"The intellectual origins of national civilization are integrally connected to Kaplan’s interest in formulating a counterstate variation of Zionism. Kaplan understood progress as the replacement of territorial, racial, and statist nationalisms with collective cohesion tied to religious traditions, shared values, and connection to a homeland. He endeavored to create an alternate, ethical ideal of nationhood that would affirm national partiality without undermining universal principles of individual rights, human equality, and free choice. One of Kaplan’s inherent challenges in presenting civilization as a counter model to sovereign models that emphasize the intimate connections among nation, state, and territory was integrating his Jewish national civilization with Zionism. How to reconcile the ideological development of Zionism and the founding of the State of Israel was one of Kaplan’s greatest intellectual and personal difficulties. Although he is remembered for his support of the Zionism [sic] movement, he had a major investment in creating a theory of Jewish nationality that would directly challenge Zionism’s articulation of Jewish nationalism. A journal entry from 1924 proclaims: “The dream of my life … [is] to work out a clear formula for Judaism as a civilization both in Palestine and in the Diaspora before my mental powers will begin to wane, which I understand is normally the case at 55."
Noam Pianko, Zionism and the Roads not Taken, 128