Yes, Yossi Yonah should explain his ‘Zionism’

Tuvia Brodie,

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Tuvia Brodie
Tuvia Brodie has a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh under the name Philip Brodie. He has worked for the University of Pittsburgh, Chatham College and American Express. He and his wife made aliyah in 2010. All of his children have followed. He believes in Israel's right to exist. He believes that the words of Tanach (the Jewish Bible) are meant for us. His blog address is He usually publishes 3-4 times a week on his blog and 1-3 times at Arutz Sheva. Please check the blog regularly for new posts.

Two days ago, Leftist Labor-Hatnua candidate  Yossi Yonah got angry--and attacked the Zionist Jewish Home Party (“Yonah: I Need to Prove My Zionism to This Group of Crazies?”, Arutz Sheva, February 9, 2015).

It seems that Jewish Home has made accusations against Yonah (see below). In response, Yonah asked—with indignation: “They're coming to me and demanding that I prove my Zionism?” (ibid).

In his response to the Jewish Home accusations, Yonah, as reported by Arutz Sheva, didn’t bother to remind us why he really was a ‘Zionist’. He took a different approach. He took the same approach the guilty always take when they have no defense: he attacked his accusers. He said Jewish Home was the Party which most endangers the ‘Zionist enterprise’. Jewish Home was a “group of crazies - homophobes, racists, fascists, nationalists" (ibid).

He then added—perhaps by way of proving his ‘Zionist’ credentials: "Two states for two peoples; that is my policy" (ibid).

Politicians know that Israelis love the word, ‘Zionist’. Israelis love to vote for a ‘Zionist’. That’s why the anti-Zionist Left now calls itself ‘The Zionist Camp’. They want those votes.

Apparently, it’s also why Yossi Yonah makes the same claim. Unfortunately, he’s no Zionist.

Zionism is about supporting the ‘Jewish Cause’. The Jewish Cause focuses on the growth, development and defense of the Jewish state. It wants to protect ancestral Jewish homeland in Israel. It wants a Jewish Israel.

The Jewish Cause opposes the ‘Palestinian Cause’. It does that because the ‘Palestinian Cause’ wants the opposite of what the Jewish Cause wants: it wants to destroy the Jewish state (see the Hamas Charter). It wants to erase the ‘Jewish entity’ (see the PLO Charter). It wants to replace the Jewish ‘Israel’ with a Muslim Arab ‘Palestine’ (see the Fatah logo, and maps of ‘Palestine’ printed by the Palestinian Authority).

Yossi Yonah wants you to believe he doesn’t have to prove his ‘Zionism’ to anybody (ibid). But he believes in the ‘Palestinians’ (ibid). According to those Jewish Home accusations (referred to above), Yonah also believes that the Holocaust—which sought to exterminate Europe’s Jews—is exactly the same as the Arab ‘Nabka’—which mourns the fact that Arabs lost the war they started (in 1948) to destroy the newly-formed Israel before Israel got the chance to ‘open its doors’ as a state.

Those who support the Jewish Cause know that the European Holocaust and the Nabka do not share the same moral ground. The Holocaust is the horror Germany inflicted on Jews. The Nabka is the horror Arabs failed to inflict on Jews.

Those who support the Jewish Cause do not make Nabka morally equivalent to the Holocaust. But those who oppose the existence of the Jewish state do draw that equivalence.

If the Jewish Home accusations are correct, Yossi Yonah is no Zionist. According to his biography published on the website for the Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics and Culture, he is a board member of the so-called, ‘Geneva Initiative’, which seeks to divide Jerusalem and surrender ancestral Jewish homeland to Arabs whose Charters seek the destruction of Israel. He doesn’t seek to build a Jewish Israel; he seeks the collapse of what he calls “the neoliberal system” that has, in his estimation, governed Israel for too long (“Interview, People are urging us not to give up. So we are not giving up!”, The Palestine-Israel Journal, Vol.18 No.1 2012 / Arab Spring).

He says he’s not a revolutionary (ibid). He says he doesn’t want a regime change in Israel; he just wants a ‘system’ change (ibid).

That doesn’t sound like Zionism.

He doesn’t talk about the Jewish Cause. He talks about the Arab Spring (ibid). He talks about Israel’s social protest movement. He claims that social activists are part of a growing global awareness that there is one ‘system’ “that impoverishes [people] all over the world” (ibid).

That’s not Zionism talking. His words are closer to socialism than ‘Zionism’. Indeed, some of his ideas have ‘socialist’ written all over them (Hezi Sternlicht, “The Socialist Camp”, Israel Hayom, February 4, 2015).

Yonah doesn’t talk about building the Jewish state. He talks about reorganizing the Jewish state. He wants Jews and ‘Palestinians’ to become part of a global revolt “against the system responsible for their dispossession” (ibid).

That’s not Zionism.

He doesn’t talk of a Jewish Israel. He talks of an Israel where he can build ‘distributive justice and equality’ (“Brave new multicultural world”, Haaretz, October 12, 2005).

That’s not Zionism.

He’s not a Zionist. He doesn’t promote the Jewish Cause. He promotes a ‘justice-and-peace-for-all’ Cause. His articulated goals have nothing whatsoever to do with promoting what’s Jewish. His inspiration is the Arab Spring.

He asks, does he have to prove his ‘Zionism’? The answer is, yes.

He does.