Eyal, I beg to differ; your sentiments betray a deeply entrenched misunderstanding of Zionism.
The deliberate blurring of the distinction between Zionism and Judaism, which includes a rewriting of ancient as well as modern history, continues to be exploited to stifle any criticism of Israel's policies and actions, however extreme and inhuman they may be. This, incidentally, also plays directly into anti-Semitic prejudices by equating Israeli arrogance, brutality and complete denial of basic human rights to non-Jews with general Jewish characteristics.
Zionism has now assumed the all-embracing mantle of righteousness. It claims to represent and to speak for all Jews and has adopted the slogan of "my country right or wrong." The West tolerates Israel's continuous breaches of human rights--violations that it would not tolerate if perpetrated by any other country. Few Western states and not many Jews dare take a stand against Israel, particularly as many of the former still feel a sense of unease and guilt about the holocaust which Zionist Jews inside and outside Israel have exploited in what seems an almost obscene manner. In the US, the Jewish Zionist lobby is still strong enough to keep successive governments on board. Moreover, the US regards Israel as an important strategic ally in its fight against Middle Eastern "rogue" states which have supplanted the Soviet Union as the great satanic enemy of the free world.
Unless and until Israel is judged by the same criteria as other modern states, this is unlikely to change. It is the duty of all Jews, among others, with a sense of justice and a conscience to speak out against the falsifications of history by the Zionist lobby, and the dangerous misconceptions it has led the West to accept.
But above all else, Anti-Zionism is not to be confused with Anti-Semitism. We should unite in rejecting racism in all its forms: the Islamophobia that demonises Muslims, as well as the anti-semitic discourse that can infect anti-Zionism and poison the political debate. However, people of goodwill can disagree politically - even to the extent of arguing over Israel's future as a Jewish state or a secular one. But equating anti-Zionism with anti-semitism can also, in its own reprehensible way, poison all political debate.
* * * * *
As Tariq Ali has recently argued: Modern zionism is the ideology of secular Jewish nationalism. It has little to do with Judaism as a religion and many orthodox Jews to this day have remained hostile to Zionism, like the Hassidic sect which joined a Palestinian march in Washington in April 2002 carrying placards which said: "ZIONISM SUCKS" and "SHARON: PALESTINIAN BLOOD IS NOT WATER". Zionism was born in the 19th Century as a direct response to the vicious anti-semitism that pervaded Austria. The first Jewish immigrants to Palestine arrived in 1882 and many of them were interested only in maintaining a cultural presence. There is no such thing as the 'historical rights' of Jews to Palestine. This grotesque myth (already in the 17th century, Baruch Spinoza referred to the old testament as ' a collection of fairy-tales', denounced the prophets and was excommunicated by the Amsterdam synagogue as a result) ignores real history. Long before the Roman conquest of Judea in 70 AD, a large majority of the Jewish population lived outside Palestine. The native Jews were gradually assimilated into neighbouring groups such as the Phoenicians, Philistines, etc. Palestinians are, in most cases, descended from the old Hebrew tribes and genetic science has recently confirmed this, much to the annoyance of Zionists.
Israel was created in 1948 by the British Empire and sustained by its American successor. It was a European settler-state. Its early leaders proclaimed the myth of a 'A Land without People for a People without Land', thus denying the presence of the Palestinians. Four weeks ago the Zionist historian Benny Morris in a chilling interview with Haaretz (reprinted as a document in English in the New Left Review, Mar/Apr 2004)admitted the whole truth. 700,000 Palestinians had been driven out of their villages by the Zionist army in 1948. There were numerous incidents of rape, etc. He described it accurately as 'ethnic cleansing' not genocide and went on to defend ethnic cleansing if carried out by a superior civilization, comparing it to the killing of native Americans by the European settlers in North America. That too, for Morris, was justified. Anti-semites and Zionists shared one thing in common: the view that Jews were a special race that could not be integrated in European societies and needed its own large ghetto or homeland. The fact that this is false is proved by the realities of today. The majority of the world's Jews do not live in Israel, but in Western Europe and North America.
Anti-Zionism was a struggle that began against the Zionist colonisation project and intellectuals of Jewish origin played an important part in this campaign and do so to this day inside Israel itself. Most of my knowledge of Zionism and anti-Zionism comes from the writings and speeches of anti-Zionist jews: Akiva Orr, Moshe Machover,Haim Hanegbi, Isaac Deutscher, Ygael Gluckstein (Tony Cliff), Ernest Mandel, Maxime Rodinson, Nathan Weinstock, to name but a few. They argued that Zionism and the structures of the Jewish state offered no real future to the Jewish people settled in Israel. All they offered was infinite war. After 1967, there was a revival of the Palestinian national movement and many different groups arose, most of whom were careful to distinguish between anti-Zionism and anti-semitism. Nonetheless the role played by Israel undoubtedly fuelled popular anti-semitism in the Arab world. But these are not old roots and a sovereign Palestinian homeland or a democrat single state would soon bring this to an end. Historically, there have been very few clashes between Jews and Muslims in the Arab Empires.
The campaign against the supposed new 'anti-semitism' in Europe today is basicly a cynical ploy on the part of the Israeli Government to seal off the Zionist state from any criticism of its regular and consistent brutality against the Palestinians. The daily hits carried out by the IDF have wrecked the towns and villages of Palestine, killed thousands of civilians (especially children) and European citizens are aware of this fact. Criticism of Israel can not and should not be equated with anti-semitism. The fact is that Israel is not a weak, defenceless state. It is the strongest state in the region. It possesses real, not imaginary, weapons of mass destruction. It possesses more tanks and bomber jets and pilots than the rest of the Arab world put together. To say that the Zionist state is threatened by any Arab country is pure demagogy. It is Israel that creates the conditions, which produce suicide bombers. Even a few staunch Zionists are beginning to realise that this is a fact.. That is why we know that as long as Palestine remains oppressed there will be no peace in the region.
The daily suffering of the Palestinians does not excite the liberal conscience of Europe, guilt-ridden (and for good reason) by its past inability to defend the Jews of central Europe against extinction. But the judeocide should not be used as a cover to commit crimes against the Palestinian people. European and American voices should be heard loud and clear on this question. To be intimidated by Zionist blackmail is to become an accomplice of war-crimes.
* * * * *
Alternatively, the Jews Against Zionism website, http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/ makes the following observations: Ever since the dawn of the Zionist movement a century ago in the days of its founder, Theodor Herzl, Zionists have sought to encourage and thrive on anti-Jewish hostility in order to create the basis for their state. Many great rabbis of the twentieth century warned the Jewish People of the dangers presented by these loose cannons, the Zionists. Among them was the eminent Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum who constantly reiterated the danger facing the Jewish People from the Zionists and their state:
It is essential that the sufferings of Jews. . . become worse. . . this will assist in realization of our plans. . .I have an excellent idea. . . I shall induce anti-Semites to liquidate Jewish wealth. . . The anti-Semites will assist us thereby in that they will strengthen the persecution and oppression of Jews. The anti-Semites shall be our best friends". (From his Diary, Part I, p. 16)
So anti-Semitism, which is a deeply imbedded force in the subconscious mind of the masses, will not harm the Jews. I actually find it to be advantageous to building the Jewish character, education by the masses that will lead to assimilation. This education can only happen through suffering, and the Jews will adapt. (Part I, p. 68 of Part I of his Diary)
How different, then, are the words of the current leader of the Zionist regime, Sharon?
If Israel is weakened ... the Jews worldwide will not be able to live the lives they live today," Ariel Sharon told the crowd at a Rome hotel. "We are witness to a great wave of anti-Semitism, and apart from the usual anti-Semitism against Jews, there is today the added hate of the collective Jew, which is Israel. "The best solution to anti-Semitism is immigration to Israel. It is the only place on Earth where Jews can live as Jews," he said. (BBC website of Monday, 17 November, 2003
The Zionists told European leaders that removing the Jewish People from Europe to the Holy Land, where they hoped to build their state, could eliminate the so-called "Jewish Problem". The Zionists even sought collaboration with the Nazis for this purpose, and it is widely known that they planted bombs in Jewish neighborhoods in places like Cairo and Baghdad to frighten Jews into evacuating to the Zionist state.
Today is no different!! The Zionist representatives thrive on anti-Jewish animosity everywhere. It is their oxygen! They will leave no stone unturned to fill the Jewish People with fear and paranoia in order to attempt to realize their goal of moving more Jews to their State so that such unwitting Jews may serve as cannon fodder in the Zionist war against the Palestinians!
The Zionists seek every opportunity to realize this goal, and we urgently warn our fellow Jews throughout the world to reject the repulsive propaganda of Zionist representatives and realize the that the abiding source of danger is the anti-Jewish heretical ideology of Zionism!
Created By: Padraig L Henry