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Switch to Forum Live View Can You Be a Zionist If No One Thinks You Are?
2 years ago  ::  Mar 25, 2012 - 11:35PM #1
Miraj
Posts: 5,021

Salaam, all. I saw this article on the Daily Beast and thought it would make an interesting topic because I've noticed the discomfort of some of our Jewish friends who consider themselves to be good Zionists, but cringe at what some posters think that means.  It makes me feel bad for them.  Perhaps this can help to begin a discussion of what it should be in contrast to what it has been portrayed to be.


Can You Be a Zionist If No One Thinks You Are?


. . . 

In other words, there’s a shrinking constituency that still believes Zionism can mean what it used to mean: the ideology that there should be a national home for the Jewish people in its historic homeland. The Left equates that ideology with the Right’s iteration of it, extending this seemingly simple idea to include the construction of settlements, the unequal treatment of non-Jewish citizens of Israel and residents of the West Bank and Gaza, and jingoistic nationalism. These, it seems to me, is what the Left means by “Zionism” and why it equates the term with racism.  Zionism as applied by a Right-Far Right nationalist government is just that. 


So, can one be a Zionist if no one thinks you are?  Is it worth reclaiming a label that has been so tarred by association with right-wing nationalism?  I’m not sure.  It’s what I believe, and according to the criteria set up by founding fathers of Zionism, I am indeed a Zionist.  But I hesitate to claim the label, because I don’t want to be associated with those who wear it proudly.  In the United States, they are often American know-nothings, more entranced by Disney Israel (Masada! The Western Wall! The Rapture!) than by the messy, often beautiful, often tragic ironies of the state and its peoples.  And in Israel, they are often the worst of flag-waving patriots, ugly, mean, and drunk with their power.  Obviously this is not true of all self-proclaimed Zionists here or in Israel.  But it is true of most who proclaim it loudly.  


Disclaimer: The opinions of this member are not primarily informed by western ethnocentric paradigms, stereotypes rooted in anti-Muslim/Islam hysteria, "Israel can do no wrong" intransigence, or the perceived need to protect the Judeo-Christian world from invading foreign religions and legal concepts.  By expressing such views, no inherent attempt is being made to derail or hijack threads, but that may be the result.  The result is not the responsibility of this member.


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2 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2012 - 2:40AM #2
CharikIeia
Posts: 8,301

Mar 25, 2012 -- 11:35PM, Miraj wrote:


... there’s a shrinking constituency that still believes Zionism can mean what it used to mean: the ideology that there should be a national home for the Jewish people in its historic homeland.


...



So, can one be a Zionist if no one thinks you are?  Is it worth reclaiming a label that has been so tarred by association with right-wing nationalism?  I’m not sure.




I think it is very easy when we want to be true to what we stand for. We must never allow extremists and partisans to hijack our culture. And that is exactly what you do when you leave it up to them to re-define your own words at their whim.


A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.


And zionism is zionism is zionism is zionism.


Whatever anti-Israeli maniacs may want us to believe.


Yes, language is in constant flux, but we must not allow this fact to be abused by those who could not care less about the very culture they are trying to steer away from its own semantics.

tl;dr
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2012 - 3:06AM #3
Miraj
Posts: 5,021

Mar 26, 2012 -- 2:40AM, CharikIeia wrote:


Mar 25, 2012 -- 11:35PM, Miraj wrote:


... there’s a shrinking constituency that still believes Zionism can mean what it used to mean: the ideology that there should be a national home for the Jewish people in its historic homeland.


...



So, can one be a Zionist if no one thinks you are?  Is it worth reclaiming a label that has been so tarred by association with right-wing nationalism?  I’m not sure.




I think it is very easy when we want to be true to what we stand for. We must never allow extremists and partisans to hijack our culture. And that is exactly what you do when you leave it up to them to re-define your own words at their whim.


A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.


And zionism is zionism is zionism is zionism.


Whatever anti-Israeli maniacs may want us to believe.


Yes, language is in constant flux, but we must not allow this fact to be abused by those who could not care less about the very culture they are trying to steer away from its own semantics.




That's exactly why I refuse to accept the semantics non-Muslims have tried to lay on Muslims.  Terms like "anti-Semitic" for non-Jewish Semities, "Islamic terrorists", "Islamists", "Jihad" as a perjorative, Islam meaning whatever the terrorists say it is, to hell with most Muslims.  We are told we have no choice but to accept the right-wing appropriation of these terms because that's how "everyone" understands them.  Anti-Muslim/Islam cultural abuse is no more acceptable than anti-Jewish cultural abuse.

Disclaimer: The opinions of this member are not primarily informed by western ethnocentric paradigms, stereotypes rooted in anti-Muslim/Islam hysteria, "Israel can do no wrong" intransigence, or the perceived need to protect the Judeo-Christian world from invading foreign religions and legal concepts.  By expressing such views, no inherent attempt is being made to derail or hijack threads, but that may be the result.  The result is not the responsibility of this member.


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2 years ago  ::  Mar 27, 2012 - 1:21PM #4
SherriMunnerlyn
Posts: 7,492
There is a writer who believes in Jesus, but refuses to call herself a Christian, because of what that word has come to mean, based on acts of some who call themselves Christian. I think the question raised here is a similar one, about Zionism. We can hang onto our personal ideologies, despite what the world tries to redefine our beliefs as, I believe.
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 27, 2012 - 4:27PM #5
KindredSai
Posts: 5,385

I don't buy this reclamation argument.


Zionism in 1948 isn't different to Zionism in 2012.


They both call for a "Jewish State" by any means necessary. To me establishing a homeland on the basis of religious history is not only living in cloud cuckoo land along with crackpots who say the world is a few thousand years old but ignorant to the fact that  there shouldn't be ideologies that favour one ethno-religious people over another.

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 27, 2012 - 5:06PM #6
CharikIeia
Posts: 8,301

Mar 27, 2012 -- 4:27PM, KindredSai wrote:


They both call for a "Jewish State" by any means necessary.



I read this now for the second time.


Where do you get this "by any means necessary" ingredient from?

tl;dr
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 31, 2012 - 6:45PM #7
KindredSai
Posts: 5,385

Mar 27, 2012 -- 5:06PM, CharikIeia wrote:


Mar 27, 2012 -- 4:27PM, KindredSai wrote:


They both call for a "Jewish State" by any means necessary.



I read this now for the second time.


Where do you get this "by any means necessary" ingredient from?




So you're saying an ideology that calls for a Jewish Nation i.e. maintaining a Jewish majority in a land with there is a majority non-Jewish presence be it Uganda or Palestine is not a corner stone of ethnic cleansing by any means necessary?

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