The SC&A Idiots Guide to Zionism: What It is And Why It Matters
July 20, 2006
SC&A are aware that when it comes to Zionism, most people do not have clear idea as to what that ideology is all about. As the Middle East in engulfed in conflict once more, the word ‘Zionism’ is heard with great frequency. Arab diplomats appearing on the evening news, refer to ‘Zionism’ as the cause of all evil in the region.
Therefore, SC&A, in service to the nation and mankind, wish to explain Zionism, it’s origin and why it matters, once and for all.
Some see Zionism as a predominantly religious expression, while others see it as a more political expression. The Islamic nations exert tremendous effort in portraying Zionism as evil incarnate. (That of course, has as much credibility as a syphilis infected call girl speaking on family values and hygiene) More on that later.
First, a bit of what Zionism isn’t.
Zionism does not have it’s origin in religious expression. In fact, Zionism was a social and political movement founded and propagated by secular Jews. That idea was not well received by religious Jews. Initially, despite the daily prayers for redemption and return to the Holy Land, religious Jews wanted no part of a political movement that would bring them back to Israel without God’s endorsement. With the passage of time, that attitude would change- but not entirely. There are still very religious Jews that remain anti Zionist, but they are a decidedly fringe minority.
Of course, anti Zionism in the west is a horse of a different color. Recent pronouncements by some mainstream liberal churches equating Zionism with apartheid, for example, serve to illustrate how little these churches understand Zionism, how they deliberately misrepresent what Zionism is and most of all, how they legitimize this newest iteration of anti antisemitism. See this for a full and clear explanation.
The mainstream media of course, ever agendized, is only too happy to participate in the school play.
The State of Israel was born on May 14, 1948. A partition plan, creating two states, Israel and Palestine, was ratified by the United Nations. Unlike virtually every other nation before her, Israel’s borders were not defined by conflict, but rather, by treaty. Notwithstanding that reality, the Arab world rejected the UN partition and Arab initiated wars created new boundaries. It was Arab hostilities that made Israel an equal among nations. Virtually every country and virtually all national boundaries are arrived at by virtue of conflict. Arab world hostilities gave Israel and Zionism their international bona fides. There is no difference between the boundaries of Israel and any other nation.
What is often lost in any discussion of Zionism, is that clearly, Israelis- including Israeli Arabs- are far better off than they would be if they lived in any other country in the region. Israelis, under Zionist principles, have created a free, tolerant and productive society in a sea of bigotry, hate and dysfunction.
Zionism served as the catalyst for the only free and democratic regime in the regimes. Zionism also serves as a foundation of the most vibrant economy in the region. It was Zionist ideals that enrobed the cold and numbed victims of the hottest hell of evil, that were to serve as the petri dish for some of the most significant and important educational institutions in the world.
Had the Arab world done for itself only 10% of what Zionism did for Israel, that Arab world would not be the greatest assemblage of failed nation states in the modern world. A clear and final case for the morality of Zionism is the racism, that permeates the region and every level of society in the Arab world. As we have noted, hatred of Jews, America and Israel are the achievements of note in the Arab world.
In discussing Zionism, it is also true that the religious component cannot be ignored- if for no other reason that the religious component has been a major issue for Israel’s adversaries. Clearly, the Arab world cannot be taken seriously if they attempt to condemn Israel on moral grounds. Thus, Arab populations are whipped into a religious frenzy, calling for Islam to rid itself of the hated Jews.
The very last words of the last book of the Jewish Bible- the Old Testament, read as follows:
Thus says King Cyrus of Persia: the Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has charged me to build Him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all His people, may the Lord his God be with him! Let him go up” (II Chronicles 36:23).
The status of the Israelite people at the close of the biblical period is drawn into alignment with her founding charter. Israel has been about a people waiting just outside the land, for the moment when God will allow them home. Inasmuch as Israel’s adversaries have made religion a part of their political statement, Israel too, had the right to respond in kind (to those adversaries who openly proclaim delight in the slaughter of Jews).
To carry forward the religious thought as viewed through the prism of religion (as opposed to a political ideology), the return of the Jews to their homeland is the promise made by God to Israel. That homecoming of the Jews, the ‘ingathering of the exiled’ is a manifestation of ‘opus Dei,’ a work of God. For believers, that alone is enough. The Divine push, religious people believe, set into motion God’s play- and the next act they believe, is the Messianic Era. That too, has proved to be intolerable for those who object to Israel’s existence.
For Muslims, it is clear that Christians cannot be allowed to accept that the Messianic Age is upon us, because that puts them into direct conflict with Islam- and thus widens the gap between Islam and Christianity even further. It is Islam alone that speaks for God, they must insist. Christians and Jews must be denied their beliefs at all costs.
Israel, guided by Zionist principles, was formed by the pitiful survivors of the most evil of evil, is nation that has proved the worth of democracy. Those survivors, plucked from despair and hopelessness, created a country that paid homage to both God and the Divine Right of freedom. There is no clearer ‘lamp unto the nations.’
It is in the physical expression and manifestation of the State of Israel that the definition of Zionism becomes clear: Zionism is the expression of a group of people, to live in freedom and to determine their own future. Period. That’s it.
Now, let us be clear. Much of the Arab world sees itself as a part of the Ummah (the ‘nation’ or the ‘people’), the political expression of a religious ideology, destined to rule the Muslim world. This is a kind Islamic version of Zionism.
Of course, that version of Islamic national expression is different from the Jewish version. Israel, the political expression of Zionism, allows for and grants equal rights to all citizens. Virtually all Islamic regimes, decidedly do not. As a practical expression, Muslims in Israel, for example, do not have to worry about being blown up as they pray in their mosques- unlike Pakistani Christians. Israel offers freedom of worship, irrespective of faith. Saudi Arabia, for example, does not.
Often repeated is that ‘Zionism is racism.’ In fact, that shibboleth is a case of ‘He doth protesteth too much.’ More often than not, it is apparent and clear that ugly kind of behavior is more common of Israel’s accusers. In fact, there have been far fewer deaths under ‘brutal Zionism’ than there has been under ‘enlightened’ Arab regimes.
It is true Israel offers Jews the ‘Right of Return.’ That too, is much misunderstood and often described by Israel’s critics as ‘racist.’
Citizenship is granted by one of two ‘virtues,’ land or ‘blood.’
Americans grant citizenship by virtue of land. We don’t care if you are black, white or anything else. If you live in this country, or were born here, you are a citizen.
Other countries do it differently. The Poles, Irish, Russians or a myriad of other nations that offer citizenship to the children of one their nationals, wherever they might live, whenever they seek it. For them, it is a matter of ‘blood.’
As a sovereign nation, Israel has the right to determine it’s own citizenship policies. Period. There are millions of Arabs in Israel that hold an Israeli passport. Arabs are not precluded from Israeli citizenship, any more than Brits are precluded Polish citizenship. There are different rules, that’s all. That is not racism.
We wonder if Jews- or Christians, for that matter, can apply for Saudi citizenship.
The fact that Israel has lasted two millennia without a homeland or any sort of native rule is miraculous or remarkable, depending on your point of view. No matter how you regard that truth, it was possible because of the tenacity of a people. As we have noted, One historian put it this way:
Where are the Hittites? Why does no one find it remarkable that in most world cities today there are Jews but not one single Hittite even though the Hittites had a great flourishing civilization while the Jews nearby were a weak and obscure people? When one meets a Jew in New York or New Orleans or Paris or Melbourne, it is remarkable that no one considers the event remarkable. What are they doing here? But it is even more remarkable to wonder, if there are Jews here, why are there not Hittites here? Where are the Hittites? Show me one Hittite in New York City.
One would think that a land, with a history of local heroes and legends, monuments and armies, would have proved more weighted than a promissory note from God, real or not. That was not the case. The Jews didn’t just make the desert bloom- they made freedom bloom, in a region that has never seen that gift.
It is Zionism that has reminded us- and Israel’s adversaries- just how precious freedom really is.
Whatever the reason, the Jews have proved themselves to be remarkably resilient- and more importantly, remarkably adept at maintaining a faith and community. Zionism is but another testament to that truth. We can all learn from it.
Whether we, in our hubris, will admit it or not, the truth is that we need Zionism a whole lot more than Zionism needs us. We have let Israel down, by demanding and placing upon her, demands and conditions that we ask from no other nation on earth- not even our own. More than once those demands have made the ground red.
As a free people, we have an obligation to those who share our values. We owe them- all of them, wherever they may be- and ourselves, a whole lot more.