Reclaiming Zionism From Antisemites Will Not Occur With Tikkun Olam

Zionism, the ideological undergirding of Israel, is a debatable political philosophy.

– Keith Ellison, Attorney General of Minnesota, former Congressman (D-MN), former Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee


Over 1,000 Jews from around the world came to Basel, Switzerland this week to mark the 125th anniversary of the first World Zionist Congress. They celebrated the incredible success of the Modern State of Israel, now 75 years since its reestablishment, a mere 50 years from Theodore Herzl’s initial conference of inspiration was turned into a reality.

The kickoff speaker was Israeli President Isaac “Bougie” Herzog. His speech welcomed the Zionists from around the world, regardless of their religious denominations or political affiliation. He urged all of them to get involved in the Zionist project and questions regarding “the whole Jewish People… to debate them together, in a spirit of mutual responsibility, and most importantly, of full and institutionalized partnership.

He concluded his remarks that the broad community must “reclaim Zionism” from the vile smears that populate society today. Herzog offered his prescriptions which included uniquely Jewish and Israeli goals, as well as dealing with global issues such as climate change. He mentioned “tikkun olam (repair the world)” three times, as a mission (and potential balm) to combat the insidious woke anti-Semitism infecting the world. “[M]odern Zionism gives us our sense of not only shared fate but also shared destiny, as long as it remains anchored in our deepest roots, weaving together the inseparable threads of peoplehood, land, and state.

“Nothing is creepier than Zionism. Challenge racism”

Linda Sarsour, former executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, co-chair of the 2017 Women’s March

Herzog’s outreach to his diverse Zionist audience was sweet but showed that he has not internalized the anger and misconceptions about Zionism from the anti-Israel world. Joining the far-left in combatting climate change under the banner of Zionism sounds like he’s read a few articles about intersectionality and “allyship.” To be sure, fighting global issues is a responsibility Israel shares with the entire world, but was not a foundational matter for Herzl’s Zionism 125 years ago, and redefining Modern Zionism in such a manner today will do nothing to “reclaim” the definition from Israel haters who wish to tarnish and destroy the Jewish State.

“We need to pay attention to the Anti-Defamation League. We need to pay attention to the Jewish Federation. We need to pay attention to the Zionist synagogues. We need to pay attention to the Hillel chapters on our campuses. Because just because they’re your friend today, doesn’t mean that they have your back when it comes to human rights. So oppose the vehement fascists but oppose the polite Zionists too. They are not your friends.”

Zahra Billoo, SAN FRANCISCO EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE COUNCIL OF AMERICAN ISLAMIC RELATIONS (CAIR)

Herzog is correct that we need to “reclaim Zionism,” but not by stretching its meaning into something far afield from its core tenets. We need to educate the world about simple foundational truths, and what Modern Zionism actually means and created.

European Jewish Zionists claimed to be descendants of the ancient Palestinian Hebrews and to be merely “returning” to their ancient land.”

Joseph Massad, Professor at Columbia University

Universities and extremist media have painted Zionism as a violent nationalist effort by European Jews to steal Arab land. They claim Jews have no history or ties to the land and are simply the latest version of European colonialists. Does Herzog really believe that Israelis bonding over climate change help stop such inanity?

Zionism was never the gentlest of ideologies.

Steven Erlander, Journalist for the New York Times

The Israeli Defense Ministry’s research-and-development arm is best known for pioneering cutting-edge ways to kill people and blow things up

David Halbfinger, the new York Times’ Jerusalem Bureau chief

Jews, historians and all people of good will need to be clear about basic historical truths and the mission of Modern Zionism.

Modern Zionism did not steal Arab history or land. It is not a derivative of the forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which falsely asserts an aim to rob Palestinian Arabs as a subset of global domination. The simple fact is that Jews have thousands of years of history in the land of Israel, and have always lived and moved to the land because it is a central part of Judaism.

The Zionist idea to dominate the area from the Nile to the Euphrates was well known, but Israel realized that the two-State solution would not take it in that direction.”

Hiba Husseini, chairs the Legal Committee to Final Status Negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis, and a speaker at the united nations

The Zionist plan is limitless. After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.

HAMAS Charter, Article 32

Modern Zionism was launched by Herzl on only two ideas. First, that Jews will forever be targeted as minorities in countries around the world, whether they present as devout Orthodox Jews or assimilated secular ones, and second, that the only way for Jews to be secure and have a future is to have sovereignty in their homeland once again.

To be an anti-Zionist means that one doesn’t believe in one of those two things. To be against the first, is to ignore and belittle the horrific crimes committed against the most persecuted people in history. To stand against the second, is to urge for the destruction of the one Jewish State. Both are blatantly anti-Semitic.

The three basic characteristics of Zionism are: racism, expansionism and settler colonialism

UC San Diego speaker at Divestment vote

Israel in its inception is not a Jewish idea but a European one.

University of Wisconsin BDS Vote

“Reclaiming Zionism” as Israeli President Herzog desires is needed, but his prescription for joining woke causes is nonsensical. Such efforts will not reorient college campuses and the media away from their misconception that Israel is a violent European colonialist state.

Instead, we must state repeatedly the fundamental truths about Jews and the land of Israel. We must clearly articulate the meaning of Zionism, and that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. And we must loudly proclaim that we are proud Zionists, and amazed by the liberal democracy that thrives in the illiberal Middle East.


Related articles:

A Core Tenet of Zionism Is Combatting Anti-Semitism

Squeezing Zionism

Hamas And Harvard Proudly Declare Their Anti-Semitism And Anti-Zionism

In San Francisco Schools, Anti-Zionism is Anti-Racism

Black Lives Matter Joins the anti-Israel “Progressives” Fighting Zionism

2 thoughts on “Reclaiming Zionism From Antisemites Will Not Occur With Tikkun Olam

  1. Pingback: Der moderne Zionismus schuf nur zwei Dinge | abseits vom mainstream - heplev

  2. Pingback: For The Sins Of 5782… | FirstOneThrough

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