dismiss this sort of national sentiment as backward and immature do so at their own peril. To dismiss the populist impulse as something completely alien is to miss the point and to preemptively lose the political debate.