Friday, April 17, 2009

Anti-Zionism Vs. Anti-Semitism

"Zionism" is a term I continued to come across this year. I found that one only has to "google" the words, "Zionism versus Judaism" to find that the current state of Israel does not represent the Jewish people. Even so, Jew is a term with multiple definitions within itself.

I personally know many Judeo-Christans who's religious leaders teach that the United States and Christians should always support "Israel" no matter what they are doing because they are, "God's people." I think nothing could be further from the truth. I thought that the following article explains this concept well:

No, anti-Zionism is not anti-semitism
As an idea, a Jewish homeland was always controversial. As a reality, Israel still is - and it is not anti-Jewish to say so

Brian Klug
The Guardian, Wednesday 3 December 2003 02.18 GMT

From the beginning, political Zionism was a controversial movement even among Jews. So strong was the opposition of German orthodox and reform rabbis to the Zionist idea in the name of Judaism that Theodor Herzl changed the venue of the First Zionist Congress in 1897 from Munich to Basle in Switzerland...

What is anti-semitism? Although the word only goes back to the 1870s, anti-semitism is an old European fantasy about Jews. The composer Richard Wagner exemplified it when he said: "I hold the Jewish race to be the born enemy of pure humanity and everything noble in it." An anti-semite sees Jews this way: they are an alien presence, a parasite that preys on humanity and seeks to dominate the world. Across the globe, their hidden hand controls the banks, the markets and the media. Even governments are under their sway. And when revolutions occur or nations go to war, it is the Jews - clever, ruthless and cohesive - who invariably pull the strings and reap the rewards.

When this fantasy is projected on to Israel because it is a Jewish state, then anti-Zionism is anti-semitic. And when zealous critics of Israel, without themselves being anti-semitic, carelessly use language, such as "Jewish influence", that conjures up this fantasy, they are fuelling an anti-semitic current in the wider culture.

But Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip is no fantasy. Nor is the spread of Jewish settlements in these territories. Nor the unequal treatment of Jewish colonisers and Palestinian inhabitants. Nor the institutionalised discrimination against Israeli Arab citizens in various spheres of life. These are realities. It is one thing to oppose Israel or Zionism on the basis of an anti-semitic fantasy; quite another to do so on the basis of reality. The latter is not anti- semitism...

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