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The difference between Zionism and Anti-Zionism

By Tuvia Brodie
5/21/2014, 9:05 AM

If you read essays about Israel by ‘important’ Jews, you might conclude that most of the world’s Jewish elite do not support Israel. They betray Israel. They say they support their Jewish state. But they demand that Israel surrender ancestral Jewish land to Islam.  

Arabs claim that Israel is not Jewish. They claim it’s Muslim ‘Palestine’. They claim that this ‘Palestine’ must be liberated from the usurping, occupying, foreign Jew. They claim there is no place for the Jew here.   

Is this Israel’s destiny? Is this the future we should support?

Our Jewish elite support a ‘two-state’ solution. But ‘two states’ means more land for Islam. ‘Two states’ means Islam’s land mass in the Middle East increases to something like 99.99 per cent.

Zion would shrink to nothing. Is this what Israel’s destiny should be? Is this what we should support?

We shouldn’t be surprised that our elite betray Zion. Treachery has dogged Zionism since Theodore Herzl (1860-1904). When Herzl wrote of a national homeland for Jews, the Jewish elite mocked him. They laughed at him. They attacked him (Georges Yitschak Weisz, Theodore Herzl: a new reading, Gefen Publishing, Jerusalem, 2013, pp 4-6).

Nevertheless, his Zionism survived. It blossomed. It created modern Israel.

Like all ideas which are destined to change the world, Herzl’s Zionism pushes you. It always has—because when you become a Zionist, you automatically identify yourself as a Jew.

That’s a problem. Most elite Jews don’t want to be reminded they are Jewish.

They cannot stand up for Israel. They’re too busy trying to win favour with gentiles. 

They are delicate. They do not want to offend their gentile ‘peers’.

For too many, Zionism makes you sound ‘too Jewish’. Such self-identification is repulsive. How can a Jew who yearns to be important to non-Jews express such love for who he is, where he comes from and where he belongs?

It’s unseemly. It’s crude. It’s an affront to genteel sensibilities.

Zionism offends because it declares to the world that you are proud to be Jewish.  You are proud to have your own national homeland.  

But Zionism offends most because it defines a national homeland as a self-sufficient Jewish entity. Jews aren’t supposed to be self-sufficient. They are supposed to depend upon the non-Jew.

 Zionism offends because it means that you commit to the survival of the Jewish people (ibid, pp 26-7, 34). That’s an affront because according to both Christian and Muslim theologies, Jews aren’t supposed to survive.

For more than a hundred years, elite Jews have joined with Christians and Muslims to oppose Zionism. Against all odds, Zionism has survived. Indeed, it doesn't just survive. In a vibrant, successful Israel, it thrives.

For too many, that success is an embarrassment. It’s humiliating. For far too many, that success feels more like the mark of Cain than the mark of survival.

Remember Cain? He was the Biblical figure who killed his brother. His punishment was that he was forever to have a mark on his forehead, to remind the world of the evil he had committed.

For too many Jews, Zionism is an evil because it threatens their status with non-Jews. It marks them as one who wears a disfiguring scar. That scar brings disgrace.

When you yearn to be important to non-Jews, the last thing you want to be known for is a link to your Jewishness. This is why anti-Zionism makes sense to these Jews. It helps them reject their Jewish identity. It helps them shrug off their ‘disfigurement’.  It helps them bond with their gentile friends.

But the truth is, these elite, articulate-but-ignorant Jews hurt Israel. They weaken Israel. Sometimes, they lead the attack against Israel. They serve the enemies of Israel.  

Zionism, on the other hand, serves the Jewish people. It links us to our past. It connects us to our future. It energizes us.

Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish Agency, has recently suggested that Israel’s Destiny will not be fulfilled by turning against Zion. Rather, it will be fulfilled through our love of Zion--and by our support of Zionism’s goals.

Zionism gives us pride. It ennobles our Jewishness. It empowers our Future. It makes us strong.

It brings to life the prophesied blessings of our Torah. Given the reality of modern Israel’s stunning successes, Zionism reminds the world that we are truly G-d’s Chosen people.

Zionism is no disgrace. It is no curse. It is the Biblical blessing that makes our modern Israel blossom.

Anti-Zionism, however, is the rejection of that blessing. It is, ultimately, the rejection of the only G-d who has actually fulfilled His prophesied Promise.