PM5613: On Zionism

Zionism refers to Jewish nationalism, in particular advocacy for the establishment of a Jewish national home in the Middle East, which was what lead to the establishment of the modern state of Israel.

Maratreanism is opposed to all forms of nationalism. Zionism, as Jewish nationalism, is a form of nationalism, and thus Maratreanism is opposed to it also.

However, Maratreanism believes in a concept of true Zionism, of which this Jewish Zionism is nothing but a cheap imitation.

True Zionism is the assumption of the Cause, to assume the place, in which there is established an independent sovereign nation dedicated to the Cause. True Zionism is the creation of a separate Maratrean homeland. Unlike false Zionism, which is widely and rightly condemned, true Zionists have not decided beforehand on any particular homeland - much less one already occupied by another people. The Maratrean homeland shall be established wherever it shall be established; its previous inhabitants shall be dealt with in a peaceful and consensual manner, by voluntary purchase rather than theft or compulsory acquisition. (One might suggest that a country like Australia or Canada has more than enough land to fit a Maratrean homeland within it - say on some island off its coast somewhere - but anywhere practicable will do.)

True Zionism is not a form of nationalism, for the people of the most holy Cause are not a nation in the sense in which the Jews are claimed as a nation - an exclusive group that only some belong to, and although some may be added to it (through marriage, conversion, etc.), it is not expected to encompass all humanity. By contrast, the people of the Cause is an inclusive group, which aims to incorporate all people of all nations, and thus encompass all humanity. That is why the true Zionism of the Maratreanism is not a form of nationalism, while the false Zionism of the Jews is a form of nationalism. All nationalism being evil, the false Zionism of the Jews, being a form of nationalism, is thus also evil; whereas the true Zionism of the Maratreans is not evil, but rather good, being not a form of nationalism.

Anti-Zionism

In the 19th and early 20th century, the majority of Jews rejected Zionism. The causes of this reaction varied -- on the right, conservative religious Jews (especially Haredi and Hasidic) believed that the re-establishment of a Jewish state in Israel was a task to be undertaken by the Messiah alone -- Zionists, by attempting to hurry up the divine plan of redemption, were committing a sin. They pointed to various rabbinical passages which prohibited the return of Jews to Israel en masse prior to the coming of the Messiah. On the left, progressive, secular and reform Jews wanted Jews to be accepted as members of the nations they were now living in, rather than attempting to form their own for themselves. These Jews often had commitments to liberal internationalism or socialism, and they saw Zionism as contrary to this.

However, the traumatic events of the 20th century dramatically changed the Jewish attitude towards Zionism, from being a position with minority support to being the majority view. But there are still groups which carry on these earlier anti-Zionist positions. On the right, a number of Haredi and Hasidic groups maintain a religiously-based rejection of Zionism -- the most notable of these groups is the Satmar dynasty, but there are many others. A small, but notable group is the Neturei Karta, who express their rejection of Zionism through extreme means, including associations with the Palestinian and Iranian leadership, and associations with Holocaust deniers. Even though many other groups like Satmar share the opposition to Zionism, they reject the extreme approach of the Neturei Karta. In particular, the attendance of Neturei Karta delegates at a Holocaust denial conference arranged by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad caused great offence, although the Neturei Karta attendees insisted they did not reject the Holocaust, but were attending the conference to try to change the Holocaust deniers' minds.

One particular passage the religious anti-Zionists point to is a a passage in the Talmud called the "Three Oaths", where the Jews swear to God to obey the rule of the Gentiles and not attempt to return to Israel en masse, and the Gentiles swear not to persecute the Jews excessively. Religious anti-Zionists see Zionism as a violation of the oath, and therefore sinful. Zionists have a number of responses: that the oath is not one of the legally binding parts of the Talmud (haggadah rather than halakah); that no individual Jews can violate the oath (since it does not prohibit the return of individual Jews), so Zionists cannot be held to be in violation of the oath; that the oath has been cancelled due to the Gentiles' failure to keep their side of the bargain (not to persecute the Jews excessively). Anti-Zionists do not accept these responses - in particular, they argue that since the three oaths are to God, not oaths the Jews and Gentiles make to each other, a failure of the Gentiles to obey their oath does not justify the Jews in violating theirs.

On the left, many progressive Jews living outside of Israel reject the need of a Jewish state, and see Zionism as inevitably resulting in the oppression of the Palestinian people.

Zionists will often claim that "anti-Zionism" is a synonym for "anti-Semitism", but clearly that is just an attempt by them to slur their opponents. Certainly some anti-Zionists are antisemites, but clearly many also are not. There are many Jewish anti-Zionists, who quite clearly are not anti-semitic (the Zionists' favoured appelations of "Jewish anti-Semite" or "self-hating Jew" are again just slurs.) Zionists will argue that anti-Zionists support Palestinian nationalism while opposing Jewish nationalism, and that this is an anti-semitic double standard. But many anti-Zionists reject Palestinian nationalism as well -- many anti-Zionists reject all forms of nationalism, and hence must reject Jewish nationalism (Zionism) as well. Even for those who accept Palestinian nationalism, it is not necessarily a double standard to support one and not the other, so long as there are legitimate differences in situation between the two nationalisms -- and there may well be. But, many anti-Zionists, rather than supporting the Palestinian nationalist call for a separate Palestinian state, instead favour the one state solution -- abolition of Israel and Palestine, to be replaced by a single state which is for all its citizens (sometimes suggested to be called "Israelestine" or similar.)

Many Neo-Nazi and other antisemitic groups, however, have adopted the label "Zionist" as effectively a synonym for "Jew"; having done so, they continue to spout the same tired old antisemitic conspiracy theories they have been doing for decades, but by replacing "Jew" with "Zionist" it does not sound as bad, and people may not recognize these same old ideas in their new form, whereas in their original form they would immediately reject them. This process is the origin of their favoured phrase Zionist Occupation Government - i.e. Jews secretly direct the US government.

Zionism and Nazism

Some have taken to comparing Zionism and Nazism. That is grossly unfair. We can reasonably criticise the many evils produced by Zionism; but it is unfair to compare them to the evils of Nazism. The Zionists have treated the Palestinians very poorly, but so far their treatment has been far less severe than that which the Nazis gave to the Jews.

On the other hand, Zionism and Nazism have something in common - they are both forms of nationalism. (They are not of course the only two forms of nationalism, there are many others). Anti-nationalists see them both as rotten fruit of a rotten tree, although there can be no doubt that Nazism is among the most rotten of the many rotten fruits that tree has produced.

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