Yoram Hazony is an Israeli philosopher, Bible scholar, and political theorist. He is president of the Herzl Institute in Jerusalem and serves as the chairman of the Edmund Burke Foundation.
Yoram Hazony was born in Rehovot, Israel, and moved with his family to Princeton, New Jersey. He was raised and educated in the United States and returned to live in Israel after finishing university. Hazony received his BA from Princeton University in East Asian studies in 1986 and his PhD from Rutgers University in political philosophy in 1993. While a junior at Princeton, he founded the Princeton Tory, a magazine for moderate and conservative thought. He is the brother of David Hazony and Daniel Hazony. He married Julia Fulton, whom he met at Princeton, and she moved to Israel with him. The couple lives in Jerusalem and has nine children.
Hazony founded the Shalem Center in Jerusalem in 1994 and was president and then provost until 2012. He designed the curriculum for Shalem College, Israel's first liberal arts college, established in 2013. Hazony has served as director of the John Templeton Foundation's project in Jewish Philosophical Theology and as a member of the Israel Council for Higher Education committee examining general studies programs in Israel's universities and colleges.
He is author of a regular blog on philosophy, politics, Judaism, Israel, and higher education, called Jerusalem Letters. Hazony has published in outlets including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and American Affairs.
Hazony is a Modern Orthodox Jew and relates his views on Open Orthodoxy in an article published in 2014. In it, he states that he fears that Open Orthodoxy is acting as an ideological echo chamber in which any unapproved views are ridiculed and quashed without debate. Hazony describes his concern that elements of Open Orthodoxy have seemingly decided to accept all conclusions of academic Bible critics as indisputable fact, without even going through the motions of investigating whether these conclusions are true.
Hazony is an outspoken Judeo-nationalist and has written that nationalism uniquely provides "the collective right of a free people to rule themselves". However, several critics of Hazony's 2018 book, The Virtue of Nationalism, maintain it is both theoretically inconsistent or incoherent and that it bears little relation to the historical body of nationalist thought. In a review for the Tel Aviv Review of Books, Yair Wallach argues that Hazony's 2020 book, A Jewish State: Herzl and the Promise of Nationalism, is characterised by "intellectual dishonesty", in part for presenting a selective account of Theodor Herzl's understanding of Zionism and nationalism.
Hazony's 2018 book, The Virtue of Nationalism, was selected as the Conservative Book of the Year for 2019. His Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture (2012) received the second-place PROSE Award for best book in Theology and Religion from the American Association of Publishers.
I've been in that room many times in my life. Too many times. And by now I know it quite well. It's a room in which there is a single, politically correct point of view that everyone is expected to express. A room in which those who toe the party line are praised over and over for being enlightened, fearless, and committed to the search for truth, while anyone who raises a doubt is greeted with anger and ridicule. A room in which those who might have disagreed or asked a tough question make a quick calculation that it's just not worth being publicly embarrassed over it and retreat into silence, or else adjust their views to fit in. A room that is said to be set upon by enemies from the outside, enemies who are invariably lacking in any capacity for intelligent thought, who have no good points of their own to make, who in fact possess no recognizable virtues at all. In other words, it is a room in which the persuaded are lavishly rewarded for being persuaded, the undecided are relentlessly pressed to choose the right side or face the consequences, and skeptics—unless they are in the mood for a serious bruising—are made to shut up.