Zionism is not Judaism

zeev jabotinsky
Ze’ev Jabotinsky, founder of Revisionist Zionism

Zionism is an international political movement that originally supported the reestablishment of a homeland for the Jewish People in Palestine

[Revisionist Zionism] advocated the formation of a Jewish Army in Palestine that would force the Arab population to accept mass Jewish migration and promote British interests in the region.

[It] evolved into the Likud Party in Israel, which has dominated most governments since 1977. It advocates Israel maintaining control of the West-Bank and East Jerusalem and takes a hard-line approach in the Israeli-Arab conflict.

Judaism is a religion. Zionism is a political movement. While Zionism was started by followers of Judaism, they are quite separate. The current government of Israel is unfortunately composed of hard core Zionists. It is those policies that must be opposed. It has little to do with Israel as a whole or with being a Jew.

I thought everyone had this figured out but I guess not. There’s been some disturbing anti-Semitic intrusions at the recent Gaza protests, both here and in Europe. It needs to stop.

Saying that Israelis and Jews are responsible for the Zionist policies of the Israeli government is akin to saying that Americans are neocons who support the Iraq war or that Christians applaud the murder of abortion doctors. It’s deranged and a deliberate falsehood. Do some Zionists demonize Arabs and Muslims? Yes, absolutely. But let’s keep our side of the street clean.

The political Zionist policies of the Israeli government is what’s driving the invasion of Gaza, not Jews and Israelis as a group.


  1. This needs to be said, again and again. Because it works both ways: we need to keep anti-semitism out of opposition to the war; and we need to make it absolutely clear that just because we oppose the policies of the revisionist Zionist faction, we are not at all anti-semitic.

  2. …I hear your call on this. I’ve heard more than one Jewish person say this. As a Palestinian, I have nothing against the Jews of the world. It is the Zionist who claim that it there Manifest Destiny to populate all lands from the Nile to the Euphrates. Whether Zionism, Radical Islam, Fundamentalist Christianity or Nazism, these things have nothing to do with the people they share a nationality or religion with…

  3. My God, how familiar Saoud’s comment sounds! All over Sri Lanka, Sinhalese people told me, “We do not want to fight Tamils” and Tamil people told me “We do not want to fight Sinhalese.” There is a small but vocal minority on both sides– each for their own ends– that perpetuates the violence and makes peace unthinkable in the national dialog.

    It takes a relatively small critical mass to change both the national dialog and the national consciousness to make peace possible again. I know because we did it. It wasn’t easy, and we had no recipe to follow, we experimented until we found what worked. Sadly, we didn’t follow through, and after four years of cease-fire the war began again.

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