Skip to comments.Watchword: Zionism
Posted on 08/27/2004 8:58:44 AM PDT by Pitiricus
"...To me, Zionism is very simple in practical and moral terms. It is the right of the Jewish state to exist within well-defined and defended borders, in peace and security. It seems only right to me that Jews be allowed to live in their homeland after all they've been through since being kicked out of it... And when Israel was assailed from all sides by its hostile Arab neighbors after proclaiming its independence in 1948, she gave up more than 6,000 of her sons and daughters who fought in her defense...
This is not good for Jew-haters, though!... The Arabs were incensed, but had to bide their time until 1967. And then until 1973. And then until 1980. Of course, there were alsoand still aremany isolated opportunities to murder Jews. Kill, kill, kill.
In the meantime, the word "Zionist" somehow became a pejorative term among Israel's detractors. It began moving farther and farther away from the positive ideals that it embodies and more toward the irrational and dissembling language of bigotry ... And now, it is en vogue among überleftists everywhere to sink so abysmally low as to call Israelis Zionazis. Can you believe that? Comparing Jews to Nazis...
Mostly, though (at least here in America), it is Muslims and people on the far left who spit out the word Zionist, as if to be one is shameful. And when these people are called to account for their impassioned opposition to Israel's Jews they will usually say something along the lines of, "I don't hate Jews, I hate the imperialist, fascist Zionists who kill babies and steal Arab land. I even have some friends who are Jews and they agree with me." ...
(Excerpt) Read more at israpundit.com ...
Id you were to bring up any other ethnic group (Tibetans, Kurds, Chechens, Basque, etc.) to the Left and say they should have their own homeland, there would often be agreement. If there wasn't, at least there would not be anywhere near the viciousness directed toward Jews.
Complete article below.
by Patrick D. O'Brien
Zionism: A Jewish movement that arose in the late 19th century in response to growing anti-Semitism and sought to reestablish a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Modern Zionism is concerned with the support and development of the state of Israel.
from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company
Man is an intelligent animalbrilliant, in fact. One distinguishing characteristic which cognitive psychologists point to which elevates man's intellect above that of our humble animal friends is the fact that we have "thoughts about thoughts." We can even have thoughts about thoughts about thoughts, and so on. We also have the ability to integrate, process, and convey semantic information with something we call language. There is truly little that we cannot express with words, although lovers and the devout would sometimes prefer to do without them. The capacious 20 volume Oxford English Dictionary contains about half a million wordsfar more words than any one of us could ever use, to be sure.
I've had a special love for words and language since I was a boy, and fortunately for me, my mother is an English teacher who taught me to read before I was three (after I ceaselessly followed her around with anything having words printed on it). I've never looked back! I've read most of the classics. I've marveled at the rise and fall of Athens. I've read the Torah, the Bible, and the Qur'an. I've been awed by the Babylonians, the Egyptians, and my own Celtic ancestors. I've learned why my dog's eyes glow in the dark (the tapeta gather errant photons and bounce them back onto the retina and help her to see in the dark); how fast the Earth hurtles around the sun (60,000 m.p.h.); and why the sky is blue (blue light's short wavelength makes it scatter more easily as it passes through gas molecules in the atmosphere). I know all these things and more because of the awesome power of language. With it, I can tell you how much I love you or how much I appreciate what you've done for me. Such wondrous things can be done with our singular asset of language.
But of course, there's a downside to language as well. As we use it to reflect what is excellent in is, so we too employ it to give expression to what is base in us. We insult and deprecate each other. We lie, ridicule, and asperse. Language can fuse together the potent human instincts for resource possession, reputation, genetic fitness (what we call beauty and health), and hierarchical statusall hot items of gossip. It also accommodates the impulse to divide each other up by race, ethnicity, religion, or nationality. This can be innocuous and pleasant ("Hi, I'm Patrick. I'm an Irish-American.") or it can be mean and hurtful ("We don't like you American pigs."). And don't the Jews know that.
Before they saw the rebirth of their homeland in Israel, after being expelled from it in the first century C.E., everywhere they went, the Jews were the unwanted and barely tolerated guest. From social ostracism, to the Russian, Romanian, and Arab pogroms, culminating in the Final Solution, antisemitism is as old as the advent of the Diaspora. And in print, the most shameful slanders about Jews have been disseminated as truth. There is the the late nineteenth century Russian forgery of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion which portrays the Jews as rapacious scoundrels, plotting world domination (it's a book which is also still quite popular in Arab countries, and has recently been depicted in a month-long series on Egyptian state-run television). Then there is the medieval blood libel of Jews using the blood of Christian children to make matzohs for Passover. The Arab version has the ghoulish Jew draining the blood of Christian and Muslim children to use in special pastries for Purim. Two years ago, this ignoble lie was published in the Saudi daily, Al-Riyadh by Dr. Umayma Ahmad Al-Jalahma of King Faysal University in Al-Dammam.
At some point after the Holocaust, though, the free world could no longer ignore the fact that antisemitism is just plain wrong. Sadly, it took a highly organized, comprehensive, and efficient program of mass murder on the magnitude of millions to make this reality clear to all. This unimaginable nightmare jarred, if only temporarily, most people out of their long-accepted antisemitic viewpoints. If anything good came out of the Holocaust, it may be this and the rebirth of Israelthe fulfillment of the dream which Theodor Herzl conceived and died young for. The privations and gruelling work of the young Zionists who began making aliyah in the late nineteenth century finally found tangible purpose in the reemergence of the state of Israel. This was the realization of Zionism.
I call myself a Zionist. To me, Zionism is very simple in practical and moral terms. It is the right of the Jewish state to exist within well-defined and defended borders, in peace and security. It seems only right to me that Jews be allowed to live in their homeland after all they've been through since being kicked out of it. It's not as if they came in and took it by force of arms. They came fleeing pogroms and discrimination, buying up plots of nonarable land from men who didn't want them. They broke their backs transforming it from a parched, inhospitable wasteland into a verdant, fruitful land. They brought back with them hardly any more than what they had left with: their identity and their love of their homeland (If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, Let my right hand wither...). And when Israel was assailed from all sides by its hostile Arab neighbors after proclaiming its independence in 1948, she gave up more than 6,000 of her sons and daughters who fought in her defense. Israel's success in defending itself made Zionism (the right of Jews to live in their land unhindered) and statehood an actuality. So, Zionism isn't only a logical and moral ideology, but it is also an undeniable political reality.
This is not good for Jew-haters, though! After the last survivors stumbled, or were carried, out of Auschwitz, Dachau, and Buchenwald, the words "never again" were etched upon the soul of every Jew. For a time, most of Europe and America knew without having to justify it that Israel was simply a matter of what is right. Islam and the Arabs are another story, though. So now, here were the Jews in their homeland again, refusing to be driven out. The Arabs were incensed, but had to bide their time until 1967. And then until 1973. And then until 1980. Of course, there were alsoand still aremany isolated opportunities to murder Jews. Kill, kill, kill.
In the meantime, the word "Zionist" somehow became a pejorative term among Israel's detractors. It began moving farther and farther away from the positive ideals that it embodies and more toward the irrational and dissembling language of bigotry. It came to be associated, and in some cases synonymous, with emotionally charged words like occupation, apartheid, and even fascism and racism. Then there was the insane United Nations Resolution 3379 of 1975 which stated that "Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination." (Consequently, Israel was a "racist" state in the eyes of the UN for more than sixteen years until this calumnious resolution was revoked.) And now, it is en vogue among überleftists everywhere to sink so abysmally low as to call Israelis Zionazis. Can you believe that? Comparing Jews to Nazis. If anyone could ever produce a more outrageous example of adding insult to injury, I hope I don't live to see it.
Mostly, though (at least here in America), it is Muslims and people on the far left who spit out the word Zionist, as if to be one is shameful. And when these people are called to account for their impassioned opposition to Israel's Jews they will usually say something along the lines of, "I don't hate Jews, I hate the imperialist, fascist Zionists who kill babies and steal Arab land. I even have some friends who are Jews and they agree with me." These people really act like they have the moral high ground in this argument, which is a bit frightening. They also don't seem to care about, if indeed they're even aware of, the real tragedy of Jews losing all of their land and belongings, and being expelled from Arab nations (if not killed) after Israel declared its independence.
Some of these people are just young, misguided, stoned, or dumb (or some combination thereof). Hopefully they'll grow up and leave their unrealistic, yet dangerous, views behind them. Others, however, are hard-core about their frenzied vitriol against the Jewish state, and I think these people are antisemitic.
But isn't it wrongheaded to suggest that Israel's government should be above fair criticism? Yes, it definitely is. It needs to be fair, though! When someone is criticizing Israel for real or imagined transgressions without criticizing other states with far worse records, that is hypocrisy. But when someone criticizes Israel because of its Zionist identity (we are a Jewish state and we will defend our citizens), than that is antisemitism. Israel, as a young democracy, not only falls prey to blameworthy errors, but also receives vigorous criticism from its own citizens. No reasonable person argues that to honestly criticize Israel's policies in any sphere of governmental administration is to be an antisemite. In fact, such criticism is crucial to maintaining a democracy's vibrancy, efficiency, and overall robustness. But you can't single out one nation for criticism while ignoring others, especially when it is a nation surrounded by brutally repressive totalitarian states as Israel is.
It's no secret that most Arabs and Muslims hate Jews, particularly since 1948. When Haj Amin al-Husseini rallied Muslims and Arabs to fight, he said, "kill the Jews," not "kill the Zionists." The Qur'an is replete with anti-Jewish sentiment, as are the hadith. In this modern Western world of restrictive political correctness and obfuscating cultural sensitivity, though, you can't come out and say, "We hate the Jews," and expect to receive overt approval from others. However, for Arabs/Muslims to further their anti-Jewish/anti-Israel agenda, they need Western support. So, what's a pious member of the ummah to do? Impugn the Zionists, that's what!
The JewsZionists are occupying Arab land! The JewsZionists are constructing an "apartheid" wall. The JewsZionists are running an expansionist state! The JewsZionists have unfairly jailed "Palestinians"! The JewsZionists are greedy, heartless, plotters, bent on world domination! The JewsZionists are the sons of pigs and monkeys! (Oops, scratch that last one, Yasser.) See how it works? "Hey, we're not against the Jews! We're against those avaricious, scheming Zionists! Heck, there's even Jews Against Zionism!" (This fringe group of...special people deserve an article of their own, although I don't know if I'm the man to write it.)
People on the far left eat this stuff up too. The Arabs and Muslims ideally exemplify the object of Western, liberal guilt. The überleftists see people who are brown, who have an exotic culture (which lends itself handily to moral relativism), and a ready-made story of dispossession and injustice. And the Jews are on the wrong end of this woeful tale, which is to say that they are the villains. Oh, did I say Jews? I meant the Zionists.
So, you can hate the Jews, but you just need to remember that the code word is Zionists. That way, neither your bigotry nor your fallacious sensibilities of political correctness are compromised. You can still harbor that poisonous image of the sneering, covetous Jew in your heart"just look what they do to the 'Palestinians'!"and you can maintain that patina of righteousness for all of your "progressive" friends to admire. The code word of Zionism has become the watchword among those who need to hate the Jews in public. Among each other, everyone knows what the word means, but to the uninitiated, it just means "those bad Jews who are oppressive and corrupt (not because they're Jewish, though)." Zionist and Zionism are part of the groupspeak lexicon of Muslims and extreme leftists, and I regret to say that it's likely many of these people really care in their hearts which designation they use.
Of course, all this leaves aside the fact that Israel is full of Jews (along with its minority population) who want to have the right to exist peacefully in their homeland, providing their children with security and a bright future. If someone told me that they didn't hate the Irish, but they don't like those pugnacious Micks who have the temerity to claim self-determination and the right to defend it, well, I'd think they were preposterous. I don't know if it has dawned on any of the anti-Zionists, but the majority of Jews worldwide support the state of Israel and feel that its existence is necessary. So when you're against this notion (that of Zionism), you are essentially against the Jewish people, and you are ipso facto antisemitic.
I have not even touched upon the efforts that the Jews have made to live in peace with their Arab neighbors, and there have been many. I simply make the case that the Jewish state of Israel has the same rights as any other sovereign nation to protect its citizens. Citizens, in this instance, who have been shown time and again throughout history and all over the world that to be Jewish is to be an acceptable and convenient object of scorn. And now that the Jews have reassembled in their rightful homeland, the world has made Israel the Jew among nations.
"Let my words echo in the depths of your soul: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jewsmake no mistake about it."
From M.L. King Jr., "Letter to an Anti-Zionist Friend," Saturday Review_XLVII (Aug. 1967), p. 76.
There are, in fact, many Jews who decry Zionism and don't like the idea of a religious State. There are good arguments why Israel is not a religious State, actually - but there are also some why it is such.
However, while I recoil at the notion of creating geopolitical entities based on religion, the "Moose-lim" world has now lost all grounds for complaint about Israel, AFAIK. For what they have done, both prior to and - particularly - in the aftermath of 9/11, they should simply be told that the actions of their "Islamic Brothers" in attacking our country, and their actions in not taking steps to root out the perpetrators and hand them over, has now guaranteed the existence of Israel in perpetuity, as long as the United States exists. That is exactly what they deserve for having left the bargaining table and reached for a weapon.
We need to make sure that Osama bin Goatraper goes down in history - *their* history, the way *they* tell it - as the idiot who cemented Israel's permanence in the Middle East.
The Naturei Karta, all 40000 of them do not represent the Jewish people!
I'm bookmarking this. Thanks.
"However, while I recoil at the notion of creating geopolitical entities based on religion"
We Jews are a people who are defined to a lesser or greater extent by the Jewish religion as well as many other things. Leaving aside all the genetic mumbo jumbo, Jews possess: three major common languages; a common history; a common cultural tradition(s); a common legal tradition; a common musical tradition(s); a common religious tradition(s); a common culinary tradition(s); a country to which the very great majority have looked to as a home, even after 2,000 years in the Diaspora - all the elements in fact which go up to make a seperate and very distinctive people. If the Jews are not a people then neither are the Swedes, Americans, Inuit or British.
"However, while I recoil at the notion of creating geopolitical entities based on religion"
Being a Jewish country doesn't mean that Israel doesn't have as citizens members of other religions. There is a larger percentage of Moslems in Israel than there is of Jews in any other country.
And Israel isn't the only country based on religion. Though the definition of Israel is a religious definition. There are other countries that do not tolerate, or barely tolerate, religions other than their own. The Arab countries have a population defined by their religion and this is reflected in their laws, as the West has found in Saudia, where even American women are not allowed to drive.