As a Jew (by family, now I’m an atheist) and an anti-zionist and someone who is deeply involved in what is going on at present (and has been going on for many years), I’d like to add my few cents of opinion.
Judaism is a religion, like any other set of beliefs. Zionism is a political ideology. The two are not the same, despite the Israeli propaganda machine’s attempts to combine them as synonymous. The idea of the Jewish homeland, though sweet in itself, is a fantasy.
Two rabbis, on a scouting mission for Herzl, the founder of political Zionism reported back that the bride was beautiful but she already had a fiance.
Moshe Menuhin, father of the famous violinist and an anti-zionist Jew, once said, “Jews should be Jews, not nazis”
Strong words indeed, but in light of what we have seen (and what we have not yet been shown perhaps), he wasn’t far off the mark.
There are many books that can be read about the history of the zionist movement and it’s different political wings. The people in control today come from the “Revisionist” tradition of Jacobinsky, an ultra-right headbanging separatist nationalist ideology.
While at university many years ago, a fellow student described himself to me as a “Jewish fascist”, something I couldn’t get my head round at the time but which now I fully understand.
He had been a member of the Stern gang, a paramilitary zionist grouping who fought the then British imperial forces in palestine and formed part of the honour guard in establishing the state of Israel.
It makes me very angry today to see how these people, whose racism towards the Palestinians knows no bounds, thus being able to justify their recent actions - if the enemy is not human there can be no problem for them - use the holocaust and antisemetism as their knee-jerk response to any criticism of their policies.
What would the hundreds of thousands of anti-fascist Jews who gave up their livesd in the 30s and 40s fighting fascism, and with no desire whatsoever to build a homeland for Jews, be thinking today. I recommend a book on the Warsaw ghetto entitlerd, “The Ghetto Fights” to find out what people did to resist antisemetism in those times.
There is another Jewish tradition that has been conveniently buried in recent years that it one of universality, open mindedness, progress and the will to share and change things for the better - of all humanity. This tradition is borne from the very experience of antisemetism and the best way of fighting it: not running away from it or accepting it as inevitable but taking it on in the fight for thhat better world. In the past there were people like Marx, Abram Leon, Rosa Luxemburg, Menuhin, Einstein and a very long etc. who as Jews, opposed Zionism. Today there are still Jews who do so. (Chomsky, 450 academics who signed a statement this week, oh and me, to mention just a few, and a good many more with no voice I’m sure).
These elements leading Israel today have ensured that the “Jewish homeland” is in fact the most dangerous place for jews to live in the world, and have increased the psychosis that must surely exist in the minds of Israel’s Jewish population. They also feed off antisemetism and make the most of it for their own ends. Find out what the Zionists proposed during the 30s and the second world war. (Read Nathan Weinstock on the matter or Lenni Brenner).
It is not, in my opinion, antisemetism to oppose Israel. On the contrary, any conscious person, whatever their religion, has a duty today to oppose what they are doing in the name of Jews across the world.
I believe that there is a Jewish progressive organisation in the USA now that have printed a T-shirt saying “Not in My Name”. and quite right too.
I shall end my rant here and hope I haven’t taken up too much of your time or offended anyone, but I do feel there is a lot to be said on this matter and it is of crucial importance at the present.