Friday, January 21, 2005

Zionism: Who's For? Who's Against?

Another good one Gindy:

“When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews, You are talking anti-Semitism." Martin Luther King
1) MLK was ahead of his time on prejudice, a fact little recognized by the establishment (when's the last time you heard that?) or mainstream media. He recognized and spoke out for many areas of social need besides black/white race relations. Poverty (no race attached) was a big one.

2) Zionism hasn't evolved; the mainstream is just now catching onto it. The Zionist writings of the Theodore Herzl who instigated the whole Zionist movement and the1987
First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, say basically the same thing Zionism is saying now. It's gotten a little more complicated to deal with all the attacks against it but the core hasn't changed.

According the
Merriam-Webster OnLine, Zionism is an international movement originally for the establishment of a Jewish national or religious community in Palestine and later for the support of modern Israel. The Jewish Virtual Library calls it the national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel, advocated, from its inception, tangible as well as spiritual aims.

3) Most Jews would agree Zionism has always had a spiritual as well as tangible aim. What is new is now many secular Jews are Zionists. Of course that may stem from how many Jews are now secular.

Israel may be the most "diverse" nation in the world. Did you know there are black Jews? The diaspora literally sent Jews all over the world and they are coming back from all over. All the talk about Jews in Israel wanting to be "white" is bosh. Jews are white, black, brown, every color.

4) It's not so much about race as about belief systems, Judiasm (the religion associated with the Jewish race) versus Zionism, with the pro and anti Zionists among religious Jews each believing their stance is the "purist" position.

Not all groups believe what you expect them to:

  • secular Jews are often big Zionists, presumably not for spiritual reasons;
  • orthodox Jews are anti-Zionism, believing only God can miraculously bring the nation together again and seeing the Zionist movement as a secularization of Judaism;
  • Christian replacement theology teaches that the Church replaced the Jews in prophecy and the Church will fulfill the prophecies related to Zionism;
  • Palestinian Christians (those forgotten Arab/Christians who never left) believe similarly to the orthodox Jews and are against Zionism.
  • Fundamentalist Christians tend to be your Zionist Christians, although there are Zionist Christians throughout most of the Christian denominations.
  • Most Israeli Arabs (not the "Palestinian" Arabs) are pro-Zionism.

Contrary to popular belief, the Arabs most of whom emigrated to Israel after the Zionist movement got going (post 1920), stayed in Israel after the 1948 War of Independence, are Israeli citizens, have had a good experience with Jewish people, are integrated into Israeli society, serve in the IDF, and so on.

5) The real pro versus anti Zionism division seems to fall not along the lines of a religion but along the lines of those who believe The Book and those who don't. Of course many believe they follow The Book but have their own interpretation.

This realignment across race/religious lines is bringing about a sign-of-the-time: Zionist Jews are beginning to see Zionist Christians as some of their best (and sometimes only) friends. Watch those Signs of the Times, folks.

Hat tip to Gindy for the quote and to his commentors for their provactive responses. I encourage you to check them out, including the volatile quote-of-the-day from the Catholics:

Who Said This?

BTW, Gindy, where's the trackback?


Blogger Gindy said...

Great stuff. I have to learn about trackback. I am just starting to figure this stuff out. Great info, thanks.

January 22, 2005 at 11:48 AM  

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