Beware Non-Jewish Zionists who promote the land over the people

1
385
close up of the flag of israel
Antizionism, the belief that Israel is not in the geographic region of Palestine, is not the same as antisemitism. Jacob Ningen urges caution towards non-Jewish zionists that promote and consider the land over the people. Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Antizionism is not necessarily antisemitism as Ms. Jimenez noted this Monday. Or if you wish to avoid Marr’s dog-whistle, Judeophobia. Conversely, not every Zionist is a philosemite. In both cases, there is a lot of overlap. But disregarding every criticism due to that overlap or sacrificing Diasporic lives for the national movement is unwise. This is the quandary of Christians United for Israel and Bibi’s courting of right-wing nationalist groups outside his country. Often, support for national movements arises not out of love, but hatred and/or greed. 

Antisemitic Zionism has several sources. The three most well known are Christian Eschatological Zionism, Anti-semitic nationalist Zionism and puppet state imperialism. Zionism itself is the belief in Jewish nationalism in their historic homeland in the region referred to as Palestine and now as Israel.  This originally had several expressions, such as Ahad Haam’s cultural Zionism which did not advocate for a political state, Moses Hess and Theodore Herzl’s vanguard racialist nationalism, where the Jewish nationalism in Palestine would be the first step in the end of the capitalist era and Jabotinsky’s Revisionist Zionism currently in vogue which felt that host nations were only as benevolent as necessary and that a state was needed as an insurance policy. However, despite being Jewish nationalism in its historic homeland, several non-Jews support the movement. This can lead to worse results for the Diaspora if those supporters get a free pass for supporting the national movement. Please note that the following reasons are not exhaustive and that philosemitic reasons for non-Jews to support Israel exist. 

Evangelical Zionism is not always philosemitic. For example, Eschatological Christian Zionism of the sort advocated by CUFI . Eschatological Christian Zionism is the belief that until the Jewish people are reconstituted in their historic homeland, the messianic second coming is impossible. This is understandably not desirable and possibly catastrophic for all people, including Jews. CUFI believes that in order to end the world, a resurrection of Jewish nationalism followed by universal war with that reconstituted nation is a necessary step for their salvation according to Haaretz. CUFI is larger than AIPAC, which is disturbing that it is the Christian antisemites that support Jewish nationalism. Former President Donald Trump has admitted that courting Evangelicals, not Jewish history, drove his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital. As both Haaretz and the Independent note, CUFI is antisemitic and sees Jews as merely a means to an end. This movement is exaggerated in size and is predominantly an Evangelical, not Catholic or mainstream Protestant belief. 

Another form of antisemitic Zionism arises from the Liberian colonialism motive. By this, I mean far right nationalists who agree with Jabotinsky,  and Pinsker that assimilation is impossible, or who wish to expel their Jews. This includes Viktor Orban, whose Fidesz party is antisemitic and yet supports Bibi’s Likkud. This is similar to how the KKK and the American Colonization Society  supported Garvey’s Pan-Africanism or the establishment of Liberia in Western Africa. In fact, as Shaul Maggid in Tablet among other places notes, the parallels are striking. In both cases, we have a diaspora being repatriated-especially in the 1930s for Liberia. Furthermore, both the True Whigs and the Zionist Movement treated those they found poorly

As William Lloyd Garrison noted of the American Colonization Society, which proposed resettlement of African Americans to diffuse tensions,“to aim entirely at the expulsion of the free people,” there is also the propagandistic means by which he can deny the antisemitism of Fidesz and Jabbok, far right parties in Hungary by appealing to his friendship with the Likkud. This enables worse crimes abroad. To take a comparison, this strand of Zionism is the equivalent of the “I’m not racist, I have African American friends.” This exacerbates problems in the diaspora by giving Judeophobic regimes a means of avoiding  accountability for their anti-Jewish rhetoric. As both Jabotinsky and Garrison would say, “We’d rather you not kill or oppress minorities in your own land rather than support separatist or expatriation movements of the minorities you oppress.” A less antisemitic version of the same reason to support Jewish Nationalism is the Napoleonic -British position. This group supports Jewish nationalism as a means to promote their own political goals. This, unlike the prior version is neutral to the Jewish state

beige concrete buildings on high ground
The national homeland on the strands of Jewish Zionism is more important than why someone supports it, argues Jacob Ningen. Photo by Haley Black on Pexels.com

Napoleon in this respect would be playing the role of the Ptolemies in the 2nd C.E., supporting Jewish nationalism only in so far as it served their purposes. The British Foreign Ministry, in establishing the Mandates for Transjordan, the Mandate for Palestine and the Mandate for Mesopotamia has been conjectured to be repaying NILI and Emir Faisal Ben Hussein, for their roles in overthrowing the Ottoman empire in World War II. In this rationale, Jewish and Arab Nationalism is supported instrumentally for the cause of the imperial powers. Here, the commitment fades when the interests disappear. The British treated their “allies” in the Ottoman Empire like tools. Just ask King Faisal I of Syria or Chaim Weizmann, it’s why Britain got the nickname “Perfidious Albion.” 

 Several strands of Jewish Zionism do not care for motive as the goal of national restoration is being advanced. The national homeland on these strands is more important than why someone supports it. In fact, the infamous Meir Kahane thought that only antisemitism could combat assimilationism. If Zionism is merely a resurrection of the Hasmonean commonwealth, a view that the far-right espouse, then this problem is not relevant. If Zionists are instead, in the Hess, Jabotinsky, Pinsker tradition looking for a means of insurance against hostile host nations, allowing “allies” to harm that very diaspora goes against the purpose. Land is good but not at the expense of life.   

The Kishinev Pogrom and the fact that 1848 only gave the strongest national movements self-determination, who then would turn around and say to other national movements “we’ve got ours, screw you” for Jabotinsky, Damascus, Hep-Hep and 1848 for Hess, the Shoah for the international community all served to convince those mentioned that host nations are unreliable. In fact the author of the infamous Iron Wall Essay, Vladimir Jabotinsky would agree with Mrs. Jimenez on an analysis of how bad Kachists and his heirs treat the Palestinians. He would oppose her merely in noting that its either the Yishuv or the Palestinians and self-interest dictates that it not be the Palestinians who have the upper hand.

Their benevolence is conditional: if their mood shifts or the minorities attempt to demonstrate self-confidence, the rights are stripped. From this, Jabotinsky requires a state where there is confidence that such a change of fortune is impossible. Oppressed minorities, like the Palestinians and pre-1920 Diaspora Jews need a refuge that does not depend on external benevolence. He would support Arab Nationalism, he realized it could not be bribed, only shown that it was in a state of MAD with the Jewish State. Palestine was chosen  for the historical significance. However, on the Herzl-Jabotinsky scheme, what matters is that Jews have self determination, with location being less important. To paraphrase Odin in the MCU, Jewish anti-Zionism from Yiddishism, the Bund, the Argentina Movement, Stalin and the Reform movement, the Baltimore Sun and Judith Butler in Parting Ways “Israel isn’t a place, it’s a people.”

Zionism, as explained above and by Ms. Jimenez, holds the view that Israel is in the geographic region of Palestine. If we reject that view, why should we sacrifice Bnei Israel (the demonym of the Jewish People literally the sons of Israel) for Eretz Israel (land of Israel)? But following Bassam Tawil, drops of Jewish blood should be more important than the Kotel and Hebron. Unfortunately for peace, not everyone agrees and some people are more concerned with Jewish Sovereignty than Jewish lives. 

1 COMMENT

  1. Do you really think college students at UConn have any idea what you’re talking about? This article is highly inappropriate for students who are largely uneducated about issues related to Jews or Israel. Why are you doing this?

Leave a Reply