January 07, 2007

What is Zionism?

To start, the key to understanding Zionism is in its name. The easternmost of the two hills of ancient Jerusalem during the tenth century B.C.E. was called Zion. The religious and emotional qualities of the name arise from the importance of Jerusalem as the Royal City and the City of the Temple.

"Mount Zion" is the place where God dwells. Jerusalem, or Zion, is a place where the Lord is King, and where He has installed His king, David. King David made Jerusalem the capital of Israel almost three thousand years ago, and Jerusalem has remained the capital ever since. During the centuries the term "Zion" grew and expanded to mean the whole of Israel. The Hebrew Psalmist sat by the waters of Babylon and swore: "If I forget three, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning." This oath has been repeated for thousands of years by Jews throughout the world. It is an oath which was made over seven hundred years before the advent of Christianity and over twelve hundred years before the advent of Islam, and Zion came to mean the Jewish homeland, symbolic of Judaism, of Jewish national aspirations.

Zionism is the name of the national movement of the Jewish people and is the modern expression of the ancient Jewish heritage. The Zionist ideal, as set out in the Bible, has been, and is, an integral part of the Jewish religion. Zionism is to the Jewish people what the liberation movements of Africa and Asia have been to their own people. Support for the aim of Zionism was written into the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and was again endorsed by the United Nations in 1947, when the General Assembly voted by overwhelming majority for the restoration of Jewish independence in our ancient land.

The vicious diatribes on Zionism voiced by Arabs is in contrast to the fact that the rest of the world supported the Jewish national liberation movement. The myth is that the Arab world was always hostile to Zionism. This is *not* the case. Arab leaders, cognizant of the rights of the Jewish people, fully endorsed the virtues of Zionism. Sherif Hussein, the leader of the Arab world during World War I, welcomed the return of the Jews to then-Palestine.

With that definition and its references of Zionism out of the way, we have to be honest and state that Arabs contemporarily believe Zionism equals racism -- let's ask, what has happened to the 800,000 Jews who lived for over two thousand yeras in the Arab lands, who formed some of the most ancient communities long before the advent of Islam. Where are they now? Clearly, it is Arabs who are racist.

See, Zionism is our attempt to build a society, imperfect though it may be, in which the visions of the prophets of Israel will be realized. This malicious resolution, that Zionism equals racism, designed to divert the global community from its true purpose, is part of a dangerous anti-Semitic idiom which is being insinuated into every public debate by those who have sworn to block the current move towards accommodation and ultimately towards peace in the Middle East.

My comment in my scrolling marquee states that it is Arabs who are racist because it is *their* reaction to Jews - it is *their* anti-Jewish hatred - which animates Arab society.

Had Arabs been consistent with their originally welcoming embrace of Jews returning to their homeland, there would have been NO wars at all - that means no forced wars started by Arabs in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, etc.

Arab wars on the Jewish State erupted irrespective of the presence/absence of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria [called the West Bank by some], Gaza or Golan. They were established – on 2% of Judea and Samaria and Gaza area – following the 1967 War, which erupted following the establishment of the PLO (1964), succeeding the wars of 1956 and 1948/9 and the sustained campaign of Palestinian terror, which was launched in 1929, with the massacre of Hebron’s Jewish community and the expulsion of Gaza’s Jewish community, the 1929, 1936 and 1948 decimation of Gush Etzion’s Jewish communities and the 1948 dismantling of Kfar Darom in the Gaza Strip.

So, it is *not* Zionism that is the cause of the conflicts in the Middle East, but is instead Arab reaction to it - or in simpler words, the cause of the conflicts in the Middle East is the Arab reaction to Jews.