Are Most Zionists Jewish in the USA? (Re; Zionism)
cleon42 at yahoo.com
Sat May 24 12:32:49 MDT 2003
--- Yoshie Furuhashi <furuhashi.1 at osu.edu> wrote:
> In terms of a war of positions, Christian Zionists are the weakest
> link in Zionism. It is advisable, in my opinion, that US leftists
> concentrate their fire on Christian Zionists rather than Jewish ones,
> at the same time as constantly highlighting the unpopularity of
> Zionism among Jews (especially Jewish youths).
Well, there's a question here...What constitutes a "Zionist?" Is a
Zionist merely someone who supports the state of Israel? Or is it
someone who supports the state of Israel for religious and ideological
reasons? I would say the second is more accurate--there are plenty of
secular folks who are pro-Israel, the "island of democracy" and all
So we come to a situation when asking, "are most Jews Zionist?" When
someone is pro-Israel, are they pro-Israel out of Jewish nationalism,
or out of secular bourgeois politics? Secular bourgeois politics can be
combatted much more easily, I think--once you show Israel to be a state
based in a racist concept, rational people tend to come around (or are
at least open to the idea). "Rational" is the key word here. As I said
in a previous post, these days Zionism is taught as being part and
parcel of the Jewish religion. Once a political concept becomes a
*religious* idea, it becomes much more difficult to deal with on a
I was discussing the issue not long ago with my girlfriend, who is of
British-Irish extraction, when I mentioned that up until the rise of
the Zionist movement, Hebrew was virtually a dead language outside of
the Torah, the Talmud, and other religious works. It was studied much
like Latin is in Catholicism. Jokingly, she asked if the Zionists could
give some lessons to the Irish government, which apparently has been
trying to make Gaelic the everyday language of Ireland for some time.
In half-jest I responded that they just have to convince the Irish that
God wants them to speak Gaelic.
This, in short, is why it's easier to deal with those who support
Israel out of secular politics than out of religious idolatry--because
they're open to reason, as opposed to those who think God has blessed
Israel somehow, and it can do no wrong as long as He looks over it.
I think Yoshie hit the nail on the head by saying that Christian
Zionism is the weak link in the chain. We (Atlanta Palestine
Solidarity) have hosted a couple of ISM Truth Tour events in Atlanta,
and have been fortunate to have Ora Wise come down with it. She points
out that Christian fundamentalists are all for Israel because "once all
the Jews go there, 2/3 of us will die and the last 1/3 will convert."
(She mentions this when ironically discussing how pro-Palestinian Jews
are frequently accused of being "self-hating.")
Ultimately, it's the Christian fundies--who are waaaaay more powerful
than AIPAC--who are making the policy decisions and need to be the
focus. I mean, hell, how many Jewish Zionists have there been in the
White House? Currently, well, you *know* what camp Dubya's in.
Adam Levenstein cleon42 at yahoo.com
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