Zionism is social justice

Zionism is a social justice movement which merely recognizes that Jews are the indigenous people of Israel, and so like all other indigenous peoples, have the right to safely live in their ancestral homeland.

Breaking Bonds Freedom Breaking chains

Zak @itzhakhacohen writes:

Zionism is a revolution. A revolution against the status quo of Jews existing as a stateless, defenseless & persecuted people. Anti-Zionism means that one preferred the status quo of the powerless, defenseless Jew. I refuse to accept a view that seeks a return to the powerless Jew.
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@ZacharySchaffer writes (6/23/18)

Zionism did not create a nation out of the Jewish people. It translated a utopian, national dream into an actionable, cultural and political movement. The Jewish people have always been a nation. Zionism only reminded us of that and re-actualized it.
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@ZacharySchaffer Jun 22/18

Zionism was a revolutionary and radical movement. Its goal was to bring about structural changes in the architecture of society. To what end? To reset the balance of power in the world and emancipate a powerless people.  Kinda sounds like every other justice movement, right?

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Zachary Schaffer writes, 9/15/18

The growing rejection of the idea of nation states is something I disagree with, but in theory it is certainly defensible. I only ask many of those who hold it why Israel is the first state they always seek to dismantle? Why is Israel’s existence as a Jewish state incorrigible, while a state of Palestine for Palestinians is something for which you advocate?

Why do you not cast your consternation on the dozens of other ethnic states which also offer expedited citizenship to their diasporas? You may reject such “preferential treatment” or affirmative action, but why do you only reject it for Israel? What about Armenia? What about Greece and Hungary? Romania and Russia? Estonia and Serbia? The Kurds?

Go ahead and work for a world without nation states, pursue a post-nationalist world order, reject the particularism of ethnic (or any) nationalism. Personally, I’m uncomfortable imposing a Western framework of pure civic (or post) nationalism on non-Western people, but go for it.

But why must you start with the Jews – with dismantling Israel? Why do you seek to create a new state for one people in its place? Haven’t we suffered enough to deserve just a bit of affirmative action? Can’t we be the 10th or 20th on the list of states you seek to disintegrate?

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Dr. Einat Wilf @EWilf

Anti-Zionism means that Jews, alone among the nations, have no right to power. It is a singling out of Jews to say ‘the only way we can conceive of you is the way we always did, which is as a powerless people that knows its ‘proper place’.

Israel does NOT exist because of the Holocaust, but because of Jewish ties to the land for more than 3,000 years.  To portray Israel as the outcome of the Holocaust is to engage in Zionism Denial. It robs the Jews of their agency, their history, their historical connection to the land of Israel and their yearning to return to it. It erases all that was dreamt, written, done and achieved by the Zionists before World War II. It turns Israel into a colonial project of guilty Europeans rather than a national liberation project of an indigenous people reclaiming their homeland.

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Chloé Simone Valdary writes:
Zionism is the political manifestation of the radical notion that Jews should be free. Dig that.

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Mayim Bialik writes:
For those of you who refuse to follow me and discourage others from doing so because I am a Zionist (as if that’s a crime!!), I highly recommend you look up Zionism in a dictionary rather than using the definition perpetrated by anti-semitic media and leaders. Zionism is the belief that Jewish people deserve an autonomous homeland free from terrorism and threat to our global existence. if you don’t want to follow me because I believe in that, by all means don’t.

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What is the meaning of the State of Israel? Its sheer being is the message. The life in the land of Israel today is a rehearsal, a test, a challenge to all of us. Not living in the land, non participation in the drama, is a source of embarrassment. The ultimate meaning of the State of Israel must be seen in terms of the vision of the prophets: the redemption of all men. The religious duty of the Jew is to participate in the process of continuous redemption, in seeing that justice prevails over power, that awareness of God penetrates human understanding (p. 225).

– Abraham Joshua Heschel, Israel: An Echo of Eternity

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Chloé Simone Valdary writes:

Zionism is the political manifestation of the radical notion that Jews should be free. It is the direct response to anti-Semitism. So to say you are anti-Zionist but not anti-Semitic is to contradict yourself. It really isn’t that difficult to comprehend.

Anti-Semitism is Rome slaughtering Jews and forcing them from their land.
Zionism is returning to that land.

Anti-Semitism is the Greek empire forcing Jews to give up their religion and also force them from their land.
Zionism is returning to that land, or, in this case, not letting the Greeks uproot them in the first place. (I’m sure you’ve heard of Hanukkah.)

Anti-Semitism is the pogrom in Kishnev.
Zionism is Max Nordau’s call for Jews to have “Jewish muscle” and take the power back.

Anti-Semitism is the depths of the gas chamber
Zionism is the Betar anthem and the reunification of Jerusalem aka Zion.

You cannot have a desire to end anti-Semitism – which is a philosophy that champions Jewish enslavement  – if you are not a fan of Zionism, which champions Jewish freedom.

Anti-Semitism is the use of politics to disenfranchise the Jewish people.
Zionism is the use of politics to enfranchise the Jewish people through their collective self-determination.

If you are against Jews having the power to decide their own fate, THAT IS ANTISEMITISM. Its also anti-Zionism.

If you are against Jews having the power to defend themselves against attack, THAT IS ANTISEMITISM. It is also anti-Zionism.

Now of course you have the complete freedom of speech to espouse racist ideas. But don’t conflate the freedom to say something, with the idea that what you are saying has anything to do with freedom. If you are an anti-Zionist, then you’re not for freedom.

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A member of the House of Lords asked Chaim Weizmann, “Why do you Jews insist on Palestine when there are so many undeveloped countries you could settle in more conveniently?”
Weizmann answered: “That is like my asking you why you drove twenty miles to visit your mother last Sunday when there are so many old ladies living on your street. I said, ‘Mr. Balfour, if you were offered Paris instead of London, would you take it?’
He looked surprised. He said: ‘But London is our own!’
I said, ‘Jerusalem was our own when London was a marsh.’
He said, ‘That’s true.'”

Chaim Weizmann, former President of Israel, 1915, Quoted in Commentary Magazine (2009)

Resources

Zionism resources page here at the Merrimack Valley Havurah/Coffeehouse Torah Talk

Tweets about the Balfour Declaration

World Zionist Organization established by Herzl is committed to promoting Zionism & convey Israel education of contemporary Jewish life

Mercaz USA, the Zionist organization of the Conservative Jewish movement

ARZA. The Association of Reform Zionists of America is the Zionist organization of the Reform movement in the United States

Religious Zionists of America (RZA), the American branch of World Mizrachi – Hapoel Hamizrachi movement. Modern Orthodoxy.

Articles

Conservative Judaism and Israel: Our Share in Eretz Yisrael (one of the classic articles)

The Odd Couple: Reform Judaism and Zionism, from the URJ

Deepening the Commitment: Zionism and the Conservative/Masorti Movement :
Papers from a Conference of Conservative/Masorti Movement Leadership Held September 7-8, 1988 at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, New York City

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