Why do you say Zionism is a short-lived breakoff movement?

12/01/06

Dear Jews Against Zionism,

In your reply to another Muslim asking a question on this site, you made the following statements, "But we are confident that the Jewish people will not need any more death and destruction to teach them the folly of Zionism. Judaism, in its long history, has seen many other heretical movements arise within it, attempting to change basic principles of the Torah, such as the Sadducees, the Christians, the Karaites, and the Sabbateans. These movements are now either long gone or are not part of the Jewish people at all. Today we continue to stand with the pure, original Torah given at Sinai. We are confident that Zionism too will disappear in the course of time, and then peace and equality will be restored to the Middle East."

My question is, is it right to call zionism a breakoff movement? I do not think the mojority of Jews or people of the Hebrew faith would view zionism as a breakoff movement nor would ani-zionists for that matter. In any faiths and other religions, there are many breakoff movements over the course of their history. Judaism included. But these breakoff movements were insignificant and not of the mainstream. I am not refering to schism which is another matter. We see that the majority of Jews support zionism and all indications are that Jews faithful to the original Torah are very much in the minority. It would appear that you are fighting an uphill battle. G-d be with you.

My second question; you say that without any more death and destruction, peace and equality will be restored to the Middle East. How can that be? If Israel is left alone, it will keep large illegal settlements in the West Bank and have a free hand to draw its borders unilaterally which it in fact has said it would do. How can the Palestinians allow that to happen? Over their dead bodies, one would think.

In your reply to Naftali M. you suspected that a typographical eror may have been committed that would imply that the respondent intended to say that zionism is the cause of anti-semitism. To me, anti-semitism literally means prejudice against people of the semite races of which Arabs forms the overwhelming majority. The American definition of anti-semitism is peculiar to those who reside in the rest of the world. To me, it is a tool used by the zionist to silence criticism of its policies. Professors John Meirsheimer and Stephen Walt described this phenomenon very well in their joint paper about the power of the Israel Lobby on US Policies toward the Middle East. To those who have been following the Palestinian dilemma since the creation of Israel, the paper is saying nothing new. But to the new commers, the paper is an eye opener. What the paper is saying is that we should not confuse anti-zionism with anti-semitism.

Tuan V.

Dear Tuan,

I understand that my statement that Zionism is a short-lived breakoff movement sounds surprising to some people, and more explanation is in order. First of all, let me explain that there are active anti-Zionists like our organization, whose associated groups and supporters number about 150,000 Jews worldwide, and then there are non-Zionist Orthodox Jews, which number far more. Non-Zionist Orthodox Jews includes the entire yeshiva world and its supporters, and the entire Chassidic world. They make up about 10% of the Jewish population of the state of Israel - about 500,000 - and about 10% of the Jewish population of the United States. These non-Zionist Jews do not see Zionism and the state as an ideal, they did not work to create and fight for the state. On the other hand, some of them for practical reasons (i.e. to get money for their schools) will vote in the Israeli elections. Still it is important to remember that these people still continue in the ancient ways of Judaism, they still consider themselves to be in exile, and it does not make any difference to them if they are living under the exile of the Zionist government or the exile of the U.S. government or any other government. If anything, they will say that the Zionist exile is worse, because instead of secular gentiles it's secular and anti-religious Jews.

About 75% of Israeli Jews are secular, that is, they do not subscribe to any version of Judaism. Most of them are Zionist and support the continuation of the state. However they do not even claim to be speaking in the name of Judaism since they do not believe in Judaism or the Torah. Among American secular Jews, more than half of those under 35 years of age are not interested in a Jewish state at all. The interest in Zionism among secular Jews is dropping rapidly, and the traditionally Orthodox were always opposed to Zionism.

Then you have a group in between called religious Zionists, comprising about 15% of Israelis and somewhat lower in America. These people are the real Zionists, because they claim that their Zionism is a valid form of Judaism.

According to these demographic figures, Zionists and non-Zionists are about even in numbers. Now add to this the fact that most of the religious Zionists are ignorant of the subject and cannot back up their position with solid arguments from the Torah. This is because their position is not based on Torah but on a vague feeling of pride in the land and the army. Some of them are embittered by the Jewish people's sufferings in Europe and want to see a new kind of strong, fighting Jew. There are some who do attempt to use Torah arguments; even they can be easily defeated although they will not admit it. But my point here is that most of them are just ignorant and can be educated.

Why do I say it will disappear? Because look at the numbers. Secular Jews are not really beholden to Zionism because they're not beholden to any religious or racist ideology. Right now the State of Israel is their country so they support it. But as their Jewish racial consciousness fades away and their Western, humanistic secularism comes to the fore, they will realize that one cannot enforce a discriminatory racist state forever. The Palestinians (as well as non-Jewish immigrants from Russia and other countries) will be given equal rights and the whole country will become one melting pot. Zionism will be a thing of the past.

And as for religious Jewry, leave that up to us. Half of religious Jewry is already not Zionist, as I said. And the other half is in the process of being educated. Keep in mind that many of the illegal settlements of which you speak are run by and populated by religious Zionists. These are the ignorant people we are trying to reach. They can be won over by words, not by bullets.

Yes, you are right that "Semites" technically includes Arabs. If you want to get technical, a lot of the Western white world is descended from Esau, son of Isaac, son of Abraham, and thus they are also Semites. The tribe of Amalek, the arch-enemy of ancient Israel, is descended from Esau and is thus Semitic.

But the term "anti-Semitic" has always been used in Europe and America as a synonym for "anti-Jewish". When Hitler met the Mufti, he assured him that his anti-Semitic policies were limited to Jews, not other Semites.

And yes, you are right that the accusation of anti-Semitism is being exploited by Zionists in America to silence their critics. Anti-Zionism is certainly not anti-Semitism. However, it does lead some people to act like anti-Semites, since they think that all or most Jews are Zionists. This is a great confusion and we believe it can be dispelled by education.

Thank you for your interest, and I hope this answers your questions.