Israel’s Occupation is not Zionism

This oped from Ha’aretz newspaper in Israel shows how much people with a moral conscience in Israel are trying to reconcile Israel’s actual reality with the ideals that once animated the Zionist movement. It’s actually quite sad to witness that disconnect.–Rabbi Michael Lerner

Erdogan, this isn’t Zionism

Those who care deeply about Zionist ideals shouldn’t criticize Turkey’s prime minister but rather the Israeli leaders who are destroying the very foundations of Zionism.

By Dmitry Shumsky | Mar.12, 2013 | 1:08 AM |  4

What did Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan mean when he recently compared Zionism to fascism and termed it a crime against humanity? He probably wanted to say that the Israeli occupation in the West Bank and the inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip, the one that citizens of his country sought to break when they boarded the Mavi Marmara ship are similar to the cruel, abusive acts of fascist states toward their own citizen-subjects.

One has to admit that there is more than a speck of truth in Erdogan’s charges. The practice of denying the Palestinians their basic civil rights in the occupied territories under the army’s colonial regime – exemplified by the scandalous policy of administrative detentions and the disappearing of people in Israeli prisons for years because of their opposition to repression and humiliation – is frighteningly similar to the persecution practiced by the dark regimes of the 20th century against their opponents.

But what does all this have to do with Zionism? Since it appeared on the stage of history in the 19th century, Zionism strove to achieve self-determination for a persecuted, homeless people. During the period when the Ottoman Empire, the remnant of which is presently led by Erdogan, ruled the Middle East even the most political of Zionists was prepared to make do with regional Jewish autonomy in the Land of Israel within an imagined multinational Ottoman state.

Even after the Turks were thrown out of the Land of Israel, Zionism remained faithful to a restrained right to self-determination. This restraint stemmed from the complete aversion to the idea of ruling over other peoples which Zionism regarded as an unbearable blow to the principle of equality among nations – a principle upon which the national aspirations of the Zionist movement itself was based.

“We that present….to the entire world a demand for our complete national equality are obligated to present this demand to ourselves as well,” Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion said in 1926. “If this demand is to determine the world’s relationship toward us, it must also determine our relationship toward others.”

Erdogan’s equating of Zionism with fascism thus reflects a degree of ignorance that screams to the heavens. But what is the source of this ignorance? The State of Israel itself is directly responsible for creating the dubious and baseless equivalence between “Zionism” and a policy that is as far from the its beliefs as Zionism is from the phenomenon of fascism. For five decades Israel has promoted a repressive civil and national one-nation policy that essentially negates the essential principles of Zionism and is instead characterized by the totalitarianism practices. Yet, Israel presents itself again and again as a state that has implemented in practice the ideological vision of Zionism. As a result, Zionism is identified less and less with its original intent as the national liberation movement of an oppressed people and more and more with its abominable opposite: a cross between military colonialism and overlord nationalism – a regime that takes from its subjects their freedom and dignity and thus invites comparisons with fascist regimes.

Thus, for all those who hold the future and dignity of Zionism close to their hearts it would be best that they not direct their protests toward Erdogan, but rather against the Israeli destruction of Zionist values. It is this destruction that enables Erdogan and those like him to make their baseless comparisons.

And if in the foreseeable future it proves impossible to end the regime of national subjugation of the Palestinians, at the very least those behind this regime should not be allowed to clothe the shamefulness of their semi-fascist policy with the flag of Zionism. It should be said loud and clear to the entire world that Israel the occupier, whether it is or isn’t a fascist state, is certainly not a Zionist state.



6 thoughts on “Israel’s Occupation is not Zionism

  1. Zionism is anti-Judaism in many ways.

    Yehezkel Kaufman in article, titled “The Ruin of Soul” collected quotes from some of the Zionist writers (Frishman, Lenni Brenner, Berdichevsky, AD. Gordon, Schawadron, Klatzkin, Pinsker, Israel Joshua Singer, Chaim Kaplan, etc.), which if repeated on air – would get you fired from CNN, BBC, CBS, etc.

    Chaim Kaplan, who kept a diary during the Warsaw ghetto uprising, wrote his Jew-hating observation: “Every nation, in its time of misfortune, has conspirators who do their work in secret. In our case an entire nation has been raised on conspiracy. With others the conspiracy is political; with us it is religious and national”.

    The Israel TV documentary ‘The Anti-Semitic Side of Zionism’ has explored the hidden Jewish hatred of the Zionist movement. The Zionist leaders distorted biblical texts and Muslim-Jewish history of tolerance and love – and adopted Jewish religious symbols to fool the non-Zionist Jewish majority and the Christian extreme.

  2. The Lubavitcher Rebbe – Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson – King Messiah, teaches:
    “The eternal G-d gave the eternal Land of Israel – with all its borders outlined in the eternal Torah – to the eternal Jewish People as an exclusive eternal inheritance…What’s yours is yours and what’s ours is ours, Gentiles have a large world and the Jewish People have a small area…A Gentile who takes even half of a grain of The Land of Israel is guilty of robbery, and violates The Laws of Noah which are incumbent on all Mankind; for Gentiles have no connection to The Land of Israel whatsoever…G-d promises The Jewish People that when they safeguard their exclusive eternal inheritance, G-d will give us true peace in the Land of Israel, and true peace in the entire world….G-d blesses those who bless The Jewish People.”
    The Rebbe – King Messiah, is appointed by G-d as The Judge, The Mentor and The Prophet of the generation, to provide instructions and advice relevant to the service of G-d for Jews and Gentiles. The Rebbe – King Messiah’s counsel has extended to his essential Prophecy: “Immediate Redemption. Behold! The Messiah has come.”

  3. There can be no end to the violence and suffering if responsible people on both sides dig in their heels and justify their intransigence on dogmatic beliefs. There must be a genuine respect, a desire for a just peace, and a willingness to compromise.

  4. Funny (and not the good funny) that Rabbi Lerner would claim that “Erdogan’s equating of Zionism with fascism thus reflects a degree of ignorance that screams to the heavens,” when he, himself, seems ignorant of the decades old body of revisionist history thanks to which the real roots of Zionist policy from its earliest days have been exposed. Zionism, in fact, was rooted in a strategy inherent to which was, and still is, the non-recognition of the Palestinians as a People, and accordingly denial of their rights. For every democratically-oriented public statement made by the likes of Ben Gurion, privately, Zionists from Herzl to Jabotinsky to Ben Gurion, himself, reviled the Palestinians and denied they had any rights at all. This was the narrative that guided Zionist and Israeli policy from its inception – see, e.g., Shlaim’s “The Iron Wall” – so to claim that Zionism has gotten away from its roots is what’s, at best, ignorant here, and if not ignorant, simply dishonest.

  5. Back in 2011, the Turkish leader, Erdogan, was reported saying,

    “[I]f the Quartet was so willing to resolve this issue, they would have imposed certain issues on Israel today,” Erdogan said. “Until today, the UN Security Council has issued more than 89 resolutions on prospective sanctions related to Israel, but they’ve never been executed. And furthermore, there were about 200 resolutions issued by the General Assembly, and neither have those been complied with.

    “One might wonder why no sanctions have been imposed on Israel,” he added. “When it’s Iran in question, you impose sanctions. Similarly with Sudan. What happens with Israel then? Had these sanctions been imposed in this day and age, the Palestine-Israel conflict would have been resolved a long time ago. That’s why I’d like all the parties involved to be sincere and stand behind those resolutions.”

    The Turkish leader did not stop there, hinting that in order to sanction Israel there should be a reform in the Security Council.

    Perhaps the EU has now taken Erdogan’s recommendation seriously. Here is a compiled list of the UN resolutions that Israel has defied:

    The divine law of equal weights and measures (Leviticus 19:35, 36) is well summarized by [the Rabbi] Jesus Himself in Matthew 7:2,

    “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”

    Since Israel is part of the United Nations, and was, in fact, created by the UN, it is under its authority. More to the point, however, Israel has supported UN resolutions against other nations. Even now, the Israelis insist that Iran abide by the UN resolutions in regard to its nuclear program. For this reason, the Israeli government is condemned by [ Torah ] of equal weights and measures and is therefore not immune to divine judgment.

    Those Christians who support Zionism first make the mistake of identifying the Israeli state with the Israel of Scripture, not knowing the historical and prophetic distinction between Israel and Judah. They compound their error by not knowing the law. Their ignorance of the law makes them think that prophecy can be fulfilled in an unlawful manner. If they had understood that the law itself prophesies of things to come, they would realize that true Israel blesses all nations and does not deliberately violate the divine law in order to fulfill Bible prophecy.

    America has also put itself under divine judgment by supporting the Israeli government’s refusal to abide by UN resolutions. Selective enforcement of UN resolutions is hypocrisy and unequal judgment that is a direct violation of biblical law. The EU seems to be the first to recognize this and is taking steps to correct it. Their move is, of course, too little and too late. Hence, I question the motives of those who rule at the top of things. It seems to me that history is moving slowly but steadily toward the fulfillment of the Pike Plan from the 1800’s to create and then destroy the Israeli state in order to bring disillusionment to the followers of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity alike. Pike calculated that such disillusionment would advance the cause of Luciferianism, which was his religion of choice.

    It seems to me that this plan is also behind the secret US government plan to overthrow Mideast “dictators,” and to destabilize the whole region in the guise of spreading Democracy. General Wesley Clark testifies of this plan given to the Pentagon in the week after the Twin Towers demolition.

    It would explain why the US government would overthrow the very dictators that have kept the Muslim Brotherhood in check for so many years. Someone obviously wants a Mideast war. Both China and Russia know about the Pike Plan, and are therefore working hard to prevent it from happening.

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